Richmond to plant 500 pollution-shielding trees along parkway

Richmond to plant 500 pollution-shielding trees along parkway
All photos courtesy of Groundwork Richmond.

By Kathy Chouteau

Richmond is about to get a lot greener thanks to $1 million in funding from the California Natural Resources Agency supporting the planting of 500 pollution-shielding trees in the city.

Funding recipient Groundwork Richmond recently joined the City of Richmond for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Tree-Fence project in Atchison Village. The new endeavor will see hundreds of trees and shrubs planted along the Richmond Parkway in the next two-to-three months. 

“The Richmond Tree-fence project expands Groundwork Richmond’s tree planting and hands-on job training to the Richmond Parkway,” said Groundwork Richmond Program Manager Alex Arias, who led the project.

The corridor, which stretches through the city’s western region, is one of the most polluted and impacted neighborhoods of the city, according to the nonprofit.

As part of the new project, an existing public green space that’s in need of some TLC will be enhanced by additions to its plant density and diversity. The vegetation, in turn, will provide both a physical barrier and filter that captures divert particulate matter. An added benefit of the project is that more agreeable walking spaces may help reduce vehicular traffic.

Cedars, cypresses, junipers, Douglas firs, Redwoods, oaks and many other trees will be planted along the parkway.

Richmond Mayor Eduardo Martinez emphasized that the project will shield residents not only from pollution, but also traffic noise in neighborhoods including Atchinson Village and the Iron Triangle. He urged drivers to be cautious in the area as work is completed and said he’s “excited to see the positive impact this project will have on our community.”

Groundwork Richmond is a nonprofit organization that trains local youth in urban forestry through projects that increase quality of life in their community. Among other duties, the organization also monitors air quality in the city via its Air Rangers program.

From 2016 to 2023, Groundwork Richmond has planted about 1,500 trees in low-income areas, managed over $5 million in ubran forestry grants and also managed a $750,000 air quality program through the California Air Resources Board.

Learn more about Groundwork Richmond.