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Apr 3, 2014 4:11 PM by Dave Fields

McComb-Veazey neighbors score grant for new community veggie garden

The McComb-Veazey neighborhood will soon cultivate a new community garden as a source for healthy food, thanks to a grant from Fiskars, the home consumer products company.

Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) announced the beautification venture that is a result of what terms "a successful collaboration with the Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce (GSLBCC)." LCG added that the new garden "will provide produce which can be sold at the planned farmers market" and "will aid in improving access to healthy foods to a neighborhood that is lacking this access."

According to a release, the McComb-Veazey Coterie, a neighborhood planning group sponsored by LCG, received the $5,000 award for a community garden. Fiskars reported the award on March 31, 2014 on its website at http://www2.fiskars.com/Community/Project-Orange-Thumb .

Staff from the Department of Planning, Zoning, and Development partnered with the GSLBCC in grant preparation for a community garden at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

Fiskar awards the Project Orange Thumb grant to ten applicants that receive $5,000 in cash and tools. The approved Lafayette grants was chosen from 580 applicants in the U.S. and Canada. The company website says that Fiskars' Project Orange Thumb garden grants are awarded to applicants who have detailed plans to educate families about ways communities can together grow their own healthy food.

The location of the garden will be at 905 Surrey Street, across from Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, The Immaculate Heart of Mary Community Garden is an integral component in the McComb-Veazey Coterie neighborhood revitalization plan.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..

"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.

LCG's Chief Development Officer Kevin Blanchard said that efforts like this one are an integral part of LCG's Comprehensive Plan.

"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. Over the next few months, we will be working on expanding our neighborhood planning efforts to accomplish this," Blanchard said.

Updates on the project will be posted on the McComb-Veazey Neighborhood Coterie Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/McCombVeazeyNeighborhoodCoterie?ref=br_tf .



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