Work begins on Several Transform Fresno Projects

The City of Fresno is excited to announce the launch of the first three Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) projects.  All three projects launched in the first weeks of October.

The first project to break ground is the Yosemite Village Permaculture Community Garden and Urban Farm Incubator.  Fresno Metro Ministry partnered with the Fresno Housing Authority to develop a resident-led community garden and urban green space.  The seven-acre site, for general Southwest Fresno community use, will incorporate organic and permaculture techniques including non-mechanical, no-till, no-spray methods that promote carbon sequestration and water conservation.

The second project, by GRID Alternatives, will install solar panels on five Fresno Housing Authority multi-family buildings for low-income families. GRID Alternatives will train 67 TCC area individuals for jobs in solar.  The project aims to improve air quality and provide direct economic benefit for West Fresno families through electrical utility cost savings.

The Inside Out Community Garden at the Sunset Community Center will include volunteer recruitment, and community engagement on garden maintenance, harvesting, and cooking demonstrations. The Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission and partners will survey the community for produce preferences, plant trees, and vegetables with community volunteers, and conduct regular community events teaching proper nutrition and tasting a variety of recipes.

“These three projects are just the start of an exciting time for these neighborhoods as we see the first fruits of the $66.5 million TCC grant invested by the State in our community,” said Mayor Lee Brand.  “This money will lead to triple the investment in economic development and that will mean more jobs and better services for everyone. It will not only transform communities, but it will also transform lives.”

The three projects are the first of a total of 18 projects that include a West Fresno Satellite Campus for Fresno City College, community gardens, low carbon transportation improvements, affordable housing, urban greening, and local economic development.

On September 14, 2016, then-California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB-2722, the Transformative Climate Communities Program, from the rooftop of the Spiral Garage in Downtown Fresno.  The bill required the Strategic Growth Council to award competitive grants to qualifying agencies to implement greenhouse emissions plans while also providing economic, environmental, and health benefits to disadvantaged communities. As a result of the program, the City of Fresno was awarded $66.5 million in cap-and-trade funding to be used in a project area that covers portions of downtown, Chinatown and southwest Fresno.

Through an unprecedented series of community meetings, Mayor Brand put the power to decide how to spend the money from the TCC grant in the residents’ hands.  The final project package was overwhelmingly approved by the community on October 4, 2017.  When combined with matching funds the total amount exceeded $177.6 million.