Urban Tilth and The Richmond Our Power Coalition are Demanding #NoShade on our Community Health and Futures!
By Katt Ramos
North Richmond Farm
Within one month of purchasing the North Richmond Farm, Urban Tilth learned that our dreams of growing a healthy, community driven vision for positive development in North Richmond was being threatened by a new massive Panattoni Inc. project planned for the parcels on the eastern boundary of our farm. This development would severely impact the North Richmond farm as well as the youth in the nearby elementary school.
The structures proposed for development so far would dramatically increase local emissions with a 150 vehicle traffic uptick, reduce the sunlight to the farm up to 4 hours a day impacting our capacity to grow the healthy foods that feed hundreds of local families each week. The #NoShade campaign aims to disrupt business as usual that disregards community health and uplifts predatory developments despite the negative community impacts. Instead, we have an alternative to destructive development, a collective vision that will continue to transform the land around the North Richmond Farm and the greater Richmond landscape that honors all our relatives who came before us, actually employs local residents, and puts community health first.
The Verde Elementary school is ½ a mile from several predatory developments that will only increase the extensive asthma rates that exist in youth and adults in North Richmond, a rate double that of the state average in California.
We now face a rapidly increasing and extremely harmful practice of developers buying up land in North Richmond to build warehouses, manufacturing and fulfillment centers that will increase our toxic load. These harmful industrial developments already threaten our community vision of a future where we have what we need.. one that includes local food sources like the Urban Tilth farm. This farm is a meeting place where the community gathers for harvest festivals, cooking lessons, herb blending classes, and the education of youth throughout Richmond.
The development will also threaten community health by bringing yet another large-scale warehouse/ fulfillment center that is increasing air pollution and street traffic to a community that is already disproportionately suffering from emissions-related chronic illnesses.
This Panattoni Inc development at the site of the historic Nabeta Family Farm is one of many developments engulfing Richmond and North Richmond in hundreds of thousands of sq ft of warehouse and fulfillment center spaces and thousands of new truck and other vehicle traffic.
We ask that you support our demand to stop ALL predatory developments and the demand to create green zones in our community in order to protect our most vulnerable and severely impacted members. We deserve the basic rights to live our lives without the threat to our health that only worsens as we continue to see industry favoring developments that are encumbering our lives while increasing profits for people who are not part of our community and have no stake in our futures. Our community has a vision for our futures and we deserve and have an inherent right to see our vision realized as we come from a community that has been extracted from, oppressed, and violated because of environmental racism for decades. We ask that you support our continued efforts to stop predatory developments and create protective green zones in our community.
This piece is reprinted with permission of the Richmond Our Power Coalition (ROPC), of which the RPA is a member organization. ROPC is made up of local community organizations fighting to keep us in our homes, make sure we have clean healthy air, water, food, transportation, and different ways we can have meaningful work and co-governance that’s inclusive of the most marginalized of our communities. Collectively we hope to develop models of success for a Just Transition for and by local frontline community members. The RPA fully supports fellow ROPC coalition member Urban Tilth in their campaign to save the North Richmond Farm. To stay updated on this campaign, visit the Urban Tilth farm's resource page and sign the petition.
Additionally, Urban Tilth is hosting an Earth Day Celebration at Richmond Greenway at Unity Park: bringing the community together to learn new ways to have a sustainable life, take better care of planet Earth through fun jewelry making and upcycle clothes workshops and booths, gardening activities, mural painting, park/garden beautification, games, speakers, bike power smoothie, tie-dye your own t-shirt, and much more fun activities.
Saturday, April 23rd, 2022, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Unity Park - 1605 Ohio Ave Richmond, CA 94804