Tom Butt
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  Groundwork Richmond
July 2, 2015

Groundwork USA is a program under the national Park Service that is “…dedicated to changing places and changing lives, Groundwork USA is a national organization with local roots, engaging local businesses, residents and government officials to revitalize neighborhoods and transform community liabilities into community assets.”

We are lucky to have Groundwork Richmond, which is playing an increasingly important role in making Richmond a more livable city. Groundwork Richmond’s affiliated youth group, the Green Team, has planted more than one hundred and fifty trees in the Santa Fe, Coronado, Iron Triangle neighborhoods as well as Parchester Park and Booker T. Anderson Park. This is in addition to of many of the service activities Groundwork Richmond has done in helping green Richmond.
Groundwork Richmond has two program priorities 1) planting trees in low-income neighborhoods and 2) development of two sites on the Richmond Greenway (Carlson Boulevard as well as 42nd Street). Groundwork Richmond works with neighbors and the Green Team, a group of high school youth that are receiving leadership and skills training, as well service-learning opportunities in which they give back to the city.
The City of Richmond with Groundwork Richmond, Pogo Park and the Watershed Project received $727,000 (Prop 84 grant) to green the eastern section of the Richmond Greenway. Recently the city also applied to Cal Fire ($500,000) with Groundwork Richmond as the coordinator for the city's tree-planting program - coordinating the efforts of the city, Pogo Park, Richmond Trees and the Watershed Project. These are just two examples of projects in which Groundwork Richmond is partnering on with the City of Richmond.
Questions about Groundwork Richmond? Contact:

Sarah Calderon
Executive Director
Groundwork Richmond
Sarah Calderon: Changing Places, Changing Lives – Groundwork Richmond
Posted by Radio Free Richmond 10sc on December 22, 2014
I’m very lucky to live and work in Richmond, a community where nonprofit organizations work collaboratively with the community, government and schools to improve our local environment. More importantly, I get to work with young people and neighbors who care about our community. While there is so much to be done to overcome poverty, social injustice, and violence in our communities, I think it’s important to celebrate every little success and build upon them. I’ve seen our community come together to build parks, plant trees, clean neighborhoods, and take back the streets. My organization, Groundwork Richmond, is just one of many mobilizing people to effect change.
What is Groundwork Richmond? Founded in 2010,  Groundwork Richmond (GWR), is one of twenty groundwork sites throughout the country.  An environmental organization working on increasing the urban tree canopy and maintaining the Richmond greenway, GWR also provides leadership and job skill opportunities for our youth group we call our Green Team. 
Groundwork Richmond Board of Directors is led by Chairperson, Nancy Baer, who worked with local agencies and the city to establish tree-planting, the Richmond Greenway, and the Green Team as priority programs for GWR.  GWR partners locally with the Rosie the Riveter WWII Historical National Park (RoRi) and Straight Talk on Prison (STOP) to provide our Green Team, local high-school students, with a well-rounded program which includes 1) service-learning opportunities (GWR) 2) academic support (STOP) and 3) an environmental curriculum (RoRi).
In 2014, our Green Team and adult volunteers planted more than one hundred and fifty trees in the Santa Fe, Coronado, and Iron Triangle neighborhoods, Booker T. Anderson Park and Parchester Park. The Green Team maintains two greenway sites by cleaning, weeding and mulching. In 2013, the Green Team partnered with EarthTeam and the Green Screen to install a twenty-panel mural on the greenway at 42nd St. 
A core group of twenty-five high-school aged youth, the Green Team, participates in service-learning projects that help them gain leadership skills, practical skills, and learn the value of giving back to their community. Our youth are eligible for internships, scholarships, stipends, travel and job opportunities. We also provide STEM support to help youth prepare for college and future employment in the environmental sciences within the park service or similar agencies. In 2014 our first Green Team members graduated high-school and are now attending colleges including Jose State University, UC Santa Cruz, SF State, and Contra Costa College.
WR is led by an eight-person board of directors, Executive Director - Sarah Calderon; Javier Ochoa Reyes - Project Coordinator; Lorenzo Plazola, Jr. - VISTA volunteer; and our Green Team. GWR also partners with volunteers, the City of Richmond, Friends of the Richmond Greenway (FORG), STOP, RoRi, YouthWorks, The Green Screen, Sunnyside Organics, The Watershed Project, Richmond Trees, and Pogo Park on numerous environmental projects that are transforming Richmond.
Groundwork Richmond became the twentieth trust of Groundwork USA, a national network of independent nonprofits dedicated to creating healthy and safe communities. Committed to improving vacant lots, polluted waterways, abandoned parks and trails the City of Richmond was a natural fit for the Groundwork program. After a year-long strategic-planning process with the city, FORG (a collaboration of nonprofits that maintain the greenway), and the National Park Service’s Rivers Trails and Conservation assistance program, Richmond was selected as a site.  
Groundwork Richmond is funded by the National Park Service, Cal Fire and local foundations. As an independent nonprofit, we rely on individual donations too. Just $5 buys snacks for a tree-planting event, $10 buys a tool for our kids to use while planting, $25 sponsors one youth for one day, $50 buys a tree, $250 buys trees for a park, $500 sponsors a youth for a summer internship. To learn more about GWR or donate to us visit
 2014 Highlights
MLK Day Tree planting
President’s Day Tree Planting
CSU East Bay’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Institute’s Third annual Career Awareness Day
Tree planting at Booker T. Anderson Park
Farm project at Sunnyside Organics
Yellowstone National Park Restoration project
Arbor Day – Parchester Park
North Richmond Shoreline Festival
Greening Richmond Together – GWR event at the Craneway Pavilion
Groundwork USA Youth Summit:
 Opening at Point Molate Beach: 
 Mulching on the Greenway:
 International Costal Clean Up Day:
 By: Sarah Calderon, Executive Director of Groundwork Richmond
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