SOCA garden gains a fence

October 20, 2011

Mary Alice Milford, a junior architecture major, Kori Rosenberry and Rita Dielle Narcisse, both junior interior design majors, help finish a fence for the South of California Avenue community garden Saturday. – Photo by Jessica Van Alstyne

News Editor


When growing a garden, first a seed must be planted. It must then be nurtured and loved while it grows into a strong, beautiful plant.


Tech’s Community Design Activism Center students have planted their own seed, the South of California Avenue community garden, to share with the Ruston community.


CDAC students partnered with members of the Tech chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., on Saturday, to put up a fence surrounding the garden.


Kevin Singh, director of CDAC and an assistant professor of architecture, said he was glad that he and his CDAC students could help out an area that needed attention.


“We really wanted to bring awareness to that part of town and focus on its needs,” Singh said. “We wanted to help the area and have other residents from Tech and the community help us in bringing about that change.”


The installation of the fence completes the last steps of physical labor needed for Ruston’s first community garden.


Last winter quarter, Singh and his class started designing the layout for the garden and in the spring began building the foundation on land purchased by Temple Baptist Church.


Although Temple Baptist Church purchased the land for the garden located at 401 Union St., the Lagniappe Ladies provided the CDAC with a $3,000 grant to build the fence.


Singh said he is grateful that the Lagniappe Ladies provided them with the opportunity to add creativity to the garden.


“We decided to get the elementary schools involved since we know they do not have a lot of art projects incorporated in their curriculum,” he said. “Also, it helps bring creativity to the garden and bring momentum for future projects.”


Along with elementary schools painting the fence, members of AKA have been involved with various aspects of the SOCA project by participating in the SOCA 5K walk/run and recently with the painting and installation of the fence.


Skyler Breaux, president of AKA, said the sorority was impressed and intrigued about the plans for the garden and decided to help out.


“AKA decided to get involved in the garden when we heard of all of the efforts being put forth to make the area better,” said Breaux, a senior early childhood education major. “This is not Theta Lambda’s first visit and definitely will not be the last.”


Breaux said she was glad her sorority wanted to give a helping hand in improving an area that was so desperate for help.


“The most rewarding part in helping others is to see people’s faces of joy and appreciation,” she said. “Those priceless expressions are the reason I continue to serve.”


Elizabeth Kidane, an architecture graduate student and CDAC student, said she is glad Tech students got involved because Tech is intertwined with the Ruston community.


“The community is our backyard, so we need to recognize it is there,” she said. “I believe Tech will flourish more as the community grows.”


The next upcoming event planned by the CDAC for the garden is the block party scheduled for Nov. 5 at Mays Chapel Church.


For the block party, CDAC will give a presentation about the garden and presenr ideas for the upcoming year with the community.


Email comments to scb035@latech.edu.



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