PRCs-30th-Anniversary-Community-garden-network-teams-up-with-Tulane-PRC

PRCs 30th Anniversary: Community garden network teams up with Tulane PRC

The Backyard Gardeners Network is a Lower 9th Ward based nonprofit organization whose mission is to sustain and strengthen the area using food growing traditions as a platform to build community, revitalize the neighborhood and preserve cultural heritage. Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) has supported and partnered with BGN through practicum placements, food policy research and education, and program evaluation.

In the field of food access and food policy, BGN and Tulane PRC have interacted and partnered in a multitude of capacities throughout New Orleans, said Jenga Mwendo, BGN's Founder and Director. Working most closely with Catherine Haywood, Tulane PRC Community Engagement Program Manager, Mwendo commented on the involvement and commitment to food access.

"It's difficult to pinpoint one or two situations where we worked with Catherine. Tulane PRC is one of those institutions that is just everywhere. At events concerning the food environment in New Orleans, they're always there," Mwendo said.

Additionally, several interns have been placed by Tulane PRC in order to increase capacity at BGN. These practicums were helpful in the fields of evaluation and information dissemination.

"It's always helpful to have someone who has a background in Public Health," Mwendo said. "They have been able to help with evaluations, as well as figuring out how best to talk about our work through a public health lens."

In the future, BGN is excited to work with Tulane PRC again with practicum placements on a possible toolkit for communities similar to the Lower Ninth Ward. This will include public health work as well as food policy research and education, both of which Tulane PRC has experience with in New Orleans.

"We need the city to be supportive of community grown endeavors. Community gardening serves a purpose broader than just providing food. That's extremely important, but gardens also serve a community building and educating purpose," Mwendo said.

Backyard Gardners Network opened for the spring season on February 27, 2016. Find out more about BGN by visiting their website backyardgardenersnetwork.org or social media pages (@bgnnola) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

By Kevin Crooks and Enrico Cabredo, Tulane PRC Graduate Student Assistants

The Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) Program, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2016. Throughout the year, the Tulane PRC will share stories about its community-based work and partnerships. Click here for more about the 30th Anniversary.

Topics:   food environment , agriculture , policy , nutrition , diet , obesity , community health , community advisory board , PRCs 30th Anniversary

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