Richmond wins grants funding new basketball courts, youth programs

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Richmond wins grants funding new basketball courts, youth programs
The dilapidated basketball courts at John F. Kennedy Park contrast recent renovations at the public park in Richmond.

New basketball courts at John F. Kennedy Park and Unity Park in Richmond are now  funded, and the Shields-Reid Community Center is set to get a bike and pump repair station, as part of a half dozen new grants won this month by the city’s Community Service Department.

The staff recently received word it received two state grant awards from the California Department of Parks and Recreation for outdoor basketball courts. That includes $182,740 for the long-awaited court renovation at JFK Park at Cutting Boulevard and S. 41st Street. Since 2015, collaborative community efforts have led to major renovations of the park, and the basketball court has been one of the lone unfinished projects there.

“The staff and neighborhoods, especially Park Plaza where the JFK Court is located, are excited,” said Rochelle Monk, director of Community Services. “We look forward to hosting 3-on-3 tournaments and continuing the work we started in 2015. All thanks to the support of our partners and residents.”

The construction timeline for the new court is not yet clear, since it’s not yet known when the grant monies will be released by the state, Monk said.

“We’re told some time after the new fiscal year,” she added. “Our goal is to have the ribbon cutting mid next summer (pending contract bids and weather).”

The grant also includes $167,650 to fund a new basketball court at Unity Park on the Richmond Greenway.

Also this month, the community will benefit from a number of grants from the Richmond Community Foundation (RCF). The Community Service Department’s Achieve Summer Camp received two $1,000 grants from the RCF Summer Mini-Grants Program to engage youth in meaningful activities during the summer. That includes the installation of a bike and pump repair station near Shields-Reid Community Center that will teach kids bike repair techniques. It also goes toward a community clean-up event for a summer camp program at the Parchester Community Center, and also to support the John F. Kennedy Park Summer Neighborhood Camp’s water safety program at the Richmond Swim Center.

RCF also awarded two $1,000 grants to support the JFK summer neighborhood camp’s summer lunch program, a partnership with the school district. The foundation’s Summer Reading Celebration Grant will provide new books and reading circles to children between the ages of 0-8 and their families.

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