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San Francisco


National AIDS Memorial Grove

From the water's edge to the heart of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco is filled with special spots dedicated to those who came before. These memorials, and the people they recognize, are part of what makes San Francisco the remarkable place that it is today -- and one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. Here and on the following pages (see Related Topics), listed alphabetically, are some memorial places off the beaten path but well worth the extra steps.

National AIDS Memorial Grove

Even on the darkest days of the year, something is always flowering here," says Thom Weyand, executive director of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park. Hummingbirds hover over blue California lilacs and white-crowned sparrows chatter under a slope carpeted with velvety silver artemisia plants. A red-tailed hawk wheels overhead. The fragrance of rosemary and bay leaf fills the air. Descending a gently sloping ramp into the sun-dappled heart of the Grove, the visitor comes upon a circle of pale beige granite boulders and flagstones, carved with name after name of individuals touched by Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

Located at the intersection of Middle Drive East and Bowling Green Drive in Golden Gate Park, the National AIDS Memorial Grove is a serene, secluded dell in a busy section of the park, just southeast of the California Academy of Sciences. It is the country's only federally sanctioned memorial commemorating the struggle against AIDS. For all who come here, it is a place to mourn and to remember, to acknowledge grief and to begin the process of healing.

The Grove began informally in 1989, envisioned by a group of garden designers and Bay Area residents who had lost friends to AIDS. Since 1991 the third Saturday of every month (except in winter) is a designated work day." Between 100 and 200 volunteers show up to weed, plant and turn the soil, connecting to the earth, to each other and to life. From the onset, volunteers have made the Grove the space it is today, transformed with care from a neglected, unusable spot known as De Laveaga Dell. Such work is a positive way to express both grief and hope.

The National AIDS Memorial Grove was conceived in 1989 and achieved official national designation by Congress in 1996, a legal status comparable to that of the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It has won the 1999 Silver Award in the Rudy Bruner National Foundation Urban Excellence Competition.

More information The Grove is located near the eastern end of scenic Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, in the serene de Laveaga Dell, right across the street from the tennis courts and just north of the bowling greens on Bowling Green Drive Address / Phone For more information, call (415) 750-8340




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Source: San Francisco CVB; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20070225
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