A Project of the San Francisco Parks Alliance & the Department of Public Works "Street Parks" Program

Core Planners

Aileen Barr (artist) has been designing and making  ceramic tile for public art projects since the early 1990’s. She moved from her native Ireland to San Francisco in 2002 and has been fortunate to continue her work here. Her projects include the West Portal Recreation Center, the 16th Ave Tiled Steps on which she collaborated with Colette Crutcher. At Alta Plaza playground she created two seating walls and made accent tile and signs for the newly renovated restrooms. She has just completed the first phase of the Lincoln Park Stairway restoration project. Aileen also works part time as an Artist in Residence in elementary schools in San Francisco. You can check her work at www.aileenbarrtile.com.

Colette Crutcher (artist) was originally a painter. She made her first mosaic out of scrap tile, glass and mirror during her artist residency at the Sanitary Fill Co. Transfer Station (i.e.: the dump). Her other public works, all located in San Francisco, include Tonantsin Renace, a mural on 16th Street at Sanchez, the façade of the Oceanview Branch library at Randolph and Ramsell Streets, created with her husband Mark Roller, and the semi-public winged lion, beloved by neighborhood kids, in front of their Bernal Heights home. Since completing the Steps, she has collaborated with Mark and Aileen on Quetzalcoatl, the 120' tiled serpent sculpture at the 24th St. Minipark (24th between Bryant and York and made a series of mosaics for installation in a housing project in Chinatown. Under Aileen's influence, Colette has been seduced by the lure of ceramics, and "plain" tile mosaic now feels insufficient. She is presently developing several public art pieces for installation in the Bay Area over the next year or two, She also enjoys making commissioned works for private homes; the latest can be viewed at www.colettecrutcher.com.

Alice Chung works as a training program specialist for the California Invasive Plant Council, developing best management practices and educational programs to protect our lands and waters from ecologically-damaging invasive plants. She has worked as a landscape architect for more than ten years with project experience ranging from garden design, campus planning to park and open space development and preservation. Alice has a passion for community based projects that take people outdoors and foster curiosity about our natural world. She directs volunteers for the HiddenGardenSteps project.

Karen EngleKaren Engle is, on a daily basis, at the center of community-building and collaboration through her work as branch manager of a local public library. She has helped to organize community cleanup efforts and participated in transit advisory committees in the region, as well as working with a variety of local government and nonprofit agencies to support early childhood education and literacy initiatives. Karen co-chairs the Pacific Library Partnership Staff Development committee, an association of trainers from libraries throughout the Bay Area, and is involved in planning and producing the annual Future of Libraries conference held in San Francisco.


Judy Goddess Judy Goddess retired from her career in grantwriting and program design in 2004 to enjoy retirement.  A San Francisco resident since 1985, Judy moved to the inner Sunset in 1997.  Judy lives near the N Judah, and exercises by climbing the Hidden Garden and Moraga steps.  An active grandmother, Judy also makes time to take classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SFSU and the Community Music Center.




Debbie Herzfeld, a fourth-generation San Franciscan who lives in the Lakeside neighborhood, has been voted best real estate agent in San Francisco during a career that has continued for almost 30 years. She is also a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS ) and a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), with training that prepares her to work with older people that may want to relocate. Since joining the Hidden Garden Steps organizing committee, she has been actively engaged in marketing and outreach for the project, and is also supporting Hidden Garden Steps fundraising efforts. For more information about Debbie, please visit her website at http://www.soldonsf.com/.

Cori Holland, a senior account manager at NoMoreDirt (http://nomoredirt.com), moved to the Inner Sunset in 2010. She found that she loved the sense of community, the friendliness of the shop owners, and her proximity to the park. When she met Hidden Garden Steps organizing committee members in December 2011, she quickly agreed to join the committee. She has worked in the garden (though she admits that she has a "black thumb"), has worked at the Steps table at the Inner Sunset farmers' market near 9th Avenue and Irving, and is actively engaged in raising funds to help meet the project's $300,000 budget.

Gilbert JohnsonGilbert Johnson, born in 1940 in San Francisco (years before it was popular to do so), is a long-time resident of the Inner Sunset District. Residing near the Hidden Garden Steps, he is a working artist who is known for his involvement in neighborhood collaborative projects. He is also a key player on the project's marketing committee, who helped build the strong connection that exists between the project and Crepevine, and is also part of the team helping document the project's successes through his work as a photographer.


Leena KrasnoLeena Krasno is a long-time resident of l6th Avenue. Her home is located between the Hidden Garden Steps and the Moraga Tiled Steps. She was involved as a volunteer on the Moraga Tiled Steps and brings her experience and interest to the Hidden Garden Steps project. This project would be a beautiful addition to the neighborhood, she says, having seen firsthand the immense pleasure that tiled steps bring to people.




Liz McLoughlinLiz McLoughlin retired several years ago from a career with the Trauma Foundation, a non-profit organization housed in San Francisco General Hospital dedicated to the prevention of injury and violence. She trained as a Neighborhood Emergency Response Team member and took on the organization of the neighbors on her block, which includes the Hidden Garden Steps. She and her husband, Thomas Hall, moved from New Zealand to the Inner Sunset in 1986, and bought their current home at the top of these steps in 1990. They are members of several local neighborhood associations.




Barbara MeliBarbara Meli has lived near Grand View Park since 1971. She has seen many changes during that time; the Hidden Garden Steps tile stairs project is one she can support. She managed her husband's dental practice for more than 30 years. Since retiring, she and her husband divide their time between The City and the Sierras.




Paul SignorelliPaul Signorelli is a writer, trainer, presenter, and consultant with more than 20 years of experience working with governmental, nonprofit, and other agencies and organizations. He has served as executive director/fundraiser for a nonprofit organization; director of volunteer services and staff training for the San Francisco Public Library system; and in nonprofits as a member of the ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) National Advisors for Chapters (2011-2013), the 2011 Horizon Report Advisory Board, and the American Libraries magazine Advisory Committee (2009-2013). He first moved to the Inner Sunset District in 1986 and has been a homeowner there since 2001.



Licia Wells has been involved in nonprofit organizations as a director and/or fundraiser for more than 20 years. She brings more than a decade of writing, editing, and project management experience to the Hidden Garden Steps project; offers solid marketing experience; maintains a commitment to collaboration and creative problem-solving. She first moved to the Inner Sunset District in 1986 and has been a homeowner here since 2001. Gardening, not getting photographed, is her thing.



Moved, but still with us in spirit:

Amy Barach has been a grants writer and programs manager for the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center for over 12 years. Prior to that, she was a fundraiser for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Berkshire School in Massachusetts and the Cleveland Institute of Art. She has been a renter in the Inner Sunset by the 16th Avenue steps since 1997 and wishes she could be a homeowner! Unfortunately for us, she has since moved to Los Angeles, so she cheers us on from afar. Shy to photographers, she submits instead her photo of two mourning dove babies with mother on nest.


ShamsiShamsi Soltani is a San Franciscan returned to the City after completing her B.S. at UCLA. She works in nonprofit fundraising, and interns at a nonprofit health agency providing HIV test counseling across the City as well as running a needle exchange in the Tenderloin. She loves to see communities accomplish feats through action and forge connections in doing so. In her spare time she drinks gallons of tea, reads, and plans her next travel adventures. Shamsi embarked upon a Master's of Public Health degree at Tulane University in the Fall of 2011.