Our Sculpture Garden at Recology San Francisco is a private, three-acre facility that includes more than 35 sculptures made by former artists-in-residence, with new pieces added each year. Due to construction at the facility, the garden is temporarily inaccessible. Tours of the garden will resume when construction is completed.
In 1992, under the direction and design of Susan Leibovitz Steinman, Recology San Francisco built the sculpture garden on a hill overlooking San Francisco Bay. The land functions as a buffer between the SF Transfer Station and the adjacent residential neighborhood, known as Little Hollywood. It was previously a field of ivy and ice plant. In 1994, the garden was dedicated to the memory of Joseph Johnson, former director of the Solid Waste Management Program of the City & County of San Francisco. Joe was also an artist and an important advocate for the formation of the Artist in Residence Program.
The garden path is made from recycled concrete salvaged from the Embarcadero Freeway when it was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Bricks that line the path came from a building on Mission Street, and many of the plants in the garden were rescued from the garbage and brought back to life using Recology compost. Visiting the garden is a highlight for the 4,000 visitors who tour the Recology site annually.
Wild Apples for Jo
An experiment in biodiversity, Wild Apples for Jo is a bed of apple trees grown from seed. The garden installation is dedicated to the memory of Artist in Residence Program founder Jo Hanson and created by Susan Leibovitz Steinman. The installation includes five trees growing in a star shape, mimicking seeds inside an apple. The trees were planted in large oval troughs filled with rose quartz and native grasses, surrounded by five antique French doors rescued from a South San Francisco hotel.
Wild Apples for Jo was inspired by Sweet Survival-Urban Apple Orchard II at the Sonoma County Museum in 2006-2008. The original Urban Apple Orchard I was commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission in 1994-1995 and sited on Market Street. It was located just a few blocks from Jo’s house, and was a favorite destination for her. This is our memorial to Jo Hanson–to her life, her work, and her spirit.
Gardener in Residence
The goal of the Gardener in Residence Program (GIR) at Recology San Francisco is to bring awareness to the importance of native plant restoration, water conservation, and the value of compost as a soil amendment. Our focus is on educating the public about sustainable landscape design techniques that are essential for reducing water useage and attracting native wildlife, such as bees and butterflies. Using the garden as a platform for educational outreach, we hope to encourage dialogue about these environmental issues.
The Gardener in Residence Program provides experienced local gardeners and landscape designers with access to the Recology Sculpture Garden for site specific projects. In conjunction with Recology staff, the gardener-in-residence will determine appropriate areas for development within the three-acre sculpture garden, and will design and execute their plan by working hands-on in the garden. Projects that incorporate drought-tolerant plantings, effective use of mulch and compost, and native plants are preferred.
The gardener-in-residence will received a monthly stipend over the three-month residency. Gardeners will have supervised access to the green waste area of the Recology facility, and have a small budget for new plants. Gardeners must be able to commit a minimum of 10 hours per week and be available the third Saturday of each month to speak to tour groups.
Interested gardeners should submit a resume, two references, and a personal statement describing a proposed project. Applicants must take a tour of the Recology facility before applying. Please contact Deborah Munk: 415 330-1415, for more information.