On October 28, 2017, Love Your Block and Office of Supervisor John Gioia hosted a community-wide paint party at Rancho Market in North Richmond. Over 30 volunteers came out throughout the day, painting about 3,200 square footage of the walls and cleaning up about 40 pounds of trash.
The market, located at 500 Market Avenue, is the only grocery store in the surrounding area that does not sell alcohol. It has been a lively gathering hub for residents and community members for years. Children participating in the Safe Routes to School program at Verde Elementary School frequent the market on their way to and from the Shields-Reid Community Center.
We received tremendous support from local organizations and businesses, and the transformation would not have been possible without them.
For more information and highlights, check out our Facebook page.
Photos courtesy of Don Gosney and Erika Ito
Love Your Block Orientation- Year 2
On Thursday, December 8th the Love Your Block team met with their 2016/2017 mini-grant recipients for the first time since their selection. The orientation took place in the Richmond Room (440 Civic Center Plaza) and opened with a few words from Community Services Director, Rochelle Monk, and Mayor Tom Butt's Chief of Staff, Alex Knox. AmeriCorps VISTA members Stephanie Ny and Nadia Perez then proceeded with a timeline, requirements, and support guides for the next 5 months, time by which the projects will have been completed. This event was just the first step in helping move these community projects forward and ensuring their success in building a more healthy, livable, and safe Richmond.
The 2016/2017 Love Your Block grants application cycle is now closed!
Thank you to all of our applicants for submitting a proposal for the 2016/2017 Love Your Block cycle! Our mini-grant application cycle closed on November 4th at 11:59 pm.
We've been reading through applications and are impressed by the innovative ways Richmond residents and community members have come up with to address neighborhood needs. We're going to have some tough decisions to make!
Mini-grant winners will be announced on this page on November 28th, 2016. Stay tuned to see which Love Your Block projects made the cut!
Love Your Block Cleans Up Richmond!
The weekend of October 22nd, 2016 was a busy one for the Love Your Block team, which attended two separate clean-ups in Richmond.
Coordinated by Urban Transformation and Love Your Block, the first event took place on 23rd St., where organizers and a handful of volunteers spread out along 8 blocks, armed with gloves, trash pickers and bags. In just an hour and a half this small group gathered 15 bags of trash and green waste. The clean-up is part of an effort to revitalize this commercial corridor and prepare it for Trick or Treat on 23rd Street, taking place on October 31st, from 3:30 – 5:30 pm. This Halloween celebration is free, fun for all ages, and will include; a costume contest at the NIAD Art Center, Arts & Crafts (lego robotics, a wish wall mural, animal balloons, masks and face painting), and a community altar dedicated to the families of victims of gun violence.
Later in the afternoon, LYB joined LOL Educational Community and Richmond Museum of History for the Nevin Park clean-up. Volunteers came out to honor the opening of the Little Free Library by giving away books, cleaning up the park, removing weeds, and planting 4 new kinds of native vegetation. 6 bags of trash and 6 bags of plant debris were collected.
Love Your Block loves teaming up with and getting to know fellow community members and organizations! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for support in setting up a community event.
Love Your Block team members Nadia (left) and Stephanie (right) celebrating the launch of Love Your Block Year 2
Community members gathering to voice how they would like to Love Their Blocks
Art In Windows exhibit featuring children's art
Community member voicing how she would like to Love Her Block
Love Your Block team members Guadalupe (left) and Stephanie (right) spreading the word about Love Your Block
10/4/2016 - Second Love Your Block cycle kicks off with the Richmond BART Art Installation
Year 2 of Richmond Love Your Block is now live! To celebrate our launch last Thursday, we joined Richmond Main Street Initiative for the Art In Windows opening reception and brought back our interactive Chalkboard Art Installation in front of the Richmond BART station. Community members of all ages stopped by to tell us about their aspirations and the impact our $2,000 mini-grants could have on their Richmond neighborhoods.
Miss all of the fun? We’ve got you covered! Our chalkboard installation will be up for two weeks, and Art In Windows pieces, featuring artwork created through Love Your Block funded workshops, will remain on display until November. Swing by the Richmond BART area and tell us how you would use $2,000 to Love Your Block – for extra fun, complete your answer with a chalk illustration! We value your responses and want to know how you would like to get involved.
Lastly, take a look at the Love Your Block grant application and start planning your neighborhood beautification project. To assist you in the process, we are hosting 6 grant writing workshops throughout the application period. You must attend one workshop before turning in your application. We are accepting submissions until November 3rd at 11:59 pm. (The deadline to submit an application in person is November 3rd at 3:00 pm.)
9/20/2016 - Love Your Block partners to clean up Hilltop Lake Park
On Sunday, September 18th, Richmond Love Your Block (LYB) teamed up with Hilltop District Homeowners & Stakeholders Association, the Richmond Tool Library (RTL), and Richmond residents to sheet mulch a section of the Hilltop Lake Park. This event is part of an effort to clean up the park so that the residents can appreciate its natural beauty, and prepare the area for an event to take place later this month called Food Emporium – Richmond’s very own version of Off the Grid – which is being planned to take place every fourth Friday beginning on October 28, 2016. Food Emporium is intended to be a space at which the Richmond community can regularly gather, socialize, and have fun!
After the event, we spoke with Hilltop District Neighborhood Council President Cesar Zepeda about why he organized this clean up.
“This area is a hidden gem that most residents don't know to about. If we promote it more, people will utilize it and we can better direct resources to ensure that it’s properly maintained and shared by all. With the RTL and LYB, putting this project together became a much easier task. They have helped create the foundation to turn this unknown park from just dirt and rocks, to what residents have envisioned: a beautiful gathering place that the community will enjoy daily and feel proud of. Thank you for letting us borrow tools to build our community and share the love for our block and parks.”
Thank you to the Richmond Tool Library for providing the tools needed for this volunteer activity. Love Your Block and the RTL strongly encourage Richmond residents and organizations to borrow tools for community-based projects like this!
Take a look at some pictures from the event!
9/1/2016 - Year 2!
After a phenomenal first year, we are preparing to launch our second Love Your Block mini-grant cycle! In collaboration with the Richmond Main Street Initiative, our kick-off will be celebrated at the Art In Windows event on September 29, 2016. Join us between 4 pm and 6 pm at the Richmond BART parking lot for the second installation of the Richmond BART Art Installation. Share with us the number one thing on your bucket list, and tell us how $2,000 would help you #LoveYourBlock!
Then, take a stroll through Downtown Richmond for remarkable displays of art. This year, Art In Windows will feature children's art in two exhibitions: Pieces of Richmond: A Community Art Perspective and The Scribbler Artist Project. We are proud to announce that works of art created through Love Your Block grant winner Azia Banagan's workshops will be among the pieces presented at the event!
The Love Your Block team is looking forward to an exciting second year with all of you. Take a look at our FAQs for more information about this year's mini-grant application, and don't hesitate to ask questions!
We hope to see you there!
3/03/2016 - Get to know our awardees!
Name: Alicia Carrillo Organization: Community Advocate LYB Project Description: Alicia used photography to address issues of public concern and to tell stories of community life.
Name: Alicia Gallo Organization: Richmond Main Street Initative(RMSI) LYB Project Description: RMSI organized a sidewalk chalk art activity, a district-wide clean-up, and a trash can installation.
Name: Annie King-Meredith/Marena Brown Organization: Art Math LYB Project Description: Volunteers planted flowers and plants in a North Richmond community garden.
Name: Brandon Evans Organization: Coronado Neighborhood Residents LYB Project Description: Residents teamed up to plant drought resistant plants, trees, flowers, and shrubs, install public seating, and install 4 raised garden boxes.
Name: Carla Orozco Organization: Neighborhood House of North Richmond LYB Project Description: This team worked to clean up Wildcat Creek, create a mobile mural, and facilitate EcoArt activities.
Name: Doria Robinson Organization: Urban Tilth LYB Project Description: Urban Tilth used LYB funds to expand their Illegal dumping campaign along the Richmond Greenway.
Name: Denise Carey Organization: Service Integration, Family Service Center LYB Project Description: Residents mulched Lucky A's baseball field in North Richmond and sanded and painted the bleachers.
Name: Goretha Johnson Organization: Parchester Neighborhood Council LYB Project Description: Neighbors came together to pull weeds and plant native foliage along the Parchester Village entrance sign.
Name: Myrtle Braxton Organization: Laurel Park Neighborhood Council LYB Project Description: Neighbors painted benches in Braxton park, picked up trash, and planted low-growing vegetation.
Name: Roxanne Alexander Organization: Community Advocate LYB Project Description: Roxanne got together with local high school students to plant flowers in the planter boxes along Fred Jackson Way in North Richmond.
Name: Tiffany Harris Organization: Girls Inc. LYB Project Description: Azia Banagan led three art classes and will display that art in the Fall Art in Windows Event put on by Richmond Main Street.
1/19/2016 - Richmond BART Art Installation
The Richmond BART Art installation, inspired by the work of artist Candy Chang was a huge success! Within the first few hours of its launch, we had dozens upon dozens of responses to our prompts. Half of our installation asked “Before I die, I want to…” and the other prompt asked “With $1,000, how would you #LoveYourBlock?” We thank everyone who participated in publicly voicing their hopes and dreams for Richmond's future.
Here's the thinking behind the Goat Grazing/Illegal Dumping Campaign:
Trash concentrates in lots that look abandoned. Eliminate the weeds and mulch the area, and you can get dramatic reductions in illegal dumping.
We received great coverage of the event and now we need your help putting these articles out into the Richmond Community! An end to illegal dumping in Richmond depends on you.This event was just the beginning. Help us spread the word and tell your neighbors to stop illegal dumping in Richmond.
8/2/2015 - Beautifying the Community, One Seed at a Time
Hey Richmond! We've got flower seeds for you to jump-start revitalization efforts in our City! Keep an eye out for our custom seed packets throughout Richmond. We even have edible flowers so that you can start turning everyday salads into colorful feasts!! We have calendula, scabiosa, bachelor's buttons, shirley poppies, bird's eyes, nasturtium, and echinacea for your planting needs.