ASB Volunteers Plant Seeds of Change in Louisiana

By Caitlin Burns | March 27, 2017

By Felicia Hall ’19

While first-year and transfer students prepared to attend Preview, a group of 31 Arcadia students, alumni, and staff attended a weeklong service trip to New Iberia, La., through the Community and Civic Engagement Center’s annual Alternative Spring Break (ASB) from March 12 to 18.

“It was a very eye opening experience,” Alyssa D’Esposito ’19 said. “It definitely filled a space in my life for community service.”

The volunteers worked with the nonprofit organization Envision da Berry in an effort to develop a sustainable rural community. The group laid the foundations for community gardens and helped to finish a co-op fresh market that they started two years ago on ASB. At the garden lots, the volunteers distributed mulch, cleared weeds, and prepped the land for planting later this spring. At the co-op, volunteers readied the store for inspection by completing tasks such as painting, spackling, insulating the outside, and assembling shelves inside. Additionally, they assisted touring Vermont artist Mary Lacy with painting a mural that captures the local community spirit.

“We now left it in a state where local volunteers can continue the work. We helped the community get involved,” said Arie Rudig-Leathers ’17, ASB co-organizer. After ASB received news coverage about the project, it attracted attention from the community and gained volunteers from the local Boys Scout troops, church groups, and homeless shelters.