By John Dean
Jena Unveils New Community Garden
The community of Jena has recently opened a community vegetable garden near the center of town. The Vision Trail Community Garden also contains peach trees and blueberries. The garden compliments the Live Lively LaSalle! project that promotes eating healthy and choosing locally grown produce. The Live Lively LaSalle! project was funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana grant.
The garden is open to all residents of Jena and LaSalle Parish, says Dr. Cynthia Cockerham, Executive Director, LaSalle Economic Development District. “The Jena Community Garden is a great example of a community promoting healthy eating and a shared goal of improving access to locally grown produce.”
Cockerham, and community members serving on a local task force, including Mayor Murphy McMillin, worked closely with the Good Food Director Frances Boudreaux to make the garden happen. According to Boudreaux, “While the Good Food Project helped, the Town of Jena took the initiative and made the project happen.” Retired county agent, Clay White volunteers his time to lead the effort.
Community members are encouraged to participate in the garden activities and to harvest and enjoy
the produce. The garden is located along the Vision Trail which makes it easily assessable to walkers and bicyclists. Parish residents also have the opportunity to purchase local produce at the Farmers’ Fest in Tullos and new Farmers’ Markets may open for summer season in Olla and Jena.
If you are interested in learning more about the community garden, contact Cynthia Cockerham at email@example.com.