Green Works Development (GWD) Program

What is the Green Works Development (GWD) Program?

During summer 2010, the CCNI worked with the City of Oakland’s Redevelopment Agency to implement the Green Works Development Program in Sobrante Park. The program trained 12 local youth in Green Building Techniques and then worked with local contractors to implement community improvements using eco-friendly materials and practices.  Along with the youth, the program recruited 30 volunteers from the neighborhood to provide practical support and encouragment to the youth.

The GWD program fit in well with CCNI objectives, including positive youth development, relationship-building among residents, partnership development among organizations, and concrete neighborhood improvements.

How does the Green Works Development Program work?

The CCNI supported the Sobrante Park Green Works Development Project by recruiting residents for the program (12 youth and 30 adults), publicizing the project to neighbors in English and Spanish, and training youth in safety and job skills. Other GWD staff trained participants in green landscaping, horticulture, environmental planning and sustainable building techniques. The program paid the youth minimum wage and required 150 hours of work.

What difference did the Green Works Development Program make?

The GWD program was a great success:

  • Twelve youth developed job skills, confidence and mentoring relationships with adults
  • At least 30 more adult residents developed positive relationships with each other and youth
  • Partnerships were strengthed among principal GWD partners, including Community Reformed Church, Higher Ground, Lionel Wilson School, Alameda County Public Health Dept. (ACPHD), The City of Oakland, The East Oakland Boxing Association, The Oakland Unified School District.
  • Concrete improvements were made to promote neighborhood pride and community activities.  These improvements include: 
    • A new pedestrian-friendly walkway,
    • A plaza/gathering space behind a local church
    • A mosaic-tiled fountain

The CCNI Community Building Coordinator was able to successfully coordinate these efforts in conjunction with the City’s Redevelopment Agency, and the hope is that the agency will continue to offer these programs and CCNI can help facilitate them. The possibilities for sustainability are strong.

The GWD program culminated in a ribbon cutting ceremony at Community Reformed Church on September 1st with close to 100 people present.

Click here for media coverage of the Green Works Development Program and its grand opening

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