Richmond’s Urban Tilth hopes to win $20,000 award to aid development of North Richmond farm


Richmond’s Urban Tilth is one of two Contra Costa County nonprofits that have been named as finalists for the San Francisco Innovation Award and hopes local residents will cast an online vote Friday to help the organization win $20,000.

Urban Tilth employs 27 Richmond adults and youth in managing 13 thriving gardens and farms in West Contra Costa County, including at schools and in community lots.  Local residents are trained to cultivate agriculture with an emphasis on sustainability and food education. Their hard work provides fresh, healthy food options and education opportunities to an urban community that lacks adequate access.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. Earlier this month, Urban Tilth was named among the top three of 10 semi-finalists for the San Francisco Innovation Awards. Another finalist include fellow Contra Costa County nonprofit, the White Pony Express, which partners with grocery stores, restaurants, farmers markets, bakeries and other food outlets in order to donate surplus food to people in need. The third finalist is San Francisco foster youth services provider A Home Within.

In order for the organizations to win the $20,000 award, their supporters will need to vote within a specific 30-minute period this coming Friday, from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Visit this Facebook page by Urban Tilth to learn more about how to vote.

Votes will be cast during the Bay Area Bold Innovation Awards at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where the finalists will deliver presentations on their bold ideas.

Urban Tilth says if it gets the most votes and wins $20,000, it will use the money to continue critical programs such as the ongoing development of a new 3 acre farm serving North Richmond, Executive Director Doria Robinson said in a statement.

“We could really use a boost like this to help us realize this visionary project,” she said. “We’re asking our community to come out and support us with a final vote.”

Tania Pulido, the North Richmond Farm Project’s community engagement manager, said the Urban Tilth staff is excited about this recognition.

“And it comes at such an exciting time,” added Pulido, who started in Urban Tilth’s youth apprentice program five years ago after graduating from Richmond High.

Urban Tilth has had much to celebrate. Its work was recently featured in a new film called Gaining Ground. In addition, the nonprofit is inviting the community to its 10 year anniversary celebration at Craneway Pavilion on Oct. 3, a dinner fundraiser that will include tours of its gardens and a screening of Gaining Ground.

The photo above was posted on Urban Tilth’s Facebook page.