During the 2016-2017 mini-grant cycle, Love Your Block supported 8 projects that strongly focused on community engagement and beautification. Take a look at how Richmond residents love their block!
18th Street Peace Garden
Project lead: Liz Lubin
Adjacent to the Richmond Greenway, this project transformed a vacant space into a community garden. Liz hosted community vision meetings to gather input on design and direction of the garden. Volunteers removed weeds from the area, built six planter benches (planter box/bench hybrid), and replaced surrounding vegetation with drought-resistant succulents and rocks. They planted the garden from seed to show youth how to grow food.
Batter Up for Sprucing Up
Project lead: Denise Carey
A two-time Love Your Block mini-grant recipient, Denise led the spruce-up of the bathrooms at the Lucky A’s Ball Field in North Richmond. Volunteers and City staff painted the A’s green and yellow colors on the interior and exterior of the bathrooms. New installations include new soap dispensers in each bathroom, two new trash cans, an A’s decal on the inside doors of each bathroom, and an A’s logo floor grip in each bathroom.
Dirt World Bike Park
Project lead: Jasmin Malabed
Dirt World Bike Park was awarded seed money for their ongoing large-scale project: converting the grass lot on the Richmond Greenway into an accessible race ground for young bikers. Dirt World Bike Park hosted several community-build events with youth and local community members that entailed greenway beautification and site preparation through weeding, picking up litter, and organizing supplies. They also purchased a tool chest to secure equipment being used to support ongoing park stewardship.
Project lead: Iyalode Kinney
Muralist: Timothy Bluitt
The existing community garden on Fred Jackson Way in North Richmond received a little boost in order to acquire seedlings and plants to grow additional food and medicine; sand and paint 2 pews previously donated by a church to support workshops within community gardens; and purchase supplies to provide ongoing garden maintenance. Resident volunteers involved with Fred’s Oasis also designed and installed a mural in honor of the late community activist Fred Jackson.
Parchester Village Children's Edible Garden
Project leads: Patricia Hall and Raynard Lozano
Richmond residents Patricia and Raynard sought to repurpose a section of Parchester Park into a children’s edible garden. They prepared the grassy area by weeding and mulching alongside children from the neighborhood. With participants from the Parchester after-school program and community members, they built 4 planter boxes and 4 picnic tables. To truly make it an edible garden for children, participants were asked what seeds and trees they wanted to grow. Later on, Patricia and Raynard hosted an open house to plant vegetable seeds and seedlings, mulch area around planter boxes, and handprint planter boxes with paint.
Santa Fe Union Park Improvement Project
Project leads: Daryl Henline and Linda Whitmore
Daryl Henline, Linda Whitmore, and other community members of the Santa Fe neighborhood raised concern about the safety of their newly renovated Santa Fe Union Park. Their solution? Solar-powered security lighting fixtures and privacy mesh on the fencing adjacent to homes. The light installation allows law enforcement to determine if loitering happens at the park after sundown, and the tennis court mesh provides separation and privacy for both park users and residents living by the park.
Additionally, Daryl and Linda led a clean-up of Santa Fe Union Park and of Southside Community Park. Together with residents and students from Leadership High, they weeded, picked up litter, and cleaned play structures of both parks.
Shields-Reid Children's Garden and Mural
Project lead: Aaron Morgan
Muralists: Fred Alvarado and Katherine Loh
Led by Aaron Morgan, with major support from Shields-Reid Community Center Coordinator Troy Porter, volunteers installed a children’s community garden and mural behind Shields-Reid Community Center in North Richmond. After-school program participants were involved in the project from the very beginning: they decided what seeds they wanted to plant, brainstormed the design for the mural, titled “Sustainable Practices”, and built and painted 6 raised planter beds. Aaron and Troy hosted a community service-based open house for volunteers of all ages to clean up Shields-Reid Park, paint in the mural, and plant flower and vegetable seeds in the planter boxes.
Welcome to Parchester
Project lead: Mohania Williams
Muralist: Richard Muro Salazar
Residents and community members of Parchester Village gathered to beautify the main entrance to their neighborhood. Spearheaded by longtime resident Mohania Williams, they cleaned, weeded and trimmed bushes, and planted many drought-resistant succulents all along the entrance wall . Additionally, they installed solar lighting along the wall to brighten up the space. After designing a mural with residents and community members, Mohania and muralist Richard Muro Salazar also hosted a community paint day to install the mural on the entrance sign of Parchester Village.