San Fran­cisco names park for Fang

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By BON­NIE WANG in San Fran­cisco bon­niewang@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The ground­break­ing cer­e­mony for a new park named in honor of Florence Fang in San Fran­cisco’s south­east­ern Bayview neigh­bor­hood was held on April 17.

Dig­ni­taries at­tend­ing the event in­cluded Nancy Pelosi, mi­nor­ity leader of the US House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and David Chiu, pres­i­dent of the San Fran­cisco Board of Su­per­vi­sors.

“Florence Fang is a leader in San Fran­cisco and in the AsianPa­cific com­mu­nity,” said Pelosi. “For this park to be named in honor of Fang’s con­tri­bu­tion fully ex­presses the unity in this land and com­mu­nity.”

The park — a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Caltrain, SF En­vi­ron­ment, Door­man and oth­ers — cov­ers one acre and will pro­vide a space where lo­cal res­i­dents and vis­i­tors can en­joy sun­shine and fresh air and be closer to na­ture. Some 200 vol­un­teers will help in its con­struc­tion.

The park will also fea­ture an herb and veg­etable gar­den and an area with ex­er­cise fa­cil­i­ties for such ac­tiv­i­ties as tai chi.

“Our city’s ur­ban agri­cul­ture strat­egy,” said Chiu, “which was re­ally about tak­ing back va­cant lots, tak­ing back un­der-uti­lized spa­ces and turn­ing them into com­mu­nity spa­ces where kids can come to play and se­niors can come out to be in the sun and where we can all be to­gether as one fam­ily.”

Fang ex­pressed her grat­i­tude for the honor and said that plant­ing a bam­boo tree in the ground­break­ing cer­e­mony sym­bol­izes the strength and the deep roots of Asian-Pa­cific peo­ples in the San Fran­cisco com­mu­nity, as well as their re­spect for na­ture and be­lief in Tao­ism.

Hav­ing just cel­e­brated her 80th birth­day in early April, Fang took up the fam­ily busi­ness in pub­lish­ing and ex­panded it into real es­tate, din­ing and trade.

Fang is pres­i­dent of the Chi­nese edi­tions of the Young China Daily and China World News and is pub­lisher of the San Fran­cisco Ex­am­iner, as well as chair­man of the In­de­pen­dent News­pa­per Group.

Fang has de­voted her life to pro­mot­ing bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the US and China and has do­nated more than $6 mil­lion in fi­nan­cial sup­port for Chi­nese-US and Chi­ne­seAmer­i­can com­mu­ni­ca­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tions.

In Jan­uary 2013, Fang made a $1 mil­lion do­na­tion to the 100,000 Strong Foun­da­tion, a non-profit group try­ing to get 100,000 Amer­i­can stu­dents study­ing in China within four years.

Back in 2008, Fang started to fund the five-year con­struc­tion of a build­ing at Pek­ing Univer­sity that fo­cuses on teach­ing for­eign­ers the Chi­nese lan­guage and cul­ture, a project Fang con­trib­uted $2.5 mil­lion to.

In 1990 and 2003, Fang was named Cal­i­for­nia Woman of the Year and in 2006 she do­nated $3 mil­lion to the East Asian Li­brary at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley.

LIU CHANG / CHINA DAILY

US Sec­re­tary of Com­merce Penny Pritzker de­liv­ers re­marks on Amer­ica’s eco­nomic fu­ture in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion on Thurs­day at Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity’s Paul H. Nitze School of Ad­vanced In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies (SAIS).

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