17 posts categorized "Volunteers"
By Tina Dirmann
This is a story of rebirth, renewal, regrowth. Just a snapshot of what a few determined individuals can do when they are committed to making a difference.
How fitting, as we note the 8th anniversary of Katrina, that we can tell such a tale today. For it was eight years ago when waters ravaged New Orleans. And, in particular, devastated the tight-knit community that made up the Lower Ninth Ward.
In the days before Katrina hit, there stood an empty lot – that kind that proliferates the still devastated community today. But before the storm, this lot in particular meant something to people. You see, one resident used to take the time to toss seeds into this lot. At times, tomato seeds. Sometimes okra. A little of this and some of that. Nothing formal. No one tended to the yard in any particular way. And yet, produce often grew large and proud. And what cropped-up was there for the taking. Anyone in the community was welcome to it.
That tradition was almost lost in the storm’s wake, just another casualty amid so much other loss. We know some residents never returned. Weeds still stand overgrown on vacant lots. Community stores and bars and gathering spots simply fell away.
But in 2009, one woman in this shaken community remembered that garden, and she wanted it back. Because in her neighborhood, fresh produce can be hard to come by. There aren’t thriving farmers markets. No Whole Foods and Rouses offering fresh fare – let alone anything affordable.
And so, 9th Ward resident Jenga Mwendo founded the Backyard Gardener’s Network, a non-profit dedicated to reviving and sustaining the lot they’ve now dubbed “The Guerrilla Garden.” Her group gathered enough funds to buy the lot at 601 Charbonnet Street and not just return it to what it once was – but to take it a step beyond. READ MORE >>
Last week Baptist volunteers helped remove rotten wood from the Sustainable Engagement and Development Center (aka 5227 Chartres Street House). As we peeled back layers of drywall and rotten tongue and groove, we found beautiful barge board rafters that make up the old bones of the house. After several consultations with Andrew Spaulding (Nola Green Building Architect Extraordinaire), we determined the next step is to remove termite damaged framing in the cantalevered section of the porch (bottom right pic), and replace with new treated lumber. This will reinforce the roof rafters and ceiling joists that tie into the top plate at the front of the house. Stay tuned for updates & project progress!
Volunteers from West Virgina assist Big Jim and I in digging six holes for six new piers at 5227 Chartres. The CSED is thankful for all the help from our volunteers!!! Next step is leveling and loading the pier pads and then building the piers. Final step: lifting the house, finishing the piers and then letting the house back down!
Twenty-nine folks from the First Baptist Church of Hurricane Youth Group out of Hurricane (pronounced "hurr-i-kuhn" ;), West Virginia, blew into town this week & created a whirlwind of volunteer action, creativity, & hard work! The fabulous five that I worked with at the CSED community pocket park & orchard at 4817-19 Dauphine Street accomplished an amazing number of tasks in just three days! Hats off to Philip Bradley, Mark Moore, Timothy & Courtney Hayslett, & Alyssa Tolley for their service to our community!
Just look at the result of all their creativity & hard work!
With hard work, funding from Blue Moon, help from Historic Green, help from LA Green Corps, help from LSU Landscape Architecture Students, and countless volunteers, the CSED is close to completing its Dreams Of An Orchard Project at 4817/19 Dauphine Street. Task remaining; installation of landscape fabric, completion of fence, completion of permanent rain catchment, completion of brick pathways, additional plantings and DIY Handbook.
Making A Real Difference In Gulf Region Areas Surrounding
Students from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are in town performing Mardi Gras Madness with all their volunteer work! Today, in only 2 hours, they created a border of recycled slate roof tiles for our Community Garden at 4819 Dauphine Street! Throw them something Mister! ;)
We would like to extend great gratitude to the Rochester Mission Group from Rochester, New York which included hard-working volunteers from Webster, Greece & Ogden Baptist Churches. Just look at what they helped us to accomplish at our 4819 Dauphine Street Community Orchard in just TWO DAYS!!
Donated ginger was planted along the perimeter French drain which they dug & filled with broken brick pieces unearthed from the soil. The French drain will redirect runoff into the soon-to-be-built rain garden. Along with general debris & trash removal, the first entrance pathway was created using broken brick, cement, & recycled roofing slate.
Holes were dug & measured & nine fruit trees were planted, watered, & mulched. Neighbors will be able to enjoy the harvest from 2 Satsumas, 2 Ruby Red Grapefruit, 2 Blood Orange, 2 Meyers Lemon, & 1 Persian Lime! Dreams do come true.