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Community Volunteer Workdays

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ORGANIZATION: National AIDS Memorial


National AIDS Memorial Overview:

The National AIDS Memorial is the steward of our nation’s two most notable AIDS Memorials: the National AIDS Memorial Grove ("the Grove") and the globally-recognized AIDS Memorial Quilt. Imparting the history and lessons of AIDS - and the AIDS Movement - is at the core of everything we do, and through our iconic AIDS Memorials and inspiring programs, we seek to ensure that the story of AIDS is known by current and future generations; that they stay engaged in the fight against HIV; be inspired to advance health, social, and racial justice efforts; and embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our vision is that never again will a community be harmed because of fear, silence, discrimination, or stigma.

The Grove:

The National AIDS Memorial Grove is a 10-acre living memorial located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park dedicated to lives touched by AIDS. It is where millions have gathered-and continue to gather - for healing, hope, remembrance, and historical information about AIDS and the AIDS movement for more than three decades. In October 1996, through passage of legislation spearheaded by Representative Nancy Pelosi and signed by President Bill Clinton, the 'National AIDS Memorial Grove Act of 1996' designated the site a national memorial.

Community Volunteer Workdays

On the third Saturday of each month from March through October, volunteers help with the work of creating and maintaining the 10-acre Grove. Individuals and groups of volunteers participate in gardening activities: clearing weeds and debris, mulching and hauling topsoil, planting new trees and shrubs, and other related activities within the Grove. Volunteers find Community Volunteer Workdays to be a rewarding experience, and many first-time volunteers become regular participants.

Our volunteers come from all segments of the community-from the very young to the elderly-and represent a diverse range of racial, economic, cultural, religious, and other social groups. Numerous corporate and community groups, groups of faith, universities, high schools, and other youth groups participate on a regular basis. Nearly 50% of our volunteers range from high school to college age, demonstrating a growing interest in volunteerism in younger generations.

2023 Community Volunteer Workdays::

Saturday, March 18

Saturday, April 15

Saturday, May 20

Saturday, June 17

Saturday, July 15

Saturday, August 19

Saturday, September 16

Saturday, October 21

About the Community Volunteer Workday Program:

The Grove was conceived in 1988 by a group of San Franciscans whose community had been devastated by AIDS. They envisioned a local AIDS memorial, a healing garden, for all those wrought with grief. With the permission and support of the City of San Francisco, they selected the de Laveaga Dell in Golden Gate Park, which had fallen into a state of disrepair. In September of 1991, hundreds of volunteers gathered for the first Community Volunteer Workday, and over the next few years, completely transformed the site.

In addition to our designated City gardener, the 10 acres of the Grove have since been maintained by an average of 1,700 volunteers who provide an average of 4,500 hours of annual volunteer labor. Without this volunteer support, the site would revert back to a state of disrepair. Since 1991, 300,000 hours of labor has been donated by community volunteers who have removed countless tons of brush and debris, and planted over 10,000 trees, plants, and shrubs.

Some of our volunteers also support hardscape and infrastructure projects, including regular maintenance of engravings and hardscape features, resurfacing paths and roadways, trenching for the installation and repair of electrical and irrigation systems, and other safety, security, and compliance needs. As the Grove ages, these projects are ever increasing, and without our volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to keep up.

There are eight regular Community Volunteer Workdays during the months of March through October, each on the third Saturday of the month. Volunteer Workdays start at 8:30am with registration and a breakfast of coffee, juices, bagels, and fruit, followed by a brief introduction by a board or staff member. Our gardener then explains the day’s various projects. Volunteers break into teams and work under the supervision of our trained volunteer team leaders. At 11:45am, work ends, and volunteers gather at noon for "Circle Time" for announcements, acknowledgement of sponsors, and a moment of silence in honor of lives lost to AIDS. Lunch is then provided to all volunteers.

What You Need To Know as a Volunteer:

Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and beverages are provided to all volunteers. Gloves and tools are also provided. We suggest that you wear sturdy shoes, bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat or cap. Please note that open toe shoes are not permitted. Sturdy clothing (jeans and long-sleeved shirts are suggested) as we frequently pull invasive, thorny blackberry and ivy that grows on the slopes.

All participants under the age of 18 must have a consent form signed by a parent/guardian prior to working at the Grove. Click Here to download general information about Community Volunteer Workdays as well as our required Workday Release Form to complete and sign ahead of time. Otherwise, Workday Release Forms will be available at the registration table (on Bowling Green Drive - east entrance of the Grove) on the morning of the Community Volunteer Workday.

If there are questionable weather conditions on the morning of a Community Volunteer Workday, please send an email to Steve Sagaser at ssagaser@aidsmemorial.org to find out if the Workday was cancelled.

Groups of Five or Larger:

Any groups of 5 or larger must contact the Grove at least three weeks in advance of a scheduled Community Volunteer Workday in order to confirm available space. Please send an email to Steve Sagaser at ssagaser@aidsmemorial.org.

3 Shifts

All shifts have expired
  • Sat Jul 15, 2023 - 08:30 AM to 12:30 AM
    Breakfast and lunch provided to all volunteers
  • Sat Jun 17, 2023 - 08:30 AM to 12:30 AM
    Breakfast and lunch provided to all volunteers
  • Sat May 20, 2023 - 08:30 AM to 12:30 AM
    Breakfast and lunch provided to all volunteers
More Shifts

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About National AIDS Memorial


543 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114, US

Mission Statement

By sharing the story of the struggle against HIV/AIDS, we remember, in perpetuity, the lives lost, we offer healing and hope to survivors, and we inspire new generations of activists in the fight against stigma, denial, and hate for a just future.


By sharing the story of the struggle against HIV/AIDS, we remember, in perpetuity, the lives lost, we offer healing and hope to survivors, and we inspire new generations of activists in the fight against stigma, denial, and hate for a just future.


Children & Youth
Children & Youth, Community, LGBTQ+


Sat May 20, 2023 - Sat Jul 15, 2023
08:30 AM - 12:30 PM
This opportunity has 3 shifts


National AIDS Memorial GroveNancy Pelosi Drive & Bowling Green DriveSan Francisco, CA 94122



  • Gardening
  • Horticulture


  • Kids
  • Teens
  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a Release Form completed and signed by a parent or legal guardian.

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