By Kathy Chouteau
The Trust for Public Land and the City of Richmond are hosting a “Richmond Wellness Trail: Opening Celebration” Sun., Oct. 9 from 12-3 p.m. at Unity Park Community Plaza, 1605 Ohio Ave. in Richmond.
The celebration marks the completion of Phase 1 of the project, which traverses 1.1 miles from the Richmond BART station to Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Richmond.
Saturday’s free-entry celebration will feature a health and wellness fair with booths, a group bike ride at 10 a.m., a guided exercise class, refreshments and a speaking program according to the Trust for Public Land. “Don’t forget your walking shoes, roller skates or bike—the Richmond Wellness Trail is a great way to get around,” stated organizers on the event page.
The project’s first phase has transformed Richmond’s urban streets into a green corridor with a two-way bicycle trail, sidewalk improvements, native trees and rain gardens, per the Trust for Public Land. Future phases of the Richmond Wellness Trail will add another 2.65 miles while connecting to Richmond’s shoreline, the Richmond Ferry Terminal and the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park.
The Trust for Public Land said that when the trail is fully complete, it will help the approximately 18,000 residents living within a 10-minute walk of it “to be active and experience all the benefits connecting to nature can bring” with “many opportunities for outdoor recreation like walking, running, biking and roller blading” while encouraging locals to “spend more time outside.”
Organizers say that the completed trail will enable locals and visitors alike to cut back on vehicle dependence by “connecting to several nearby amenities such as the Kaiser Medical Facility, Richmond BART/AMTRAK Station, East Bay Center for Performing Arts, several schools, Martin Luther King Jr. Park and the Richmond Wellness Trail Fitness Zone®, the city’s waterfront and the Richmond Ferry Terminal.”
The Richmond Wellness Trail project is a collaboration among the Trust for Public Land, City of Richmond and community groups including the Watershed Project, Groundwork Richmond and Rich City Rides, made possible by a grant from the California Natural Resources Agency.