The greening of Richmond will take another step and another shade -- as in olive green -- on Friday.

A donation of 1,000 organic olive trees from McEvoy Ranch, a prestigious Petaluma-based olive grower and olive oil producer, arrives in town that day for initial distribution to the community.

Trees will be given out starting at noon at the farmers market at 24th Street and Barrett Avenue.

"We are truly becoming a city of fruit-bearing trees to further our healthy Richmond direction," said Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, who will attend the distribution event. "Trees are known to improve air quality, beautify our community and even help reduce crime."

The donation was coordinated by Self-sustaining Communities (www.self-sustainingcommunities.org), an organization that originated in El Cerrito and is now based in Richmond as it tries to direct donations to underserved neighborhoods in the East Bay.

Over the past three years, the organization has negotiated donations of more than 10,000 fruit, nut and olive trees from California growers to help low-income areas provide for themselves.

McEvoy Ranch, which also donated trees in 2009, is making up to 3,000 trees available this time if there is demand and homes are found for Friday's batch.

"If we give them out successfully, we can get up to 3,000 total," said Linda Schneider, founder of Self-sustaining Communities.

Trees will also be taken to community centers around Richmond to ensure a widespread distribution in the community.

Schneider's organization, with support from the city, has established urban farms and other pilot projects in Richmond, including methods of building low-cost housing out of local materials.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: Down Home Music, 10341 San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito, is hosting a pair of free performances this weekend.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, the special guest will be Andy Irvine, a veteran musician, singer and songwriter from Ireland.

At noon Sunday, the performer will be the Pine Leaf Boys, a Grammy-nominated act from Louisiana that will play "new oldfangled Cajun music" as a prelude to a show Tuesday at Ashkenaz in Berkeley.

  • Fall officially arrives Saturday, and the Richmond Art Center is ready with new exhibits and events.

    "Art on the Greenway," a film screening and artist panel discussion from noon to 2 p.m., will feature projects by young people involved with the city's Neighborhood Public Art Program.

    From 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday will be a wine and appetizers reception for four shows that make up the fall exhibitions at RAC, which is also a chance to meet Ric Ambrose, recently named executive director of the center.

  • All-you-can-eat crawfish, music and fun are on the menu at "Ragin' Cajun," the Rotary Club of San Pablo dinner fundraiser from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at San Pablo City Hall, 13831 San Pablo Ave.

    Tickets and details are available by calling 510-233-7700.

  • El Cerrito residents can learn about and comment on the city's future at a Strategic Planning Workshop 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave.

    Members of the City Council will discuss the plan's draft elements, and there will be a specific time for the public to comment.

  • Kathryn Roszak, director of Danse Lumiere and the Children's Dance Program housed at the Arpeggio Building on Center Street in Berkeley, was honored for her contributions to dance with a proclamation from Mayor Tom Bates on Sept. 11.

    Roszak also teaches for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC Berkeley and serves as a dance specialist for Cal Performances.

  • A community meeting on BART police services will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Richmond Recreation Center Complex, 3230 Macdonald Ave.

    The transit district has created the Office of the Independent Police Auditor for the public to share its concerns about the BART Police Department and a Citizen Review Board, to provide oversight of the department. Details: 510-874-7477.

    ACADEMIA: Three West Contra Costa residents have been awarded SAT Scholarships for their winning essays in a competition sponsored by the Friends of the Richmond Public Library and the Richmond Public Library.

    The topic of the essay is "Public Libraries in the New Millennium: programs and resources that will attract teenagers."

    Julia Martien of El Cerrito, a graduate of El Cerrito High School who will attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison, took first place and a $1,000 award. Terilyn Chen, a graduate of Hercules Middle/High School who will attend Harvard University, was awarded second place and $1,000.

    Richmond resident Lydia Breksa, a graduate of El Cerrito High School who will attend Brigham Young University, was awarded $500 as the third-place recipient.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.