Constructing Parks and Fairness in Richmond, California

On the similar time, the 2015 “Conservation Horizons Report” ready by the California Council of Land Trusts discovered that these protected lands are sometimes not situated the place folks dwell and that “inequities exist with respect to entry to close by park and open areas.” Briefly, we wanted to do extra to deliver parks, open area and protected locations to play to the place folks dwell, notably in city and underserved communities.

However parks and park enhancements in underserved communities can have the unintended consequence of displacement—a course of often called “inexperienced gentrification.” A latest report from the UCLA Institute of the Setting and Sustainability discovered that introducing or enhancing parks may end up in “will increase in housing costs and the inflow of recent, wealthier and sometimes white residents in low-income communities of shade” resulting in “the displacement of longtime residents that many park fairness efforts are designed to serve.”

Whereas conservation practitioners and lecturers have recognized many methods to fight inexperienced gentrification resembling lease management, elevated housing density, and different measures, our Parks with Objective program is working throughout the nation to exhibit a unique method. We imagine each neighborhood deserves entry to top quality parks and greenspaces, particularly these which were impacted by historic environmental injustices. And importantly, we work to make sure these public areas are designed, constructed, managed and owned by the individuals who dwell there, to make sure the best profit for current residents. Right here’s how we’re doing simply that at Harbour-8 Park in Richmond, California.

1 18 22 Existing1 18 22 ProposedThe exisiting view (left) and proposed design for the Harbour-8 Park enlargement (proper), which features a enjoyable zone, sand and water parts, zip traces, barbeque and picnic areas, in addition to a neighborhood middle referred to as Harbour Corridor. Photographs courtesy Pogo Park.

The nonprofit Pogo Park was based on the idea that participating neighborhood members in visioning and growing vibrant parks will enhance kids’s well being and security and strengthen neighborhood resilience in Richmond’s Iron Triangle, a neighborhood lengthy burdened by the consequences of poverty, unemployment and crime. Beginning in 2007, Pogo Park, led by Toody Maher, demonstrated the ability of this method by turning a as soon as harmful and soiled public park into the “Elm Playlot,” which the Christian Science Monitor referred to as “some of the modern and jubilant public areas in the USA.”

In 2015, Pogo Park requested us for assist to develop and develop a brand new park alongside the Richmond Greenway, an previous railroad proper of method acquired by the Metropolis, between Harbour Method and eightth Avenue. Impressed and impressed by Toody’s imaginative and prescient and observe document, and longing for the chance to deliver our actual property and conservation experience to this necessary work, in 2016 we bought 909 Ohio Avenue alongside the Greenway with a program-related mortgage from the David & Lucile Packard Basis. Our intent was to lift funds to repay the mortgage, switch the property to Pogo Park, and plan, implement and construct an enlargement of Harbour-8 Park that included suitable business makes use of that would offer jobs, revenues and land for Pogo Park and the neighborhood.

1 18 22 Map of Parcels Near Habour 8 2022 01 12This aerial picture reveals the connection of Harbour-8 Park to the Iron Triangle neighborhood, together with 909 Ohio and a brand new property transferred from The Conservation Fund to the Metropolis of Richmond in January 2022. Map courtesy of Pogo Park.

In 2017, with a beneficiant grant from U-Haul, the Pogo Park workforce renovated a vacant constructing on the property to function an workplace for the Pogo Park workforce and engaged the neighborhood in growing plans for the enlargement of Harbour-8 Park onto the 909 Ohio Avenue property. U-Haul’s funds have been instrumental in transferring the park planning ahead and offering good paying jobs for the Pogo Park workforce members.

“The Harbour-8 venture advantages the complete Richmond neighborhood: the town, native residents, job seekers and neighbors who will get pleasure from this greenspace for years to return. Relationship to our firm’s origins in 1945, a lot U-Haul historical past is rooted in California and offering residential mobility for its residents. The primary U-Haul-owned retailer opened right here. Our supplier community, which empowers native small companies to change into extra worthwhile, originated alongside the West Coast. California serves as floor zero for a lot of of our industry-leading efforts to advertise ecofriendly, sustainable options as we construct for a brighter future. Our longstanding partnership with The Conservation Fund and the {dollars} that U-Haul prospects donate to help this necessary work are serving to to perform that.”

– Victor Vanegas, U-Haul Space District VP of Northern California

1 18 22 meeting1 18 22 Tent outreach

Park planning within the renovated workplace (left) and outreach alongside the Greenway staffed by Pogo Park (proper). Pictures by Pogo Park.

To implement the neighborhood’s imaginative and prescient, in 2019 the Metropolis of Richmond and Pogo Park submitted an $8.5 million grant proposal to California’s Park Growth and Neighborhood Revitalization Program. In 2020, the proposal was awarded! This was an enormous sign that state authorities really believed on this mannequin.

The grant has allowed the Metropolis to amass and develop Harbour-8 Park onto a portion of the 909 Ohio property to reinforce play and neighborhood gathering areas. Our companions at Pogo Park have retained the rest of the property for business makes use of that may improve the park expertise, generate income and be certain that the local people will profit from the neighborhood’s revitalization.

As well as, the Metropolis has awarded the contract for design and development of the Harbour-8 enlargement venture to Pogo Park, who will “rent, prepare and empower neighborhood residents to carry out a major a part of the work themselves,” creating as much as 150 neighborhood outreach, planning and development jobs for neighborhood residents by means of 2024.


“When The Conservation Fund acquired the land subsequent to Harbour-8 Park, it expanded the park’s land footprint enormously and allowed Pogo Park’s Neighborhood Group to suppose massive. It put management of the land again into the arms of the neighborhood. That could be a step in the precise course, towards neighborhood energy and fairness.”

– Toody Maher, Govt Director of Pogo Park

Whereas the causes and responses to inexperienced gentrification and displacement are complicated and diversified, our work with Pogo Park and the Metropolis of Richmond at Harbour-8 additional demonstrates the success of our replicable Parks with Objective mannequin for delivering community-driven outcomes in a few of our most challenged neighborhoods. Because the Metropolis stated within the profitable grant utility, one in every of its paramount objectives for the venture is to exhibit that by “working cooperatively collectively, by sharing assets, information, and experience, the Harbour-8 Growth venture can change into a drive multiplier and make an actual affect within the well being and well-being of residents residing in one in every of California’s most underserved communities.”

Certainly the momentum continues; in January 2022 we transferred a further property adjoining to 909 Ohio to the Metropolis of Richmond for additional enlargement of the park! We stay up for persevering with to work with Pogo Park, U-Haul, neighborhood stakeholders, and importantly, with residents and neighbors to deliver equitably developed parks to the place they’re wanted most.

Written By

Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly is understood for his modern approaches to conservation, and has contributed immensely to The Conservation Fund’s efforts in his dwelling state of California, the place he works as our California Undertaking Supervisor.

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