Clean & Green Adopt-a-Tree Program and the Walkable Watershed Updates
1. Watershed Connection Routes
The Watershed Project is working to create the following elements that will establish pedestrian and bicycle routes, and attract residence participation:
Interpretive signs for the bicycle route- will identify the current location and options for the next legs of the ride.
Interpretive signs for the walkable route- will identify the current locations and progress along the path.
Information on local points of interest along the routes and watershed/environmental education that will include unique artwork.
Interviews with Tribal representatives and local residents highlighting natural assets and climate resilience.
Interpretive signage and activities for students- as part of the Safe Route to School program.
Printable and GIS file versions of the map and interpretive signage.
A 1.75-mile loop walking trail, connecting Verde School with Shields Reid Park along Giaramita St. and Fred Jackson Way, has been designed. This route can be extended by walking along the Wildcat Creek Trail leading to the fish passage on Wildcat Creek. Other connections are to bicycle routes.
2. Halloween Event
The Watershed Project partnered with Urban Tilth and led a school and community Halloween event in October 2022 for Verde School students. We connected with the children outdoors to enhance their relationship with the creek, and the natural environment next to their school, and experience walking along the creek trail. Booths and tables included fun activities, watershed education, and cleanup activities.
Initiating “Safe Routes to (Verde) School” in North Richmond on Earth Day
At an Earth Day event, on April 23, 2022, a collaboration of volunteers, The Watershed Project (TWP), and agency staff kicked off a component of the North Richmond Watershed Connections project, “Walkable Watersheds,” which includes coordination with the Contra Costa Health Services' “Safe Routes to School” program. The goal is to designate and beautify the safest route to Verde School along Giaramita Street, between this K-8 School, which is adjacent to Wildcat Creek, and the Shields Reid Community Center, along with Chesley Street that runs alongside it. This event was preceded by a Street Cleanup on Friday, April 22 to clean the sidewalks, pick up trash, weed, and provide outreach to the residents of Giaramita Street with the Safe Routes to School event.
More than 40 volunteers and residents, including children, along with staff from Supervisor Gioia’s Office, TWP, Contra Costa County Public Works Department, Richmond Land, Contra Costa Fire Department, the Sheriff’s Office, and the County Health Services Department participated in the Earth Day event. The event was dubbed “Paint Day” for painting stencils of bubbling water and making chalk drawings on the west-side sidewalk of Giaramita to animate the "Safe Route to School" and Walkable Watersheds route. In addition, TWP has commissioned a local artist to further beautify the route with imagery that evokes the life of Wildcat Creek. Additional days will be scheduled to complete the Safe Route to School and Walkable Watersheds route, which includes 13 blocks of the North Richmond community. (See figure depicting the North Richmond Watershed Connections project.)
The County would like to acknowledge the State Coastal Conservancy for the grant funding under Prop 1 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s State Physical Activity and Nutrition Grant that make this project possible (see the NRWC Project Description for details).
1. Volunteers signed waiver forms and picked up bag lunches at the sign-up table.
3. Volunteers taped together the bubble stencils into a band, like a pieces of a puzzle.
5. People taped the stencil bands to the sidewalk and spray-painted them with different hues of blue.
7. The sidewalk was not only for painting, but was also a canvas for chalking by children. Several places along Giaramita were marked out for this purpose and kids were only too happy to oblige with creative images. These areas were designated for future painting by local artists with imagery evoking Wildcat Creek.
2. Participants taped together a series of stencils, comprising bands of bubbles to go along the sidewalk. Among them, is the lead artist, Keena Romano, who painted the mural on Verde School in the background. She is on the left side, listening to Luz Gomez in the yellow vest, who is the Manger of the Building Healthy Communities program at Contra Costa Public Health and oversees the county’s Safe Routes to School Program. It should also be noted that Jeanine Strickland, landscape architect with TWP, designed most of the stencils that are being used for the animation of the Safe Route to School in North Richmond.
4. Once a couple bands of bubbles were taped together, they were carried down the street to be painted onto the sidewalk to brighten them and create a watery effect.
6. Once a 20-foot band stencil was spray painted in, the stencil was lifted up and carried down the street for participants to paint the next portion of the sidewalk.
8. Supervisor John Gioia walks along a completed band to appreciate the seeming stream along the sidewalk.