Eight SF groups expected to receive $233,000 from carbon fund

Eight organizations in The City are expected to receive a combined $233,000 from a so-called carbon fund created from surcharges on local government employees’ air travel since 2009.

The money will fund such things as food gardens, reduction of asphalt space at schools and tree planting.

The funding will allow the AsianWeek Foundation to partner with Quesada Gardens to create the Asian Community Green Space Project in Bayview-Hunters Point at Williams Avenue and Reddy Street. In addition, Commodore Sloat Elementary School will reduce its asphalt play area and Gateway High School will replace a portion of its parking area with a green space and community garden.

Nature in the City plans to use its funds to “convert weedy and iceplant-covered public sites along 14th Avenue between Kirkham and Santiago streets into restored upland dune habitats.”

The Ney Street Neighborhood Watch will plant shrubs on a 560-foot strip of “barren, rock-solid, garbage-strewn land” in the 700 block of Alemany Boulevard, while Friends of the Urban Forest will plant trees and create sidewalk gardens.

City department heads contribute 13 percent of the cost of their employees’ air travel to the fund. Collection of this surcharge began in July 2009.

It was initially intended to fund carbon offsets, but city officials said that plan was cost-prohibitive to verify.

Since the fund’s inception only two projects were previously financed: $30,000 for fruit tree planting and $4,000 for Dogpatch Biofuels, a biodiesel filling station. As a result, the rules were changed to allow funds to go toward a broader range of environmental projects. The eight organizations are the first recipients under the new rules.

The Commission on the Environment is expected to approve the funding Tuesday.

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