Tucked into a corner of the city next to the I-80 freeway and BART tracks, the “Miraflores” site was the heart of the Japanese-American nursery industry in the East Bay. From the early 1900s to 2006, three Japanese-American families operated a rose and carnation nursery there, one of about a dozen such nurseries in the Richmond-El Cerrito area, according to Bay Area historian Donna Graves. During World War II, the families were sent out of state to camps but returned to operate their nurseries after the war; the redevelopment will preserve some homes, water towers, and greenhouses to honor the families. In 2006, the Richmond Redevelopment Agency purchased the property and began cleaning up contaminants on the site, which included DDT, petroleum products, and asbestos. The creek daylighting will add to a restoration project underway along the Richmond Central Greenway just upstream. Read the full story hereLOV

A former Japanese-American-owned nursery/brownfield in Richmond is being transformed into a green infill development that includes affordable senior housing, a four-acre greenbelt with a daylighted creek, an urban forest, and easy connections to transit via the Richmond Central Greenway.

Tucked into a corner of the city next to the I-80 freeway and BART tracks, the “Miraflores” site was the heart of the Japanese-American nursery industry in the East Bay. From the early 1900s to 2006, three Japanese-American families operated a rose and carnation nursery there, one of about a dozen such nurseries in the Richmond-El Cerrito area, according to Bay Area historian Donna Graves. During World War II, the families were sent out of state to camps but returned to operate their nurseries after the war; the redevelopment will preserve some homes, water towers, and greenhouses to honor the families. In 2006, the Richmond Redevelopment Agency purchased the property and began cleaning up contaminants on the site, which included DDT, petroleum products, and asbestos. The creek daylighting will add to a restoration project underway along the Richmond Central Greenway just upstream. Read the full story hereLOV

About the author

Lisa Owens Viani is a freelance writer and editor specializing in environmental, science, land use, and design topics. She writes for several national magazines including Landscape Architecture Magazine, ICON and Architecture, and has written for Estuary for many years. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit Raptors Are The Solution, www.raptorsarethesolution.org, which educates people about the role of birds of prey in the ecosystem and how rodenticides in the food web are affecting them.