Volunteers cleaned up a small lot that will be turned into a community garden. Local residents expressed their appreciation for the work—one resident even offered tools and helped clean the space. A volunteer mentioned that, “I spoke with a lot of people from the New Iberia community. These conversations were full of appreciation for our work and effort. They were also really helpful and went out of their way to assist us.”
Volunteers worked hard to clean overgrown weeds at the lot, preparing it for the community garden.
In one day, volunteers were also able to construct compost bins and spread mulch in the lot. One volunteer said, “This trip revitalized my desire to help others and do service after college, and makes me more strongly inclined to help work with communities and individual visionaries or small non-profits in struggling areas in the United States.”
Raven DeWeese, Aspen Settle, and Emilie Gottlieb spread mulch throughout the backyard of the food co-op.
Tessa Paige and Arielle Rudig-Leathers made compost to be used in the community gardens. “The trip exceeded my expectations because I didn’t think I was going to learn as much as I did about how to set up garden beds, composting, and so much more,” said a volunteer.
Dillon Hamil and Nathan Sienkiewicz repaired roofing at the community co-op.
Samantha Hipe and Emilie Gottlieb painted the outside of the community co-op store, preparing it to open.
After their work day, volunteers helped paint a mural of an alligator with the New Iberia community.
Arcadia volunteers posed together after their last day of work at the community co-op store. The mural was donated by a local artist and was installed by students throughout the week.
Volunteers cut pallets to be used where seeds will be planted at the community gardens. A volunteer said, “On this trip, I learned that people have the power to spread their energy and make other people want to join in."
A group of volunteers also cleaned up a larger lot to be used in another community garden.
Volunteers spread mulch to set up the space. Community members are looking forward to the future garden.
During spring break, 31 undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and staff traveled to New Iberia, Louisiana to work with Habitat for Humanity and Envision da Berry, a regional non-profit. The volunteers assisted the organizations' efforts to develop a sustainable, rural community through various construction projects, such as cleaning and designing community gardens and rebuilding a property that will become a food hub co-op. Their work will help local residents learn about and incorporate new methods of sustainable agriculture into their daily lives.