In 2002, Annette Smith and Karl Paige looked out at the long-neglected, palm tree lined median strip that runs the length of the 1700 block of Quesada Avenue in San Francisco’s Bayview/Hunter’s Point. Undeterred by the panorama of rusting appliances, raw garbage, and the result of years of neglect, the two began the arduous task of creating a garden where the neighbors could come together as one, get to know each other and look out for each other.
By 2006, with the help of several neighbors inspired by the tireless effort and seemingly boundless generosity of Karl and Annette, the entire length of the median was transformed from weeds, garbage, and neglect into a bountiful vegetable and flower garden.
We, the Quesada Gardens Initiative, are now the caretakers of this garden that has become a focal point for community members to gather, work together, and celebrate.
Karl passed away in 2007 and Annette moved off the block in 2009, but their vision and labor live on in the showcase garden they created and taught us to care for.
To learn more about Annette, Karl, and the community they built watch the 25 minute documentary, Rooted, about the transformational power of love, generosity and hard work.