Free field trip program brings 800 kids to Richmond museum

Free field trip program brings 800 kids to Richmond museum
Members of the Richmond Museum Association (Photo by Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney

A new program offering free field trips to the Richmond Museum of History and SS Red Oak Victory has worked to educate hundreds of local youth.

In a partnership with the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), over 800 school children went on field trips in 2018, according to Richmond Museum Association (RMA) Treasurer John Ziesenhenne.

During the RMA’s annual meeting on Saturday, Ziesenhenne highlighted the Free Field Trips Program as one of a number of significant accomplishments for the museum in 2018.

The museum coordinates with teachers on school group tours of the museum that includes transportation. The program was made possible by the annual Chevron Environmental and Community Investment Agreement (ECIA) grant program, part of a $90 million community benefits agreement with the City of Richmond connected to the $1 billion Refinery Modernization Project.

Other museum highlights for 2018 were the Family Free Days, its Black History Program, and an updated interactive area at the museum. Two museum members also received Richmond Historic Preservation Awards: the late Sandi Genser-Maack, a staunch community advocate who was a museum member, along with Executive Director Melinda McCrary.

The list of accomplishments continues. During his State of the City Tuesday, Mayor Tom Butt highlighted the successful lighting last year of the Red Oak Victory’s boilers for the first time in 50 years. And the museum reported record crowds to opening events for its exhibit, Pioneers to the Present: Jews of Richmond & Contra Costa County, which runs through June. 

Saturday’s meeting also appointed directors to the RMA board for three-year terms. They included incumbents Lorraine Reiger, Vinay Pimple, Ziesenhenne, Rosa Lara Vargas and Karen Buchanan.

Red Oak Victory to close for restoration work
The SS Red Oak Victory is an asset of the Richmond Museum Association.