Richmond Rising Partnership Receives $35 Million Grant from California Strategic Growth Council
Richmond, CA – Today, Trust for Public Land (TPL), the City of Richmond and a partnership of Richmond community nonprofits that includes Rich City Rides, GRID Alternatives, Urban Tilth and Groundwork Richmond, proudly announced that it has been awarded a $35 million grant from the California Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities Program.
“This project and the Richmond Wellness Trail represents the best of what can happen when community-based nonprofits work together,” said Guillermo Rodriguez, California State Director for The Trust for Public Land. “I’m proud that with our partners, we are making Richmond an even better place to live, get outside and enjoy a healthier community.”
“We look forward to the opportunity to deepen our partnerships with community-based organizations on addressing climate resilience, inequities, and creating opportunities in Richmond,” said Lina Velasco, City of Richmond.
The grant will go towards green infrastructure investment that will lead to large-scale community-based transformation including the reduction of 17,553 Metric Tons of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to removing nearly 3,800 gas-powered cars driven for one year, all while delivering high need communities with parks, green space, free solar, workforce training, and community gardens while advancing strong anti-displacement measures.
Richmond Rising: Healthy, Connected, and Climate Strong also includes other community organizations and hundreds of community members. The proposal is the result of years of stakeholder collaboration to address environmental justice concerns in the Iron Triangle, Santa Fe, and Coronado neighborhoods that adjoin the historical heavy industrial zones in Richmond.
“This is an opportunity to further activate parks, encourage Healthy Green Transportation, promote and implement food as medicine, and transition from fossil fuels to sustainable regenerative energy,” Najari Smith, Rich City Rides. “The Transformative Climate Communities award will empower the Richmond Rising Project to build on the success and expand community services currently provided by the Rich City Rides Unity Park Bike Hub to include the E-Bike Lending Library.”
“I can see what a game changer this is, the focused attention in this geographic area that’s been so ignored and discriminated against, and what I’m most optimistic about is the community engagement. I was moved by the SGC Council being moved. When Frank Cárdenas said he’d been waiting 64 days for the awards to be voted on, given that he’s at the intersection of bureaucracy and politics, and the frustration and resignation that comes with the climate we’re in, for him to say, ‘this is the way forward,’ is a big deal,” Arthur Bart-Williams, GRID Alternatives, Bay Area.
“We know the importance of having safe ways to access parks and nature and the Richmond Wellness Trail will provide this critical access for nearly 18,000 residents, while focusing on improving park equity and community health in historically underinvested Richmond. TPL is proud to help secure the funding needed to begin Phase II of this landmark green infrastructure investment,” said Guillermo Rodriguez, TPL California State Director.
As part of Richmond Rising, TPL is leading Phase 2 of the Richmond Wellness Trail, to transform highly trafficked and exposed streets into a green multi-use corridor with a two-way bicycle trail, sidewalk improvements, trees, and rain gardens, and extend the recently completed first phase of the Richmond Wellness Trail from Cutting Boulevard 1.1 miles to the San Francisco Bay and Richmond Ferry Terminal. The entire Richmond Wellness Trail will be a safe and inviting, bike and pedestrian route that will reduce greenhouse gases in this region surrounded by heavy industry, and also fully connect Downtown Richmond and surrounding neighborhoods to the natural and historic features of the waterfront and the National Park Service’s Rosie the Riveter visitor center. Once complete, the trail will provide nearly 18,000 residents who live within a 10-minute walk of the trail the opportunity to be active and experience all the benefits that connecting to nature can bring.
“I don’t know that this level of investment has ever been targeted to these particular neighborhoods, the Iron Triangle, Coronado, Santa Fe. It will truly transform people’s homes and people’s lives in a way we have not seen before,” said Doria Robinson, Urban Tilth.
“For the accessible Garden for Richmond it is our honor to connect and provide what our community needs. Before the proposal we were listening to the community and understanding their need, so we are excited to be in this position to provide exactly what they need,” said Arleide Santos, Urban Tilth.
The funded proposal aims to empower the city’s most under-invested communities through complete streets and affordable active transportation options; renewable energy and resilient homes; water absorption and reuse; urban greening and cooling of neighborhoods; and enhanced food security for improved health and wellbeing. A key focus of this work will be ensuring that project benefits are experienced by existing residents.
Further benefits of Richmond Rising include expanded e-bike share with new docking hubs, new e-bikes, and memberships for residents, a new accessible community garden, tree canopy investment of up to 1,000 new street trees and 400 fruit trees, water catchment and greywater systems in 80 homes, solar power for 250 homes and energy efficient appliances. Green infrastructure will provide extensive new bicycle and pedestrian features and stormwater capture throughout the neighborhoods, and the project will also include job training in community health promotion, solar installation, water conservation, urban forestry, and expansion of the existing City of Richmond employment and training programs. A Youth Fellows leadership program will help ensure the project is led by the community, and for the community of Richmond.
Beyond funding from the California Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities Program, federal leaders in Congress have helped work with TPL to further green investment in Richmond and California.
With over 32 miles of bay shoreline, historic petrochemical industry, and a growing population, Richmond is one of the most vulnerable cities to climate change in California. City and community leaders have spearheaded progressive policies to address climate change, and Trust for Public Land’s Climate-Smart CitiesTM team is working with city staff, public agencies, and community organizations to help Richmond implement these policies by prioritizing projects and generating climate-related funding.
About Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres of public land, created more than 5,000 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $84 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected more than 9 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.
About our partners:
The City of Richmond is a diverse urban community in the San Francisco Bay Area that is working to achieve residents’ goals of a more healthy, equitable, accessible city.
Rich City Rides is a Richmond-based nonprofit and bike hub deeply committed to using bicycles as the catalyst for improving community health, economic stability, sustainability as well as an antidote to displacement. www.richcityrides.org.
Groundwork Richmond is a Richmond-based nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting communities with their local environments, and focuses on supporting the next generation of environmental leaders. www.groundworkrichmond.org
Urban Tilth is a Richmond-based nonprofit that inspires, hires, and trains local residents to cultivate agriculture, feed the community, and restore relationships to land to build a more sustainable food system, within a just and healthier community. https://urbantilth.org/
GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit that envisions a rapid, equitable transition to a world powered by renewable energy that benefits everyone. GRID Alternatives Bay Area installs rooftop, community, and multifamily solar electric systems for income qualified households and affordable housing providers, providing families with needed savings and training workers for jobs in the green-tech economy, and helps low-income families access clean vehicle and transportation options. https://gridalternatives.org/