The volunteer-driven, community-based Hidden Garden Steps Project will turn a drab, damp, grey concrete stairway in San Francisco into a vibrant tiled mosaic on the 16th Avenue steps between Kirkham and Lawton Streets. Inspired by the awesome mosaic on the Moraga Street steps, local residents and public art lovers engaged the same tile artists to create the design for the Hidden Garden Steps. A growing team of volunteers and supporters has been laying the groundwork (pardon the pun) for the past year, and we're ready to start some of the hands-on work to transform this ugly utilitarian stairway into a place of beauty.
But we need to raise $8,000 to cover the costs of various San Francisco city permit applications in order to proceed. (Clarification to the Perks listed on this page: Contributions of ANY amount are welcome and deeply appreciated! All will be acknowledged on the Hidden Garden Steps website. You don't have to contribute $150 or more - anything helps - but those higher levels get tiles in the steps, as listed.)
If we can raise the funds for permit fees and submit the applications by early September, we may be able to start making the actual tiles by the end of this summer.
The Hidden Garden Steps Project is a project of the San Francisco Parks Alliance. The City of San Francisco has been very supportive so far. We've had productive and encouraging meetings with the Department of Public Works, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and others. The Department of Public Works named us a Street Parks Partner, so they provide tools and other support for our monthly clean-ups on the steps.
Besides creating the tile mosaic, we'll be beautifying the gardens alongside the steps with native and drought-tolerant plants, including specific plants to support the endangered Green Hairstreak butterfly. And we'll have murals on walls alongside the steps -- see the video for an example!
We're fortunate to have community partners endorsing the Hidden Garden Steps Project including the Inner Sunset Park Neighbors, the Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood Association, and more. Can you help too?
The beauty of the tile mosaic on the nearby Moraga Street steps has made it a destination for visitors from outside the neighborhood and from other cities and countries. The Hidden Garden Steps will do the same and brighten the spirit of every person who walks these steps.
What We Need & What You Get
If we don't raise the full $8,000, your donation still will help, but we may not be able to start making the tiles as soon as we'd like. If we raise the $8,000, we hope to start making the tiles by the end of this summer while we continue raising funds for other parts of the Steps project.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please help spread the word to your contacts. (See the easy Share tools on this page.) Together, we can get the needed permits and start making the tiles for these beautiful steps soon.
Walk in beauty. Be beautiful.