The Home Team UpdateS

Published January 2019

It’s been six months since the Bay Area Challenge ended, what has the Home Team been up to?

  • Since the challenge ended, The Home Team attended collaborative meetings with Contra Costa County leaders, at the request of the County Supervisor, discussing the development of a large scale grant strategy, identifying particular leaders to pursue air quality parks, horizontal levee, wetlands restoration and alternative affordable housing development models for scattered sites in the neighborhood.

  • The Home Team members have been listening in and offering technical support to the Las Deltas Task Force – a group of stakeholders who are leading a community process with the County and Housing Authority regarding the redevelopment of a large housing site and scattered sites throughout North Richmond. We are collectively exploring alternative affordable, resilient housing designs and development models.

  • The Home Team has shared its community engagement and design approach with many organizations interested in a deep equity process. In November, Tim Mollette-Parks of Mithun, Pete Munoz of Biohabitats and Andrea Traber of Integral Group conducted a workshop at Greenbuild in Chicago.  Scholarship students participated in this session which was open to all attendees. The Home Team shared experiences from ‘going deep’ with the community advisory board. The Home Team also shared their RbD design process with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Conservancy, Seattle Public Utilities, King County Natural Resources and Parks/Land and Water Resources Division, SPUR/Oakland, LMN Architects and the Center for Architecture and Design in Seattle.

  • As part of their proposal to rehabilitate Wildcat Creek, the Home Team is working with Urban Tilth and Verde Elementary school to get feedback in person at after school events as well as with an online questionnaire.               

Prototyping

Prototype 1: Floating Wetland   Home Team member Marisha Farnsworth and students from Laney College built a floating wetland prototype for launch and testing with our partners at the Pt. San Pablo Harbor in Richmond, using digital fabrication technology and buoyant concrete. In the face of sea level rise, flooded wetlands will displace plant and animal communities including endangered species. With the goal of eliminating the synthetic foams and plastics of other floating wetland models, a custom concrete mix was developed that integrated oyster shells and light-weight aggregates to create substrate for native oyster growth and a floating enclosure for organic wetland substrate.

Prototype 1: Floating Wetland

Home Team member Marisha Farnsworth and students from Laney College built a floating wetland prototype for launch and testing with our partners at the Pt. San Pablo Harbor in Richmond, using digital fabrication technology and buoyant concrete. In the face of sea level rise, flooded wetlands will displace plant and animal communities including endangered species. With the goal of eliminating the synthetic foams and plastics of other floating wetland models, a custom concrete mix was developed that integrated oyster shells and light-weight aggregates to create substrate for native oyster growth and a floating enclosure for organic wetland substrate.

The Home Team celebrated the successful prototype launch with Pt San Pablo Harbor over the summer!  During the past year, the Home Team members engaged Laney College design students through coursework and field experiments.

In parallel with the creation of the Resilient by Design (RbD) Bay Area Challenge Phase II design documents, the Home Team developed a series of ecological infrastructure prototype designs in partnership with community stakeholders. The prototypes served two main functions in the design process: enhancing community engagement and excitement through building a tangible project; and providing a research platform that will informed evidence-based design of resilient ecological infrastructure appropriate to the Bay Area environment.


Rehabilitation of Wildcat Creek

As part of the potential projects for North Richmond, the Home Team is proposing the rehabilitation of Wildcat creek. The rehabilitation would consist of programs to serve the community based on input received from a community outreach process our team performed earlier this year where residents expressed an interest in a picnic area along the creek with safe access to and from the Bay shore.  In order to evaluate a proposed new pedestrian path linking the Verde Elementary School to the rich ecology beyond via the existing Wildcat Creek trail, the Home Team set up a booth as part of an after school community event with Urban Tilth on Halloween day. Our team asked parents and students from the Verde Elementary school what improvements they would like to see along the creek where many walk daily as they commute to school. The team received over 30 responses to a visual questionnaire that asked respondents to select activities they would like to see and to mark on aerial images and renders where they would like each program implemented. Since we did not have a version in Spanish, one of our members served as a translator of the questionnaire, which allowed many of the parents who don’t speak English to provide feedback.

WildcatCreek_event 10-31-2018.jpg

As part of the potential projects for North Richmond, the Home Team is proposing the rehabilitation of Wildcat creek. The rehabilitation would consist of programs to serve the community based on input received from a community outreach process our team performed earlier this year where residents expressed an interest in a picnic area along the creek with safe access to and from the Bay shore. In order to evaluate a proposed new pedestrian path linking the Verde Elementary School to the rich ecology beyond via the existing Wildcat Creek trail, the Home Team set up a booth as part of an after school community event on Halloween day. Our team asked parents and students from the Verde Elementary school what improvements they would like to see along the creek where many walk daily as they commute to school. The team received over 30 responses to a visual questionnaire that asked respondents to select activities they would like to see and to mark on aerial images and renders where they would like each program implemented. Since we did not have a version in Spanish, one of our members served as a translator of the questionnaire, which allowed many of the parents that don’t speak English to provide feedback.