The Guild Report
December 2010    Celebrating a Community's Success Stories 
In This Issue
Point of View
Celebrating Richmond
Holiday Lights

Point of View
With Employee Owner

Kevin Davis
Kevin Davis

"Since relocating our landscape contracting business from San Rafael to Richmond during the spring of 2008 we have been embraced by the local business community. We have developed many strong local business connections and have worked closely with several local non-profit charitable organizations.


We are particularly proud of our partnership with the Making Waves Literacy program.  This spring we helped them to renovate their vegetable garden in front of the Richmond Main Library. This garden has connected many of their students with the joys of working with soil and plants, while strengthening their literacy skills."


Kevin Davis is our President and COO. He has been with Gardeners' Guild since 1981!  A  tireless advocate for the ongoing improvement of our industry's certification programs, his contributions to key industry trade organizations have been widely acknowledged.

See the video on our Sustainable Program!



A departure from our standard newsletter topics, we wanted to honor the season by celebrating some achievements of the City of Richmond.   It has had challenges, not the least of which has been crime.  Since Gardeners' Guild moved its headquarters here over two years ago, however, we have been inspired by the  enthusiasm and teamwork of the City Government and its Chamber of Commerce.  These people are making a difference for residents and businesses.  The close of 2010 marks some impressive accomplishments.

All the best of the season,
Suzanne Harris


Celebrating the City of Richmond

First place award for 2010 Sustainable Contra Costa Awards:  Sustainable Contra Costa, an organization committed to creating and maintaining sustainable communities, awarded Richmond's Environmental Initiatives Team for its holistic approach that includes - programs in waste reduction, energy conservation and climate impact, transportation, environmental purchasing and sustainable food. 

Neighborhood Stabilization Funding:
This has enabled Richmond to rehab and upgrade abandoned or foreclosed homes. 
 The City received a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, abandoned and vacant homes.  It has acquired 25 units, including 9 units targeted for low income families, and 16 units targeted for families of moderate income. Proceeds of the sales of rehabilitated homes will be rolled back into the acquisition fund to provide money for more site acquisitions.  Richmond Youthbuild will rehabilitate 6 units as part of a "Teaching Lab" for their students to receive real time construction skills training.  Richmond YouthBUILD is a youth and community development program where low-income young people ages 18-24 work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas, learn job skills and serve their communities by building affordable housing, and transform their own lives and roles in society.

Summer Youth Employment Program
There were 652 participants; 53% came from households earning $10,000 or less, 88% from households earning $30,000 or less.
The program is recognized as an important tool in fighting crime.
Click the link to see a video about the program:

Richmond Library Wins Award for Transformation

The National Research Center (NRC) introduced a new program that awards communities showing the greatest improvement.  The Richmond Library was the recipient of this award for its library service.

Richmond Park is reborn
A $1.9 million state grant will help make it happen. Elm Playlot  in Richmond's high crime Iron Triangle area was one of 62 parks statewide to land a portion of Proposition 84 funding for creating new parks or fixing existing ones.
Residents are involved in redesigning the park with a zip line, rock cave, village of child-size buildings and a $1 snack bar, features found in no other Richmond park.  Only local businesses and residents will be hired to rebuild the part as residents want money to stay within the community. 

Old Richmond Ford Building