April 28, 2017
Kieron Slaughter, 510-232-5050 ext. 6602
(Richmond, CA) – At its April 25, 2017 meeting, the Richmond City Council unanimously approved and adopted the Richmond Wellness Trail Vision Plan (RWT) as an addendum to the Richmond Pedestrian Plan.
The City of Richmond and Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park (RORI) were one of 10 model cities chosen to host an Urban Fellow for two years to activate the Urban Agenda (see https://youtu.be/Kr-htjSruzY for more information). Former City of Richmond Associate Planner Kieron Slaughter was selected as the Richmond Urban Fellow with the National Park Service (NPS) and was the project manager for the Urban Agenda, city-specific initiative and capstone project. After a sixth month asset mapping process, Mr. Slaughter received technical assistance from the NPS Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) and a Californian Endowment grant from the Local Government Commission. At the end of a year of complicated and multifaceted community engagement and design work that enlisted local government, Richmond residents, community based organizations, and the healthcare industry, the RWT was developed. Key partners include Groundwork Richmond, Rich City Rides Co-Op Bicycle Shop, Bike East Bay, Richmond Museum of History, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Urban Tilth, Friends of the Richmond Greenway, Pogo Park and the Institute at the Golden Gate.
The Wellness Trail plan identifies deficiencies in existing health and transportation systems, and provides specific recommendations to improve multimodal connectivity to parks, open space and transit. The RWT concept was conceived by local stakeholders and members of the community living and working in the Iron Triangle neighborhood as a way to safely link key areas in the neighborhood to the San Francisco Bay and Richmond Marina. The RWT also implements and supports numerous goals in several adopted City Planning documents such as the General Plan 2030, Climate Action Plan, Pedestrian Plan, Bicycle Master Plan and the South Richmond Transportation Connectivity Plan.
The RWT is a groundbreaking plan for the NPS, serves as a scalable model for improving health disparities in cities adjacent to urban National Parks, and is the first of its kind in the Pacific West Region of NPS. The RWT will be an active trail that will be a safe, inviting, multimodal route that inspires a healthy, active lifestyle - increasing connections between historic Downtown Richmond, the Iron Triangle, and the natural and historic features of the waterfront and the RORI Visitor Center. Enhancements will include health-themed art sculptures, murals, fitness equipment, safety and comfort improvements for pedestrians, traffic calming measures in addition to decorative treatments, wayfinding signage, over 200 new street trees and opportunities for connections with health-focused technology applications.
Many studies connect urban park use to decreased stress levels and improved moods and the RWT will improve mental health by increasing access to parks and green spaces for Richmond residents. The trail will also deliver a range of health and wellness benefits by increasing physical activity (walking and biking) and will encourage residents to bike and walk to local services and open spaces, rather than drive, reducing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The RWT route will also provide a location for patients of institutions like Kaiser Permanente and Lifelong Medical Centers a convenient and safe location to fulfill “park prescriptions” issued by health care professionals. Park prescription programs encourage healthcare professionals to offer a “prescription” for patients who need to increase physical activity, with the ultimate goal of patients adopting regular walking, jogging and bicycling as a lifelong activity. Furthermore, the RWT will serve as a convenient location for “Healthy Park Healthy People” Programing in partnership with the National Park Service, City of Richmond and other partners.
The RWT and background documents are available for download at the project websitehttp://ci.richmond.ca.us/3252/Richmond-Wellness-Trail.
Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park, located in the wartime boomtown of Richmond, California, preserves and interprets the stories and places of our Nation’s Home Front response to World War II. The Visitor Education Center is open seven days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM and is located at 1414 Harbour Way South, CA 94804. Admission to the Visitor Education Center and all park sites and programs is free. To learn more please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/rori/.
The National Park Service has more than 20,000 National Park Service employees caring for America’s 417 national parks and working with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.