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    • adam

      I recently moved to SF and have been looking for interesting things to do in my local community. A group of friends has been volunteering at the AIDS Memorial Grove here in SF for nearly 5 years so I decided to join one of the work days and see what it was all about.

      The Grove is a beautiful outdoor space within the Golden Gate Park. It is a 10 acre living memorial dedicated to all those whose lives have been touched by the tragic disease known as AIDS. The Grove is a fantastic place to walk with your family, have a picnic, and simply sit and reflect on those we love and have lost.

    • adam

      This space wasn't always pristine though. Over the past 20 years this area has been revitalized, cleaned up, and used to reintroduce native plants to the area. All this was done by the hard work of over 200,000 hours of volunteer work by the local community.

      Every 3rd Saturday people gather in the Grove to help with whatever the daily project is. When I arrived the group gathered and told us what the plan for the day was. They have leaders who divided us up into teams and a professional gardener who would give us direction on what to do.

    • adam

      Our job for the day? To remove all of this brush and thorny bushes to make room for a new clearing.

    • adam

      After a few hours of chopping, hauling, and getting stabbed by various things in nature, we were making good progress.

    • adam

      In fact, we made a bit more progress than what they were expected our team to do!

      They asked us to clear out the trees and create a path, but keep most of the brush hidden behind one of the bushes (since we wouldn't be able to reconstitute the area to a pretty clearing in just one day).

      However, with all the human-power, sweat, and friendly convos, we ended up clearing it all. In the end, they were happy with our work, because next time we're going to beautify it.

    • adam

      At the end of the day we gathered in the circle for a moment of reflection on what we did as well as for the primary purpose of the Grove: to remember and speak of those who were lost to the epidemic.

      Each group was given the opportunity to speak (if they chose to) and just give a little info on who they were and why they were helping. Then we all stood and had a moment to speak the names of the loved ones into the circle.

      It was a peaceful, friendly, and very spiritual moment.

    • PJ

      thanks for helping make the world a better place! I would happily help out if it wasn’t a 3000 mile drive :)... whenever I’m in town next I look forward to checking it out!

    • Peter

      I am slightly ashamed to say I have not visited the AIDS Memorial Grove and it's especially egregous since I am from the generation that was ground zero for HIV infection. I lost a generation of friends from this desease before AZT and the drug protocal that followed. I spent the 80's as an ACT UP supporter, the Quilt tour and supported those infected then fatigue set in the 2000's. I think I need a personal growth moment and see about voluteering to honor the group of friend I have lost.

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