BAYS Memorial Garden

In partnership with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, the Bay Area Young Survivors will be breaking ground on a Bay Area Young Survivors Breast Cancer Memorial Garden in Golden Gate Park in 2024. This will be the first public memorial of its kind in the U.S. and the first in Golden Gate Park since the AIDS Memorial Grove. The memorial will be a sanctuary in which to gather, celebrate life, and honor those who have died of metastatic breast cancer, including the names of the Bay Area Young Survivors who have died.

What is the vision of the Bay Area Young Survivors Breast Cancer Memorial Garden?

In the time when a body feels battered by incisions, needles, measurements, prescriptions, prostheses, and indignities of all kinds, one of the most healing things can be a place of respite: a spot in the shade, or the sun on one’s face, a bench with a view, or feeling the tactile qualities of earth, rock, and leaf. We are building a contemplative, accessible sanctuary in which to gather, to build community, to connect to the outdoors, to help beautify, to meditate on the grieving and healing process, and to honor those who have died of metastatic breast cancer, including members of the Bay Area Young Survivors.

How will the space be used?

This is an open space for all to enjoy as a respite and place of reflection. The Bay Area Young Survivors Breast Cancer Memorial Garden will, in perpetuity:

 

  • Be a gathering, honoring, and memorializing space for anyone who is experiencing or touched by metastatic breast cancer,
  • Build community through Volunteer Workdays that bring together Bay Area Young Survivors members and families with neighborhood and partner organizations, and
  • Improve a neglected yet high-traffic corner of the world-renowned Golden Gate Park and the San Francisco Bay Area’s park system and help preserve the environment for the well-being of everyone in our diverse community.

Where will the memorial be located?

The memorial will be located at the junction of Arguello Blvd and Conservatory Drive in the beloved Golden Gate Park.

What is the design?

Through a collaborative effort with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, dozens of community consultations, and design iterations with a team of prominent landscape architects and a committed group of volunteers, we have finalized plans to ensure the garden is as accessible and inclusive as possible.

The garden will include a large and inviting seating area; a walkway flanked by plants native to the adjacent Oak Woodlands; arcs that feature excerpts from Bay Area Young Survivors members’ published writing through the years; and a memorial to our over 100 members who have died of metastatic breast cancer, with themes universal to all those who have died of the disease.

InsideOut, a landscape architect that has donated incredible time to this effort, has created the following design.

What are the next steps?

The Bay Area Young Survivors Breast Cancer Memorial Garden has been approved by the City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department. In order to break ground and begin construction in early 2024, we must raise the last $200,000. We will plan an opening and dedication ceremony upon the memorial’s completion in 2024. Please check back at this website for more details or contact memorial@bayareayoungsurvivors.org to be included in future updates.

How can you help? 

We are working to raise the final $200,000 necessary to break ground and complete the memorial. Your charitable contribution of any amount is greatly appreciated for the construction, project management, and community-based maintenance costs. We hope you will join us in making this vision a reality by donating online here:

We also accept checks at the P.O. Box listed below and can receive funds via wire transfer. Donations $30,000 and above will receive recognition both online and at the memorial. Please contact us at memorial@bayareayoungsurvivors.org for more details.

Acknowledgements

The contributions received so far to make the memorial come to life include funds from the Wyss Family Foundation, The Estate of Janet Sollod, and the Bay Area Young Survivors community.

Questions and Comments

Bay Area Young Survivors has been an entirely volunteer run organization for its 20-year existence. We believe it is a testament to the fortitude of cancer patients that they can navigate their own treatment, support others, and still manage to gift an amazing public amenity to San Francisco and the community beyond. We now need your help in making this vision a reality.

Questions and comments regarding the Bay Area Young Survivors Breast Cancer Memorial Garden can be sent to memorial@bayareayoungsurvivors.org.