Our Policies

Pennsylvania Street Gardens has developed our policies over the years. We're publishing them here to give a better understanding of what we're doing, and why. Read on to find out our policies on water use, education and homelessness.

Water Use


Pennsylvania Street Gardens is committed to creating gardens that are xeric or drought tolerant.


California, and the Bay Area in particular, has suffered many years of drought. It is also an area that historically has had little to no water from April to November. With both these facts in mind, we feel it is neither logical nor morally right to use this precious resource to create ornamental gardens.


We will only plant species that we believe to require nothing but seasonal rain water to not just survive, but thrive. This includes California native plants, Australian, New Zealand, mediterranean and African plants.

Over time, we will replace plants that do not thrive in our climate with plants that do well.

If required, we will water plants in order to establish them, or on a case by case basis in cases of extreme drought, but otherwise we will not provide additional water.

We will strive to plant only during the rainy season to make use of natural water to establish plants.

We will encourage others to follow our lead by providing education in the neighborhood, and on the web, and demonstrating what plants do best in our area.



Pennsylvania Street Gardens is committed to educating people about drought tolerant/xeric gardening.


We believe in educating others on our “Water Use” policy, above, in order to reduce water waste.


We will hold monthly volunteer days and others on occasion, and show people how to grow and propagate plants that work well in our environment.

We will maintain a website with articles about the best plants for our climate, and how to grow them.

We will encourage use of volunteers vs paid providers to encourage hands-on learning. If we cannot complete tasks we will hire paid providers as a last resort.



Pennsylvania Street Gardens believes in the rights of homeless people, and also believes that our community gardens should also be treated with respect. We don’t tolerate damage to the gardens or aggression towards garden visitors.


Occasionally, homeless encampments and other visitors damage the garden and create a hostile environment for volunteers and the public. This results in cost to repair, volunteer time spent cleaning, and danger to volunteers from needles, glass etc. This also results in less time available for gardening activities, and a corresponding drop in volunteer attendance, and garden quality.


We will publish a list of illegal activities seen in the garden so our neighbors understand what is not acceptable, and in fact illegal.

We will publish numbers for neighbors to call if they see illegal activities taking place in the gardens

We will plant species of plants, and develop hardscape, that are robust enough to tolerate some level of pressure from, and attempt to deter, encampments.

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