Phoenix garden – rising from the soil

— submitted by Kris Jensen

In 2006 two permaculture students created the outline of what would become the Phoenix Garden on a barren and degraded seven-acre site at San Mateo County’s Youth Services Center (YSC). Under the patient leadership of Toni DeMarco, one of those students and a therapist at the YSC, the Garden finally began to take shape last year when we planted 100 fruit trees that created the foundation of a food forest that will be there for generations to come. The overarching goal of the Phoenix Garden is to transform the site into a resilient and regenerative permaculture oasis serving youth and families participating in court-ordered probation department programs, the foster care system, and families in need of mental health services.

You can be a part of this incredible project by volunteering at one of our regular workdays. In partnership with San Mateo County, the Silicon Valley Permaculture Guild manages a volunteer workday every third Saturday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM where we get our hands dirty building out this vision based in the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and sharing in our excess.

If this piques your interest and would like to join us, please contact Kris Jensen ( and look for announcements from Transition Palo Alto for an upcoming TPA workday. The garden is located at the San Mateo County Youth Services Center, 222 Paul Scannell Drive in San Mateo.


2 thoughts on “Phoenix garden – rising from the soil

  1. Pingback: Building fences – and bridges – at Phoenix Garden - The xPollinators

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