VISION – A vibrant greenspace in place of blighted land where families can congregate and socialize, grow vegetables and pick from fruit trees.
The Guerrilla Garden is a project conceived, developed and implemented by Lower Ninth Ward residents committed to community revitalization. Beginning in April 2009, residents and waves of volunteers from around the country have worked together clearing this lot, planning the space, securing resources and even planting a few beds of okra in the meantime. Once an overgrown dumping ground, this space is now a beautiful community greenspace, featuring a small fruit tree grove, a shade structure (rainwater catchment coming soon), raised garden beds, and an outdoor kitchen space. The Guerrilla Garden is about community building and community ownership, eliminating blight and improving food access. It is meant to be a place for folks of all ages to get together and learn from each other.
At the Guerrilla Garden, neighborhood residents to grow vegetables in the 10 in-ground and raised garden plots. AdinkraNOLA, an African-centered homeschool group, also cultivates a plot at the garden, as part of the school curriculum. In partnership with New Orleans Citizens Diplomacy Council, we have welcomed delegations from dozens of countries in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East for cultural exchange with our community in the Guerrilla Garden. We also host special community events in the garden, like the Tastes of the Lower 9th Ward Community Potluck, our annual Watermelon Party and the National Black Agriculture Week celebration.
The Guerrilla Garden is the site of our new Lower 9 Growing Strong programming – SIX afternoons of programming per week for Lower 9th Ward children and families. Click here to learn more about LOWER 9 GROWING STRONG!
The Guerrilla Garden is a Parkway Partners Garden
Current programs at the Guerrilla Garden: Lower 9 Growing Strong, Adopt-A-Plot, Special Events & Community Garden Space Use
600 Charbonnet Street @ Chartres (map to the location)
The Laurentine Ernst Garden is a community garden established long before Katrina. The garden’s namesake, Mrs. Laurentine Ernst was an avid gardener who lived on Jourdan Avenue. She was known for her St. Claude beautification project; she would carry buckets of water to St. Claude Avenue every day to water her plants. After Katrina hit, neighbor and dedicated gardener Ms. Patsy Story tried to maintain the garden on her own, but due to health problems and challenges rebuilding her own house, the garden fell into disrepair.
In September 2007, Jenga Mwendo began organizing neighbors to clean up and replant the Ernst Garden. A Garden Committee was formed and met on a regular basis to maintain and plan the garden. The Committee established regular Garden Days, hosted waves of volunteers, and held events at the garden. Now a Backyard Gardeners Network project, the garden is used by neighborhood residents to grow vegetables in the five in-ground and raised garden plots.
The Ernst Garden is a Parkway Partners Garden.
Adjacent to the Ernst Garden is the Ernst Garden House, home of the Garden Resource Center – supporting the cultural tradition of growing in the Lower 9th Ward by providing tools and materials for our neighborhood’s gardeners.
Current programs at the Ernst Garden: Adopt-A-Plot, Special Events & Community Garden Space Use
601 Forstall Street @ Chartres (map to location)
Ernst Garden Resource Center
(Open by Appointment)
Housed in a formerly blighted cottage adjacent to the Ernst Garden, the Garden Resource Center functions as a Tool Lending Library, an educational resource library, a meeting place and a relief station for gardeners and visitors. Neighborhood gardeners can come to the Garden Resource Center for free seeds and starter plants. The building was donated and renovated by Preservation Resource Center for garden use in 2010.
A project of the Backyard Gardeners Network, the Ernst Garden Resource Center is sponsored by the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association and supported by the Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development , Historic Green and HandsOn New Orleans . Thanks to The Home Depot Foundation for support