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Get CSED’s Lower 9 News in your inbox every Wednesday – delivering the very latest news and views, our photo of the week, announcements, and much more! The Lower 9 News email newsletter is our flagship publication, designed to keep you informed of all opportunities surrounding Food Security, the Natural Environment and the Built Environment. We love to highlight the volunteers and residents who make our community such a special place!
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Congratulations to Kathy Muse, CSED Program Coordinator, who recently received a certificate from LSU AgCenter for successfully completing their Master Gardener Program. Topics in this course of instruction included palms & cyads, botany & plant propagation, basic entomology & plant pathology, weed science, soils, pesticides & the environment, vegetable, herb & organic gardening, home fruit & nut production, lawn care, ornamental horticulture, diagnostic keys to urban plant problems, and pest detection. The Master Gardener Handbook, which is a research-based resource for this class, is available at the CSED office for use by the community.
In 1960, U.S. Marshal Al Butler helped to protect Leona Tate, Tessie Prevost Williams and two other young African-American girls as they integrated two 9th Ward elementary schools: McDonogh #19 and William Frantz.
This week, Tate, Prevost (Williams) and Butler's wife Pat poured his ashes at the McDonogh #19 school building after Butler's memorial service.
Post-Hurricane Isaac Update
To our friends around the country, thank you for your thoughts and prayers.The Lower 9th Ward community survived Hurricane Isaac! While we did experience minor wind damage, our new levees held up and we did not flood. We lost power for a week, but over all, we are back and rebuilding our community.
Warrenetta, Vincent & Kathy have just returned from the 2012 Growing Power Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The trip was made possible thanks to two scholarships provided by Will Allen, founder of Growing Power, and Nat Turner, founder of Our School at Blair Grocery, who extended them to the CSED. Thank you so much for your generosity and the opportunity to attend such an informative, inspirational and motivating gathering.
Thank you to our wonderful volunteers of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies for helping us rebuild our Lower 9th Ward Community. These 183 travel from around the county and from far as Puerto Rico to help rebuild the Lower 9th Ward on last week. They worked on over 30 rebuilding projects.
We welcomed two new neighbors at last week's Holy Cross Neighborhood Association Meeting. Shannon (pictured top) and Laney French and Kendricka Jackson (pictured bottom) recently purchased homes in the neighborhood. Each were excited to ring the "I'm Home Bell" at Greater Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
Our wonderful volunteers from Camp-Mah-Kee-Nac of New Jersey weathered the storm last week and help residents with rebuilding their Lower 9th Ward homes by mowing lawns, cleaning gutters, weeding gardens and much more. Special thanks to Steven Gonzales, a friend of the CSED that helped with the group.
The Holy Cross Neighborhood Association celebrated the 4th of July on the levee in style - with friends, food and fireworks!
The Alive in You Mission Group volunteered to help rebuild at Sandra Robinson's home.
Our pedestrian and bike safety efforts are working! The Port of New Orleans has begun putting up chain link on the railings which is a big safety improvement from the orange construction mesh that was there previously.
Vincent Fedeli of the CSED, on the right, is pictured with John Jeavons with Ecology Action at a recent workshop. Vincent is leaving today on a two-month Internship in Northern California where he will be learning bio-intensive urban farming techniques. You can read about it soon on our blog.
Thank you, Dianne and Nathaniel Washington! The generous donation of the use of their land has allowed the CSED to begin composting to produce soil for our planned future urban mini-farm.
Charles Reddick and Vincent Fedeli of the CSED construct a rain catchment barrel that will collect rain water which will be used to keep the compost piles moist, so that by the end of the process we will have rich and fertile soil for planting!
Several people have called or emailed the CSED offices inquiring about the work that is happening currently on the Florida Avenue Flood Wall (see the above photos). The Levee District has begun work on a 160 day contract (6 months) to paint the base of the flood wall that runs from the Sewage and Water Board all the way to the Florida Avenue Bridge. This work is necessary to prevent erosion of the wall.
The CSED and our partners at the Sierra Club, Citizens Against Widening the Industrial Canal (CAWIC) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) have met with the Levee district, the lead engineer and the contractor to discuss these improvements, the importance of the area to the community, and also about the Platform itself. We have learned that in order to complete the scope of work, the platform will have to be TEMPORARILY removed.We have been assured (and seen with our own eyes) that the platform's removal and reconstruction are all included in the bid document, and that the platform is to be reconstructed in the exact same fashion that it currently exists by the end of the contract.
We tried to work with the Levee board on avoiding removal of the platform, but the contractor has said that it is necessary in order to complete the project. For liability reasons there will be limited access to the area over the duration of the contract.
Please feel free to contact us with questions or concerns, and we will keep updating all of you through the newsletter as the project continues, so stay tuned!