Richmond gets $35M state grant for community-led climate projects

Groundwork Richmond to hold Tacos, Trees, & Tequila fundraiser
Groundwork Richmond's team members plant trees in Richmond. (Photo courtesy of Groundwork Richmond)

A coalition of Richmond organizations has been awarded a $35 million state grant to carry out a wide variety of neighborhood-level projects that address environmental justice concerns in the Iron Triangle, Santa Fe, and Coronado neighborhoods.

The state today approved $96.2 million in Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) grants to support 10 disadvantaged across California.

Richmond was awarded the funds thanks to a proposal called Richmond Rising, community collaboration that includes City of Richmond, Groundwork Richmond, Urban Tilth, Rich City Rides, Grid Alternatives and the Trust for Public Land.

The funds will be used for a variety of projects, including:

  • Neighborhood Complete Streets projects that improve walking and bicycling connections on Harbour Way, within the Yellow Brick Road Project, and Harbour-8 Park.   
  • Phase 2 of the Richmond Wellness Trail connecting the downtown transit station to the ferry terminal for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Expansion of the current e-bike share program Gotcha Bike, LLC and development of a new long-term E-bike share program. 
  • Outfitting homes of low-income families with solar power, EV charging, appliance eletrification, energy efficiency measures and other home rehabilitation work.
  • Install free water saving systems to 120 low-income homeowoners, including laundry-to-landscape, drip irrigation and rainwater catchment systems. Train, certify and employ local residents to intall the systems.
  • Plant 1,000 trees and install supports in new locations and, in a separate effort, install and monitor trees and stormwater planting for the Yellow Brick Road Project. Ten Urban Forestry Technicians will be trained to implement the project, as well as Grounwork Richmond Green Teams.
  • Design and install a first-of-its-kind ADA Accessible Garden for elderly and disabled residents.
  • Support Richmond’s Annual Fruit Tree Giveaway program, giving away 400 fruit trees annually while creating a new youth employment/training program. Residents will donate a portion of the harvested fruit to be redistributed in need via a farm stand and Veggie RX boxes.
  • Expand the Veggie RX pilot program delivering fresh fruits and vegetables as a means of preventative and restorative medicine. The project is implemented in partnership with LifeLong Medical Center, including a train-the-trainer program for medical residents and community health workers as well as community workshops.

The TCC grants will fund community engagement efforts through the Richmond Rising Youth Fellows Program, whose youth members will engage with residents on projects, along with a number of anti-displacement initiatives. The grant will also fund Career Navigators at RichmondWORKS city programs to provide skills training and supportive services to residents in construction, renewable energy, electrical, hazardous waste removal, solar installation basic training, and project management courses.

“California is empowering communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis to tackle pollution and build resilience in their own neighborhoods,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. “This innovative support for community-led projects across the state will bring environmental, health and economic benefits to Californians for decades to come.” 

TCC grants approved today include: