Grant awarded to help start garden in McComb-Veazey area

Lafayette Consolidated Government is happy to announce a successful collaboration with the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce that will result in a new community garden in the McComb-Veazey neighborhood.

The McComb-Veazey Coterie, a neighborhood planning group sponsored by LCG, was aided by staff from the Department of Planning, Zoning, and Development to prepare a grant-in partnership with the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce-for a community garden at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. The coterie is a recipient of the $5,000 award for a community garden.

Fiskar, a leading global supplier of consumer products for the home, garden and outdoors, awards the Project Orange Thumb grant to ten applicants that receive $5,000 in cash and tools. The successful grant was one of ten awards out of five hundred and eighty applicants in the U.S. and Canada.

Fiskars' Project Orange Thumb garden grants provide tools and resources to help communities reach their goals for neighborhood beautification, community collaboration and healthy, sustainable food sources. Project Orange Thumb selects applicants with detailed plans to educate families about growing their own food, increase access to healthy food sources and experience community building through community gardening.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary Community Garden is an integral component in the McComb-Veazey Coterie neighborhood revitalization plan. It will provide opportunities for community building through social interaction. It will provide produce which can be sold at the planned farmers market. It will aid in improving access to healthy foods to a neighborhood that is lacking this access. The McComb-Veazey revitalization initiative is a long-term partnership between residents of the neighborhood, the McComb-Veazey Neighborhood Coterie, and several community development organizations, which include LCG, Habitat for Humanity, and Rebuilding Together Acadiana.

The location of the garden will be at 905 Surrey Street, across from Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

“It was indeed the Chamber's pleasure to have worked alongside the McComb-Veazey Coterie members to receive this wonderful grant. This community garden is a first for the area and it is so exciting. Fiskars grant has really made this a reality for us all. The garden falls right into the revitalization plans we have for our neighborhood. This is all part of bringing the neighbors together and having them join in on the planting. We have not planted yet, but I'm ready for the veggies that will come from this garden. Thank you Fiskars,” said Ms. Courtney Reynolds, President of the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce.

Expanding neighborhood planning efforts like this one is a big component of the ongoing comprehensive planning process. “We have a real opportunity to make an impact on even more neighborhoods if we can continue to engage community partners like the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce,” Chief Development Officer Kevin Blanchard said. “Over the next few months, we will be working on expanding our neighborhood planning efforts to accomplish this.”

Updates on the project will be posted on the McComb-Veazey Neighborhood Coterie Facebook Page.

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