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Phoenix Garden Plan
Community and staff volunteers welcome


Upcoming event: 
4/27/24 – Phoenix Garden Workday – April Earth Month

Show some love for the land during Earth Month at Phoenix Garden! Join us and take home free seeds, a pot and planting soil. This workday we’ll be seeding and planting at our orchard and make our garden more beautiful.

Everyone is welcome! We’ll provide the tools and guidance you need. Please bring garden gloves, a water container and sun protection. Let’s grow together and blossom a great community. See you there!

Location: 222 Paul Scannell Drive, San Mateo

(Parking Lot across from Youth Services Center)

Register via Eventbrite here

About the Phoenix Garden:
When the Youth Services Center opened in the late fall of 2006, a plan was conceptualized to develop and enhance the land where the maze of old Probation Department buildings sat. Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) and the Health System supported this original plan, and have continued to be an ever-present force as the garden project has moved forward.

During initial planning, the name, “Phoenix Garden” was chosen to refer to the rebirth of the land as well as the people that the garden will help. Creation of the garden is a collective effort, with youth and community members playing a major role in visioning and building the space. Through the incorporation of specific design concepts, the garden will be home to various learning labs, educational and treatment programs, open nature areas and public meeting spaces.

In 2010, the old buildings were demolished, moving the now open land one step closer to becoming the Phoenix Garden. The semi-public spaces will be open to the visiting public but are intended for activities like outdoor learning and other coordinated special events. The private spaces include educational garden areas and will be reserved for adults and youth from county programs and approved visitors.

Recent additions to the garden in the fall include numerous trees and early winter has seen many truckloads of ground cover, known as wood chip mulch, delivered by the Davey Tree Company and others, who have been very supportive of the Phoenix Garden project.

volunteers If you are interested in being part of the Phoenix Garden project, would like notification of planned activities or would like to have a team building event or client activity at the site, please contact Julio Contreras directly at

A monthly volunteer day is held the third Saturday of the month from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., a monthly volunteering day is held where volunteers can join in community building at the Phoenix Garden Project. These days focus on sign installation, fencing, sheet mulching and companion planting around the orchard areas, as well as other special projects.