By Baton Roots Program Coordinator of Ops SK Groll
Our Baton Roots team dreams of a day when everyone in our community has access to fresh food as well as the skills to grow food for themselves, their families, and their neighbors!
Part of this work is dedicating green space in our communities. Baton Roots is lucky enough to work with BREC, Geaux Get Healthy, East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority, East Baton Rouge Parish School System, and other incredible community partners to build farms and gardens on public lands. Green spaces can provide edible landscapes, promote food sovereignty, biodiversity, and assist with stormwater management. However, only 3% of land in Baton Rouge is dedicated to parkland, compared to a national median of 15%, and there is an inequitable distribution of greenspace, connected to histories of redlining and racial segregation.
At Baton Roots, we are excited about community decisions that expand green space for all residents in our community, as well as public investment into green infrastructure. Turning vacant lots into public green spaces can reduce firearm violence and save taxpayers and society money (to the tune of $26 and $333 respectively) for every dollar spent on vacant lot remediation.
Steps you can take to use gardens & green spaces to beautify your community:
This list is a starting point, and not exhaustive. If you know of resources that should be on this list, comment below or email email@example.com to let us know!
Engage with public lands in our community:
Visit the BREC parks around your neighborhood
Contact your Metro Council member to discuss public investment in green spaces, especially in blight remediation projects
Learn about the Build Baton Rouge’s land trust program.
Volunteer in local green spaces!
Baton Rouge homeowners with adjacent adjudicated property can take advantage of the Mow to Own program, giving you more opportunities to bring green space and gardens to your neighborhood!
Home gardeners can build front yard gardens which invite neighbors to share in the harvest while providing more societal and ecological benefits than traditional lawns