Because of the Tenderloin’s high concentration of apartment buildings, it is also one of the areas of the city with the least parks and green areas. That’s why we were so happy when we heard about the Tenderloin National Forest project on Cohen Alley, between Leavenworth and Ellis Street. From Thomas Hawk’s blog:

Cohen Alley, which used to be one of the most filth, drug and crime infested alleys in one of the worst areas of San Francisco, has recently been renovated, reclaimed and renamed the Tenderloin National Forest complete with gardens and public art and the transformation has been nothing short of remarkable.

Three weekends ago, on May 9th, the alley officially opened to the general public with a day of celebration featuring numerous Bay Area artists and performers. According to the Tenderloin National Forest’s website, the public art and garden space was created to address the lack of green space in the Tenderloin. They say:

The Forest is intended to be an inspiration and model for others to attempt gardening in the inner city. People are welcome to come by the Forest to look, and if the gate is open (when the gardeners are there), to see the plants and exchange ideas about forests and flora in the city.

The Tenderloin National Forest, located on Cohen Alley is open regularly from 12 noon to 5pm every weekday. Check it out.

Geekstinkbreath full photo set of the Tenderloin National Forest can be seen here, and Thomas Hawk’s here, and all the Flickr photos tagged with ‘Tenderloin National Forest’ can be seen here.