What a success!
Last week Friends of Lafitte Corridor held a two day community discussion and stakeholder workshop to develop a community plan to increase access to healthy local food and reassess interest in future community gardens and farmers markets along the Lafitte Greenway. Not only was interest still there two years after the development of the Lafitte Greenway Master Plan, but the number of attendees who turned-out motivated to see these projects come to life was tremendous. With over 80 community members in attendance representing a diverse group of organizations and neighborhoods, you can imagine the amount of great ideas that resulted from the discussion. Technical support was provided by the Local Foods Local Places initiative helping the community turn those ideas into action plans. Below is a recap of the two days.
Day 1 featured the following speakers who shared everything from stories of personal experience with the land, to how the city's health would benefit from the development of gardens and markets along the Greenway.
- Jared Brossett (Councilmember District D)
- Susan Guidry via. video (Councilmember District A)
- Emily Mickley-Doyle (SPROUT NOLA)
- Sophie Harris (Friends of Lafitte Corridor)
- Kate Parker (Market Umbrella & Crescent City Farmers Market)
- Carol Bell (Faubourg Lafitte Tenants Association)
- Cyril Saulny (Treme 4 Treme)
- Kelly Bond (Friends of Lafitte Corridor)
After providing some context about the potential space for gardens and markets along the Greenway including the rich history of urban farming in these neighborhoods, attendees shared their personal beliefs regarding the impact they saw these initiatives having on the community. The night ended with a visioning exercise allowing the community to think through what a successful garden or market would look like down the line, what opportunities and constraints presently exist, and how the gardens and markets might be sustained over time.
Day 2 took the ideas and priorities voiced by the community and turned them into action plans. The day began with discussion around the overall goals for the future gardens and markets. From there case studies of successful community gardens and farmers markets from around the country were shared. During the lunch hour break, attendees were welcomed to learn about NEWCITY Neighborhood Partnership's efforts through their monthly meeting. After enjoying a delicious and healthy meal produced by Liberty's Kitchen, stakeholders regrouped to develop action plans for achieving the previously identified project goals.
Over the next few weeks Friends of Lafitte Corridor will be forming an Action Plan Committee for interested community members to continue moving these initiatives forward.
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