SILVER2022

URBAN TILTH

Grow Your Own!

Richmond, CA   |  www.urbantilth.org

Mission

The mission of Urban Tilth is to hire and train local residents to cultivate agriculture in West Contra Costa County to help our community build a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system. In sum, we farm, feed, forage, teach, train, build community, employ, and give back. We help our community grow our own food; train and employ our own young people as “homegrown experts”; teach our local residents about the relationships among food, health, poverty, and justice. We use our 7 school and community gardens and small urban farms to teach and employ community members to grow, distribute, cook, and consume thousands of pounds of local produce each year, to create a more equitable and just food system within a healthier and more self-sufficient community.

Ruling year info

2007

Executive Director

Doria Robinson

Main address

323 Brookside Dr c/o Doria Robinson

Richmond, CA 94801 USA

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EIN

20-4124161

NTEE code info

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Urban, Community (S31)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Urban Agriculture Institute

The Urban Agriculture Institute and Farm is a "farm, classroom, and community” program we operate at Richmond High School, a low-performing Title 1 school that serves 1,700 young people of color, grades 9-12. The Institute constitutes four key components:

1.  The Institute’s – "Urban Ecology and American Food Systems” – studies biophysical and socioeconomic forces (e.g., biology, economics, public policy) to help students understand, predict, and manage the emergent phenomena we call cities. Co-taught by a school-district teacher and
Urban Tilth’s Executive Director, the course uses lectures, readings,
discussions, cooking, practical lab experiences, and field trips to explore
urban ecology, botany, and horticulture, plant propagation, nutrition and food,
and environmental justice.

2.   In the Institute’s, Institute students move outdoors, onto the 8,000 square foot farm and 14 raised garden beds that the school district has allowed us to build and operate
on-site at the school, where we also have a tool-shed and a greenhouse. The
site also offers an additional 20,000 square feet available for us to plant and
farm in the coming years.

3.   
To continue their studies during summer break, many
of the Institute students participate in our paid, 100-hour component, in which we partner with the City’s Employment
and Training division to employ local youth to develop farms and gardens
citywide.

4.    
In the program’s
component, we distribute about 10,000 lbs of produce annually to school
families. Currently, demand for our CSA bags far outstrips our supply; due to
our limited production, today our CSA provides 30 school families with 12-lb
bags of produce every two weeks (approximately 10,000 lbs a year). We are
developing a three-year plan to increase our school-site productivity and
efficiency, to expand the CSA to the community beyond the school.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Ethnic and racial groups

Verde Partnership Garden is a school and community garden located in North Richmond, CA, dedicated to serving Verde Elementary School students, parents, and community members. The garden is an outdoor laboratory that brings classroom learning to life, teaching students everything from cooking, nutrition, literacy, math, and science to conflict resolution and leadership development. The garden also brings affordable healthy food to Verde School students and the North Richmond community.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups

The Summer Apprentice Program is a rare opportunity for West County youth to join a dynamic and positive group of their peers for a life changing summer of intensive urban agriculture training, community engagement, mind-opening field trips and paid summer employment.

During the course of this intensive 6-week program youth are placed on small crews at 4 of our community and school gardens where they learn to work together to grow fresh, healthy organic food for our community while developing meaningful skills.



By the end of the program youth Apprentices are able to:
- Identify invasive, native and edible plants species
- Weed effectively using new knowledge of plant life cycles
- Sheet mulch using new knowledge of photosynthesis
- Understand the water cycles and how watersheds affect urban communities
- Use math and geometry to plan and build small scale carpentry projects
- Transplant seedlings, sow seeds in beds, rows and trays
Create to scale site maps for garden projects
Install and plan simple drip irrigation systems
Use protocol to properly take soil samples
Collect seed for seed saving projects
Properly prune bushes, shrubs and trees
Use hand and some power tools safely
Learn to cook at least 3 basic garden fresh meals
Run a farmer’s market stand and learn about small business management
Lead door to door outreach campaigns
Coordinate volunteers to accomplish larger goals

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Ethnic and racial groups

The Greenway Community Garden is an open, gleaning garden in the heart of the Iron Triangle neighborhood in Richmond, California. Its 42 raised beds are located on the southwest side of 6th Street along the Richmond Greenway between Ohio and Chanslor Ave. We currently raise a variety of vegetables and herbs year around free for the community to harvest. We host regular community volunteer days every Friday and every 2nd Saturday. As well as the annual Martin Luther King National Day of Service volunteer day and Cesar Chavez Day Celebrations.

The Edible Forest located at 16th Street and the Richmond Greenway is a forest on the middle of Richmond that offers a safe community recreational space and educational opportunities as well as the potential to grow thousands of pounds of fruit for Richmond residents. Fruit grown in the Edible Forest will be collected and distributed to the people who live and work in the city of Richmond.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

In Summer of 2012 Urban Tilth began work with County Supervisor John Gioia’s office on developing Roots and Restoration Farm at the corner of Fred Jackson Way and Brookside Dr. This, by far, is the most exciting project Urban Tilth has embarked on to date. Stayed tuned for more updates and opportunities to get trained, hired and involved!

Roots and Restoration Farm will be an Agricultural Park and Riparian Restoration Learning Center with the mission of creating a space in the heart of the most impacted neighborhood in Richmond where children, youth and adults can deeply engage with nature. Roots and Restoration Farm will feature North Richmond’s only fresh fruit & vegetable produce market stand, You Pick It Learning gardens, and outdoor community kitchen, an earthwork amphitheater, outdoor garden and creek classrooms, petting zoo and egg farm, working urban farm providing fresh fruits and vegetables through a youth run Farm Stand and CSA (community Supported Agriculture) project, a Riparian Restoration Technician training program and an agricultural co-op incubator space creating meaningful employment opportunities for North Richmond residents.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Families

The Farm to Table CSA is a youth and local resident run non-profit venture. Our mission is to make sure FRESH, locally grown and organic produce is available to all West Contra Costa residents. Every week receive an approx. 10-lb box of fresh locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables. Each week the box will be different depending on availability. We grow and seek out the highest quality, best tasting and most affordable sustainably grown and often certified organic produce we can find. Each week the box will be different depending on availability. We will seek to deliver the highest quality, best tasting and most affordable produce we can find.

Our produce is grown by urban, local, small and family farmers who love the land and the food they grow. Many of our our farmers are certified organic. Those who are too small for formal organic certification are committed to growing without the use of ANY chemical fertilizers or pesticides and strive to practice a host of sustainable agriculture techniques that care for the land, water and the people.

We are currently offering 4 memberships:
$25 week – Pay it Forward Membership*
$20 week – Everybody Eats Membership
$10 week- Food for All $10 per box (LIMITED SHARES AVAILABLE)
$10 box – Small Box (For 1-2 person households who have trouble consuming our standard size box)
How Pay It Forward Membership Works:
If you can join at the Pay-it-Forward membership level of $25, $5 of your membership fee will be a tax-deductible donation making it possible for a lower-income family to join the CSA and provide the fresh healthy food necessary for their family to thrive.

If you are a low-income family there is a limited number of Food for ALL memberships available for $10 per box. Everyone deserves access to fresh healthy food! We also accept EBT!

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in recognition of ongoing food insecurity in West COntra Costa County Urban Tilth launch a FREE weekly CSa box program. This program uses the same farmers and service terms as our Farm to Table CSA ut serves 190 extremely low income families of color who have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 economic crash or who have health conditions that make it dangerous for them to go out to do shopping. This program delivers a box of 10-15lbs of produce to directly to the homes of program participants.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families

The Basins of Relations Watersheds Program provides West County residents with skills and opportunities to care for their watersheds, communities and the creeks that run through them.

This program engages our community through 4 related efforts:
1. Watershed Technician Training Program
2. Watersheds Community Events
3. Urban Naturalists Youth Program
4. Visioning Wildcat Creek Trail Project

The health of our creeks and our communities are intertwined: we cannot have one without the other.


Watershed Community Events
Community engagement and volunteer events allow us to spread awareness of our watershed ecosystem – and the interconnectedness of creek and community health – throughout the West Contra Costa County community. Community engagement events revolve around enjoyment and appreciation of the outdoors and usually some sort of physical activity. The goal is to get outdoors and appreciate the ecosystems that sustain us!

Volunteer restoration events is where local residents get their hands dirty, helping us to clean-up a waterway somewhere in Richmond. While these events also prioritize appreciation of the natural spaces in our community, we also make an impact on the ground- removing invasive species, planting native species, and improving water quality throughout the Wildcat and San Pablo Creek Watersheds!

Over the last three years, our 38 community events have engaged 778 unique West Contra Costa residents in watershed appreciation and stewardship.


Urban Naturalists After-school Program
Nature doesn’t just exist ‘out there’ in the countryside and wilderness areas; Nature is right here along city streets and in our own backyards. Through the Basins of Relations Urban Naturalist Program, Richmond High School students will deepen their understanding of the natural world—and our place within it—while immersed in the complex, wild and enthralling ecological theater that is playing out right under our noses.

This extra-curricular program provides a new year-long apprenticeship for high school students interested in becoming urban naturalists. They will work with our Basins of Relations Watershed Technician Team this coming fall and winter, learning watershed ecology and natural history, going on field trips to support their learning and practicing stewardship.

In the Spring, they will co-lead a series of field trips for Verde Elementary School students at Wildcat Creek, reintroducing the waterway that runs by the school through the lens of watershed ecology and natural history.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Urban Tilth cultivates agriculture in west Contra Costa County to help our community build a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system. We hire and train residents to work with schools, community-based organizations, government agencies, businesses, and individuals to develop the capacity to produce 5% of our own food supply.

ounded in 2005 to help build a more sustainable, healthy, and just local food system, Urban Tilth has emerged as a local leader, a catalyst drawing together a variety of individual, discrete initiatives into a web of integrated, food- and community-focused efforts. In sum, we farm, feed, forage, teach, train, build community, employ, and give back. We help our community grow our own food; train and employ our own young people as “home grown experts"; teach our local residents about the relationships among food, health, poverty, and justice; and forge partnerships with local small farmers to increase demand for their produce.
We use our 7 school and community gardens and small urban farms to teach and employ community members to grow, distribute, cook, and consume thousands of pounds of local produce each year, to create a more equitable and just food system within a healthier and more self-sufficient community.

Financials

URBAN TILTH
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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URBAN TILTH

Board of directors
as of 03/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr Dana Perls

Pesticide Action Network

Term: 2020 - 2022


Board co-chair

Alfonso Leon

Mechanics Bank

Term: 2020 - 2022

Jen Loy

UC Berkeley

Sihle Dinani

Movement Strategy Center

Alfonso Leon

Mechanics Bank

Dana Perls

Pesticide Action Network

Tania Pulido

Community Housing Development Corp

Doria Robinson

Urban Tilth

Heather Organic Farmer

Kanchan Urban Farmer

Spiral Gardens Food Security Project

Yenny Community Advocate

Marriot Hotel

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/25/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability