Although Shreveport Green has been assisting with community gardens for years, we recently increased our efforts with the help of grants from the Parish of Caddo, Keep America Beautiful, and the American Heart Association. What started as an 8 garden collaborative effort between 17 organizations as part of a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation grant, has now grown into 18 gardens and counting, managed by Shreveport Green!
We currently have gardens located at five Shreveport Public Assembly & Recreation (SPAR) Centers:
- Airport Park
- Bilberry Park
- Hattie Perry Park
- Hollywood Heights Park
- Lakeside Park
Ten of our gardens are located at elementary schools:
- Caddo Heights Math/Science Elementary
- Claiborne Elementary
- Creswell Elementary
- E. B. Williams Stoner Hill Elementary Lab School
- J.S. Clark Elementary
- Linwood Public Charter School
- Midway Professional Development Elementary
- Sunset Acres Elementary
- Werner Park Elementary
- Westwood Elementary
We also maintain gardens at the VOA Lighthouse Center on Travis Street and at Centenary College of Louisiana. Our flagship garden is currently undergoing development at our Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive location, and we are aiming to develop more garden sites in the future.
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With the help of our ShreveCorps AmeriCorps members and volunteers, we are able to plant, maintain, and harvest fresh fruits and vegetables for area residents year-round. These gardens are not only here for healthy eating but learning as well. We hope that allowing children of all ages to be a part of the process from beginning to end will give them a better appreciation for these fresh foods. The earlier we introduce kids to fresh foods the more likely they are to incorporate them into their diet. We at Shreveport Green hope that our efforts are matched by those in the communities we serve during our garden workdays and other events. No matter the age, we hope everyone is able to sow and harvest an appreciation for these spaces.
With the help of the Alliance for Community Trees, we started the first orchard in Allendale in 2012. In 2013 we obtained a Fruitful Canopy grant from the Office of Forestry to add orchards at all of our community gardens. We have since obtained a UPS grant to add a special section of fruit trees at our Growing Station at Walter B. Jacobs Park. This enables us to create our own source of fruit trees! Species include Satsuma, pomegranate, several varieties of fig, sweet and sour persimmons, and pears. We have also added blue berries and black berries to round out our fruit offerings!