Great Outdoors: IXLers Beautify a Bay Area Park

IXL volunteers clean up In Chan Kaajal Park

September 1, 2017

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Life at IXL

On the last Saturday of August, a group of IXLers headed to San Francisco to assist the SF Recreation and Parks Department with a park beautification project. In Chan Kaajal Park opened in June 2017 and was the first park to be developed in San Francisco in over a decade. Formerly a parking lot, In Chan Kaajal is now a vibrant space for neighborhood residents—and IXLers had a great time contributing to this community hub.

In Chan Kaajal Park sports a playground, gym, community garden, greenhouse, and small stage. IXL volunteers focused their energies on improving the community garden and working with SF Rec and Parks on various projects.

“We helped build a trellis for the beans, harvested lots of veggies, and met several volunteers from organizations doing great work in and around San Francisco. Overall, it was a beautiful start to my Saturday morning,” said Harsha Yeddanapudy, an associate product manager.

For Ish Menjivar, a software engineer at IXL, the experience was a chance to make a lasting impact at the park. “I enjoyed clearing out the mildew and planting radishes, carrots, and chives in freshly tended soil for the locals to enjoy in the months to come.”

The importance of the garden to the community was clear. One woman who lives on the same block told us about the constant family presence in the park, noted seeing a group of senior women frequently participate in impromptu dance classes at sunset, and even brought zucchini bread made with ingredients from a harvest the week before.


“It was really wonderful to be able to talk with volunteers who work in the park on a regular basis and who are personally invested in the work that was going into this community garden,” said IXL product designer Rachel Ha. “Their enthusiasm and dedication gave the work we were doing more context and purpose, and allowed us to be a real part of a greater community effort.”

To learn about volunteer opportunities with SF Recreation and Parks, visit http://sfrecpark.org/

By Tyler Beck, Product Designer

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