April 2019
Volunteers restore the Yosemite Slough . Photo: Literacy for Environmental Justice.
PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: Literacy for Environmental Justice

Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ) promotes ecological health, environmental stewardship, and community development in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood in southeast San Francisco by creating urban greening, eco-literacy, community stewardship, and workforce development opportunities that directly engage and support local residents. This area of San Francisco has the highest concentration of poverty, highest concentration of first-generation immigrants, is the most diverse neighborhood in the city, and hosts more than 2/3 of the city’s polluting industries and 1/3 of its hazardous waste sites.  

LEJ has been working with local groups since 1998 to address these injustices. LEJ successfully lobbied for closure of the outdated coal-fired Pacific Gas & Electric Hunters Point Power Plant, decommissioned and closed in 2006. Following on the heels of this success, LEJ spearheaded the transformation of a former landfill site into a restored marshland and beloved urban park, now known as Heron’s Head Park. The park has a LEED certified Eco-Center and more than 120 visiting bird species annually.

The LEJ community and program partners are now restoring the Candlestick Point Recreational Area by growing, propagating, and installing native plants, and by removing invasive plants like narrow leaf iceplant , wild radish , oats (Avena sp.) , sour grass , bromes (Bromus sp.) , black mustard, and multiple invasive grass species. LEJ has propagated and planted more than 7,000 native plants and worked with State Parks to develop 6 campsites at Sunrise Point for local residents to safely enjoy outdoor resources. These are only the second campsites in the City of San Francisco.

LEJ has many programs including: community volunteer days, environmental education service-learning events, and year-long internship opportunities for local youth. Thousands of people have volunteered, advocated for, explored, and engaged with the land — and with each other — through LEJ’s 21 years of programming. LEJ hosts volunteer days at their Native Plant Nursery every 1st and 3rd Saturday 10am-1pm and restoration events every 2nd Saturday 9am - 1pm at Candlestick Park.

Learn more about all of the ways you can get involved with Literacy for Environmental Justice!
The Wildland Volunteer Network helps strengthen volunteer connections in the Bay Area and beyond. Learn more about WVN.