Lafitte-Greenway-benefits-from-Tulane-PRC-practicum-student

Lafitte Greenway benefits from Tulane PRC practicum student

Helping residents identify ways to increase availability of local foods and community gardens on the Lafitte Greenway, Kelly Bond, a recent master's level graduate from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, supported the nonprofit Friends of Lafitte Greenway (formerly Friends of Lafitte Corridor or FOLC) for her practicum this summer. Recently, Friends of Lafitte Greenway has been focusing on the 2.6-mile greenway's grand opening, as well as building programming and promoting it as a great public space.

“I remember how excited I was to receive that first phone call from Sophie, letting me know I was accepted as their practicum student," Bond said. "I knew from the moment I read the internship description that my time with the organization would be both extremely valuable to my career and impactful for the Lafitte community."

The Lafitte Greenway transforms one of the city’s most historic transportation corridors into a multi-use transportation corridor and linear park. The greenway is a 2.6-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail and green corridor, opening in New Orleans in summer 2015 that will connect neighborhoods from Armstrong Park to City Park.

Friends of Lafitte Greenway has contributed financial and promotional support to the greenway for several years. The nonprofit selected Bond for the summer internship through the Tulane Prevention Research Center's Health Promotion Practicum Program, which matches graduate student interns and local host organizations for 300-hour practicum experiences.

"Kelly was a perfect fit. She was eager to tackle a variety of projects – from walking the neighborhood, interviewing community members, to work in the office, developing a research paper," said Sophie Harris, executive director of Friends of Lafitte Greenway. "Thanks to our partnership with the Tulane PRC and Kelly’s excellent work, we now have a Community Action Plan for community garden development, that will help make the Lafitte Corridor neighborhoods healthier and stronger."

Bond worked as the Local Foods Systems Intern to develop a plan to utilize the greenway to increase access to healthy, local foods. She used her training in nutrition and public health for community garden program development, community outreach, fundraising, and meeting coordination.

"I was able to work hand-in-hand with the community to begin the process of garden and market development," Bond elaborates. "The resulting reports and documents of my practicum were shaped by the community, based on their wants for neighborhood development. I can’t wait to see where the community takes this project, and am immensely grateful to all those I worked with at Friends of Lafitte Greenway.”

The Lafitte Greenway is nearing completion as the final touches are being completed including new signs, a crosswalk, and an outdoor fitness park. For more information on the Lafitte Greenway, please visit www.lafittegreenway.org or follow on Twitter at @lafittegreenway.

By Kevin Crooks, Tulane PRC communications intern and graduate student, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
August 2015

(Photos courtesy of Friends of Lafitte Greenway and NOLA Aerials.)

Topics:   practicum , built environment , food environment , community health

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