Green Light New Orleans’ rain barrels go through quite a long process before they can be installed at a home. The barrels must be cleaned out, sanded, primed, painted and, finally, installed. Because of this lengthy sequence, it’s rare that a volunteer gets to participate in every aspect of the process. But this month was different. Green Light New Orleans hosted volunteers from Western Michigan University Dec. 16-20, and on Dec. 18, volunteers installed a barrel that they cleaned, sanded, primed and painted! The barrels were painted by Jenna Good, who created a colorful patchwork design, and Chase Latka, who painted an array of palm leaves on her barrel. The barrels were installed at the Little Professor Child Development Center in New Orleans’ Hoffman Triangle with help from students from WMU and the LSU School of Nursing, who initiated a Green Light garden project at the day care. Barrel recipient Andrea Sanders was thrilled to see the art on her two new rain barrels.
In addition to barrels, Green Light and the volunteers installed four vegetable garden beds, which, along with the rain barrels, will help teach the Little Professor students about sustainability and healthy food habits. Student of LSU Health nursing school will help to maintain the garden beds and of course the Little Professor students will help plant, water and harvest. “The implementation, cultivation, and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables from a backyard garden at a childcare center can be one of the best practices”, says LSU nurse instructor Shelly Dolan.
The four garden beds will be easy to maintain and each day care class will be able to adopt a garden. The barrels and vegetable gardens were funded through a grant from Farlife Milk and SSDN.