An effort by residents to plant more trees in the North and East neighborhood is branching out with plans to spread the "urban forest" to a wider area.
The grass roots nonprofit group once known as the North and East Tree Team is now called Richmond Trees, which has a stated mission "to promote and grow the (city's) urban forest and green infrastructure through community planting, tree care, education and advocacy in order to improve the health and well-being of the diverse Richmond community.
The goal is in line with the city's 2009 Tree City USA designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation and meshes with a Maryland study (http://bit.ly/L164jH) cited by Richmond Councilman Tom Butt that concludes that neighborhoods with abundant, well-tended trees experience less crime.
To raise money and awareness, the volunteers of Richmond Trees are hosting showings of "Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai," the award-winning 2008 documentary about a female activist from Kenya whose work to reforest her country sparked wide-ranging social movements and earned her a Nobel Prize.
Richmond Trees will have separate showings of the film at a private home at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. A $20 donation is requested to help the group buy and plant trees in the city. Admission includes complimentary lemonade and a bag of popcorn.
Seating is limited to 30 people per showing. To RSVP and get the location, send an email to
For more details, call Teri at 510-843-8844 or Nancy at 510-253-3702.
RELAY 'REPLAY' BENEFIT: "Replay for Life" is a pre-event benefit "FUNdraiser" for the upcoming El Cerrito Relay for Life, which will be held 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Playland-not-at-the- Beach, 10979 San Pablo Ave. in El Cerrito.
Admission to Playland that evening is $20 adults and $10 children, good for unlimited free play on the arcade games at the popular attraction. Members of the Crazy Daisies relay team will also be selling pizza by the slice, sodas and water.
Like the relay itself, proceeds from the evening will go toward programs and research of the American Cancer Society. Come to play and also learn about the relay, how to join or form a team, or how to volunteer.
The Relay for Life in El Cerrito is set for 10 a.m. July 21 to 10 a.m. July 22 at Cerrito Vista Park. For more details, visit www.relayforlife.org/elcerritoca.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: The 94th annual dinner hosted by the West Contra Costa branch of the YMCA of the East Bay is at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Richmond Country Club, 1 Markovich Lane.
The evening will include the official selection of Mechanics Bank Chief Operating Officer Steve Barlow as chairman of the chapter board and a salute to outgoing Chairwoman Katrina Ruk, executive director of the Council of Industries.
The chapter will present its Fred Breen Humanitarian Award to Ken Stein for his service on the West Contra Costa Y staff from 1972 to 1997 and his work in expanding its youth and family programs.
It will also name its Rita Davis Volunteer and Youth of the Year awards and report on the chapter's annual Partners Fundraising Campaign.
For details or reservations, contact Candy Souza at 510-837-6952 or email@example.com.
"Our hope and goal with this ride is a bike party for kids, complete with music to pedal to and stops along the way to share snacks, play and chat," say organizers, who hold rides at locations around the East Bay.
Participants should pack snacks and water, and prepare for sun and wet weather. Details: geared4kids.org.