One of our beloved Greenway Ambassadors, Felix Rainey, was born and raised in New Orleans. While growing up near the Bayou St. John, which was once a shipping route for transporting supplies to the canal, he first worked as a food server at Arnaud’s Restaurant. Today, he still lives in Mid-City and continues to work in the food industry, in addition to being an active volunteer in his community.
As a Greenway Ambassador, he promotes the Greenway and Greenway programming within his community, shares valuable input from his neighbors with our staff and community engagement committee, and gives tours on the Greenway. When asked about his experience as an ambassador he said, “I enjoy being a part of something that I grew up in. A lot of people like to hear history, and I get to go back and tell people my story. That’s what makes me come back out here and enjoy it.”
Telling stories about the rich history of neighborhoods along the Greenway is just what Felix specializes in. With factories, train tracks, and contract buildings, the neighborhood he grew up in used to be a working area. As Felix describes, it was like the suburbs of New Orleans, and now jobs and restaurants are finally resurging. “The Greenway really made this area come back” says Felix.
When asked about the community impact of the Greenway, Felix says that it has been able to connect people in neighborhoods from the river to the lake. People are always using the Greenway to get to and from work and for exercise, so he gets to meet a variety of different people from surrounding neighborhoods because of that. He says, “We have all different types of people on the Greenway, now it’s like a jambalaya!”
Felix is looking forward to having a gymnasium along the Greenway where he can work out. He hopes that the Greenway will continue to improve his neighborhood, and believes that positive change will continue to happen with the help of Friends of Lafitte Greenway. He is passionate about educating trail users and community members about trail safety and etiquette, like how to properly use street crossing signs. To hear more about Felix’s story and the rich history of the Greenway’s surrounding neighborhoods, come out to Hike the Lafitte Greenway on March 25th and take his tour!