North Richmond garden dedicated in honor of neighborhood icon

North Richmond garden dedicated in honor of 102-year-old neighborhood icon
Carrie Moore, affectionately known as “Mother Moore,” poses before the garden named after her. (All photos by Kathy Chouteau)

By Kathy Chouteau

Get ready for some delicious pork with collard greens courtesy of a newly-dedicated urban garden in North Richmond.

On Thursday, March 21, the ribbon cutting ceremony for “Mother Moore’s Garden of Prayer” was celebrated at the Corrine Sain Senior & Family Community Center in North Richmond. The garden was dedicated in honor of 102-year-old Carrie Moore, affectionately known as “Mother Moore,” a highly regarded, active and contributing member of the North Richmond community.

The garden was created through the efforts of the Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC) and employees from Chevron Richmond who have been volunteering and supporting the senior center for years.

“She is a champion, and a champion of many things.”

Among the attendees at the garden’s ribbon cutting was Mother Moore herself. She is most excited about growing the collard greens in the new garden named after her, and that she plans to “cook them up alongside some pork.”

She said she was honored to pass on a legacy of vegetables to the community, which also include potatoes, beets, celery, garlic, strawberries and more. The garden features four wooden planter boxes, along with flowers, an umbrella table and fish fountain in a serene and well-fenced space. 

During the dedication ceremony, numerous speakers conveyed Mother Moore’s love for the senior center and the North Richmond Missionary Baptist Church. She shared how people from these locations have become like family to her, now that her blood relatives have all passed.

Annie Meredith King, a CHDC board member, marveled at how active Mother Moore continues to be as she pursues her personal passions, including cooking, walking, needlepoint and piano.

“She is a champion, and a champion of many things, and for that I love her,” King said.

Chevron employees not only helped build the garden, but also helped with the dedication ceremony. Among them were Kaitlyn Jones and Kathy Yeh, who baked cupcakes and other delights for the event after volunteering on the garden project.

It’s a small but important tribute to an “awesome and inspirational” member of the North Richmond community, said Chris Jablonski, Chevron’s VP of Downstream Technology.

“Thank you for your leadership and your contributions to this community,” Jablonski told Mother Moore at the event.

Darrell Davis from the CHDC served as MC at the dedication. His fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, and Henry Valdez, a gardener, were also credited with supporting the garden project. During the ceremony, Tanya Pulido of County Supervisor John Gioia’s office presented Mother Moore with a certificate for being a “pillar of the community.”

After CHDC Executive Director Donald Gilmore officially revealed the garden sign honoring Mother Moore, followed by a ribbon cutting, Mother Moore beelined for the collard greens, poised to share its bounty.

Click and scroll down the page to learn more about the Corrine Sain Senior & Family Community Center.