Richmond's designation as a Tree City USA is more than just a slogan.

Trees are being planted by the city, urban agriculture groups and neighborhood associations at streetside and in public spaces around Richmond, providing not only a more pleasing appearance, but in many cases, a future source of fruit.

A new arrival to the city's business community will host a planting ceremony on Monday morning celebrating the establishment of an orchard of donated fruit trees at Washington Elementary School in Point Richmond.

The ceremony is hosted by Nutiva, a marketer of organic superfoods that relocated to Richmond from Southern California over the summer.

As part of the company's efforts to be involved in the community, Nutiva and its nonprofit group partner Common Vision (www.commonvision.org) made a pledge to plant orchards of 15 to 30 fruit trees at every school campus in the area.

The Washington School planting will be the first phase of that commitment, and organizers are treating the school to an assembly that will include an urban agriculture-themed puppet show by Big Tadoo Puppet Crew from Oakland and a demonstration on tree planting and care.

Washington students will then partner in small groups with personnel from event sponsors for the actual planting. Students will also get to participate in workshops on the benefits of urban agriculture and environmental stewardship to their community.


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Crews from Nutiva and Common Vision will also prune, fertilize and do other tending of the newly planted trees during the day and install a drip irrigation system.

A second planting will be held at Levonya Dejean Middle School on Tuesday.

FIRM CELEBRATES A CENTURY: Marmion Andrew Hays was one of many real estate agents who established themselves in Richmond as the area became a growing city early in the 20th century.

Many of the firms that were well-known at the time -- Huber, Wall, Burg Bros. among them -- have faded away. One that didn't is M.A. Hays.

Marmion Andrew Hays was a Realtor based in Point Richmond who decided to branch out as an insurance broker in 1912.

M.A. Hays Co. is still in business as an insurance brokerage today, and the firm and CEO John Ziesenhenne will celebrate 100 years in Richmond with an open house and Richmond Chamber of Commerce mixer from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at its office at 232 Broadway in Richmond.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: Hercules will have more than 50 locations participating in its citywide garage sale event from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Maps of locations will be available for 25 cents each in the parking lot of the Hercules Library, 109 Civic Drive.

  • BART will be doing paving work for about seven weeks starting Monday at the intermodal area at the El Cerrito Del Norte station.

    The work will be done in three phases, with buses relocated to temporary stops elsewhere at the station. BART advises patrons to pay attention to signage in the area and advises that all parking rules will be enforced.

    For details, visit www.bart.gov.

  • The annual Restaurant Walk on Solano Avenue, a fundraiser by the Albany and West Berkeley Lions Club chapters, is 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. A $20 walk ticket allows tastings and discounts at 19 establishments on the Albany and Berkeley ends of the avenue.

    Participating locations include The Cape Cod; Burger Depot; Little Star Pizza; Sophia Cafe; Albany Arts Gallery; Gathering Tribes; iScream; Jazzy's; Jerusalem Organic Kitchen; Solano Yogurt and Ice Cream; Casa Oaxaca; Everest Cafe; La Vie En Rose; Pegasus Books; Ajanta Indian Restaurant; La Val's Pizza and Sumo Japanese Restaurant.

    For tickets, contact Leo Macias at 510-401-7750 or Jeff Shea at 510-526-1803, or get tickets at the corner of Santa Fe and Solano avenue on the day of the event.

  • The Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame will induct its Class of 2012 at a gala luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center, 200 Marina Blvd., at the Berkeley Marina.

    This year's inductees are Stan Burford (KGO), Greg Kihn (KFOX), Bob Melrose (KCBS), Alice Potter (KRE), Ted Robinson (49ers), Tony Salvadore (KNBR/KFOG), Steven Seaweed (The Bone), Susan Leigh Taylor (KCBS) and Chuck Waltman (Clear Channel Engineering).

    For details and reservations, visit broadcastlegends.com/meeting.html

  • A free workshop series offered by the Richmond Faith Initiative on ways to cook and eat healthier and be more active will begin Oct. 6.

    The Taste of Health series will have segments on healthy cooking, fitness training and health screenings, in keeping with the initiative's goal of promoting nutrition and physical fitness and "help combat health disparities in the Richmond community."

    Preregistration is required. To register or for more details, call 510-470-0444.

  • A free workshop on Family Health History and Breast Cancer is being hosted at 6 p.m. Oct. 10 at Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, 684 Juliga Woods St. in Richmond.

    The session will explain the role family history can have in getting breast cancer and what steps should be taken.

    The evening, a collaboration between the African-American Community Health Advisory Committee and the Abundant Life Health Ministry Initiative of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, starts with refreshments and a social hour, followed by the workshop at 7 p.m.

    Men and women are welcome.

    To RSVP or get more details, call 510-232-0193.

  • The Pinole Garden Club promises a variety of items and bargains at its garage sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 13 at 2520 Simas Ave., Pinole. Details: 510-223-8650.

  • Pinole City Council candidates Roy Swearingen, Peter Murray and Ivette Ricco will participate in a forum from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 9 in the council chamber at City Hall, 2131 Pear St. Contra Costa Times political columnist and reporter Lisa Vorderbeueggen will moderate the event, which is sponsored by the Concerned Citizens of Pinole.

  • The Richmond Annex Senior Center, 5801 Huntington Ave., is hosting an open house and yard sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6.

    Along with bargains, visitors can learn about classes for adults and seniors. Sale proceeds benefit the center's programs. To register to sell, donate sale items (no shoes or clothing) or get more details, call 510-620-6812.

  • San Pablo invites the community to help with a cleanup of Widcat Creek in Davis Park at 17th Street and Folsom Avenue. The event will be held rain-or-shine, and food, drinks and supplies will be provided. Details: 510-215-3037.

  • A Business and Consumer Expo is set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Hercules Community Center, 2001 Refugio Valley Road. In addition to information on local business, the free family event will have children's activities, raffles and yoga and zumba demonstrations. Details: 510-741-7945 or www.herculeschamber.org.

    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.