The North Richmond Watershed Connections (NRWC) project will implement a suite of urban greening projects in streets, parks, creek trails, and urban farm to enhance the health of San Pablo and Wildcat Creeks and their respective watersheds, while improving North Richmond residents’ much-needed access to local natural resources. The Watershed Project is collaborating with Urban Tilth and Contra Costa County’s Transportation Engineering and Watershed Programs.
The Watershed Project’s role in the project includes:
- Walkable Watersheds Route: Working with residents and Tribal partners to create wayfinding markers, street artwork, and interpretive elements along the Watershed Connections route to enhance the sense of place in the neighborhood and the quality of neighborhood access and walkability.
- Adopt-a-Tree Program: Involving local residents in planting close to 40 trees in the neighborhood, mostly in front yards.
The North Richmond Watershed Connections Project is funded by the California State Coastal Conservancy.
At an Earth Day event, on April 23, 2022, TWP collaborated with volunteers, County staff, and other partners to kick off the “Walkable Watersheds” route, which includes coordination with the Contra Costa Health Services’ “Safe Routes to School” program. The goal is to designate and beautify the safest route to Verde School along Giaramita Street, between this K-8 School, which is adjacent to Wildcat Creek, and the Shields Reid Community Center, along with Chesley Street that runs alongside it. This event was preceded by a Street Cleanup on Friday, April 22 to clean the sidewalks, pick up trash, weed, and provide outreach to the residents of Giaramita Street with the Safe Routes to School event.
More than 40 volunteers and residents, including children, along with staff from Supervisor Gioia’s Office, TWP, Contra Costa County Public Works Department, Richmond Land, Contra Costa Fire Department, the Sheriff’s Office, and the County Health Services Department participated in the Earth Day event. The event was dubbed “Paint Day” for painting stencils of bubbling water and making chalk drawings on the west-side sidewalk of Giaramita to animate the “Safe Route to School” and Walkable Watersheds route. In addition, TWP has commissioned a local artist to further beautify the route with imagery that evokes the life of Wildcat Creek. Additional days will be scheduled to complete the Safe Route to School and Walkable Watersheds route, which includes 13 blocks of the North Richmond community. (See project map above.)
TWP would like to acknowledge the State Coastal Conservancy for the grant funding under Prop 1 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s State Physical Activity and Nutrition Grant that make this project possible.