California recently approved nearly $100 million in grants for 10 underserved communities to fight climate change and millions from those grants are going to a group of nonprofits in Contra Costa County.
“I literally had to fight back tears,” said Doria Robinson, executive director of Urban Tilth in Richmond. “This is the neighborhood that I grew up in.”
Robinson was born and raised on the city’s north side, where she has created community gardens to grow and distribute sustainable and healthy food options to locals.
Now, a new round of funding from the state should take her non-profit to the next level.
“It’s immense, it’s huge, it’s really going to be honestly transformational for us,” she said.
On Thursday, the state voted unanimously to approve $96.2 million in grant money to create climate-focused projects.
Urban Tilth is a part of that group of nonprofits in Richmond that were selected and will receive around $35 million.
So, why Richmond?
“A big part of it was the climate justice approach that they took, the incredible coordination amongst project partners and their vision for what is going to be transformed within Richmond,” said Lynn Von Koch-Liebert, executive director of California Strategic Growth Council.
When it comes to that vision, Urban Tilth will use the funding to expand its work around Richmond, including turning an empty lot on the southside into another community garden for folks along the Richmond Greenway.
Robinson also said money will be used to create affordable options for residents looking to conserve water.
“Installing free laundry to landscape systems so you can still grow that garden you want, but use your laundry water to do it,” said Robinson.
The non-profit will receive a total of $10 million over the next five years and Robinson strongly believes it could be a gamechanger.
“We just have never seen this kind of investment in these particular hard-hit low income communities and I know it will be transformative,” she said.
Source: NBC Bay Area