Veggies on the Go Update #5

Veggies on the Go Update #5

Dear Community,

Although COVID caused us to have to greatly vary from our original plan, we are happy that we have still made progress in our fight against food insecurity in our neighborhood. Originally our project was focused around a mobile vegetable market powered by bicycle. But logistical issues related to COVID made that a difficult method of delivery. But we have shifted to a twice-monthly farmers market, providing locally grown produce. Those markets proved to have similar impact to our original idea.

Those markets have become an established fixture in the neighborhood. We have had the opportunity to provide fresh vegetables to those in need in our community. We also have developed the ability to provide “pop-up” veggie markets, often in conjunction with other events. All of our events are held in open-air format to help accommodate social distancing. While COVID presents a challenge to any activity to which you want to draw a crowd, we are happy that we have successfully adapted to the changing environment and circumstances.

The last of our budget will be spent on permanent signage for the market! We move forward with a new approach, but the same mission: to provide healthier food options to our community. Our thanks to everyone who has supported us on this adventure. We’re proud to have started the effort with you, and now will continue for (hopefully) years to come).

Trincella Bonnet
Veggie on the Go Team Leader

Kids N Media Update #6

Kids N Media Update #6

Dear Community,

Our project is still moving along, in its new post-COVID form. We have transitioned to having the students tell their stories in shorter formats. As of now, they are using iPhones to conduct man-on-the-street-style interviews, which they then edit into mini vlogs using apps like iMovie and Reels. This has been a positive way for us to get students behind a camera and get some exposure to things like interviewing and editing.

We are looking at the possibility of compiling these short videos into a short film or mini documentary, as a way to wrap up the larger project – and present it as a finished piece. Our partner AOC Community Media would be an integral part of helping us with that final piece. They have also come to Clearport to give presentations to the students – something we want to continue with them.

Given this new approach, we have found success in meeting students where they are, and giving them access to as many parts of the storytelling process as we can. They’ve gotten time behind the camera, as well as exposure to the interviewing process, writing, ideation, art direction, voiceover work, and editing.

The past couple of years have been challenging for many of our students, some of them even experiencing trauma firsthand within their communities. Our mission is to not only continue to be a safe space for their self-expression, but also to instill in them the importance of telling your story – and how that can make a huge social impact.

We do still have funds remaining to purchase a Canon camera, a group subscription to AOC and Adobe subscription. We know that these items will be necessary when the time is right, but we want to spend those funds when that time comes.

Sincerely,
Raquel Henry
Kids N Media Team Leader

Adopt A Storm Drain Update #6

Adopt A Storm Drain Update #6

Dear Community,

We’re back! It’s been a while since you heard from us, and while the back story on that has a lot of twists and turns, the short version is that some of our core team members moved away from Lafayette so we had to do a little bit of rebuilding.

The good news is that significant progress has been made since we last spoke. Since you last heard from us, we have received access to a data set from Lafayette Consolidated Government for all of the storm drain locations in Lafayette! This was a major milestone for us and we want to thank LCG for the help in letting us test out the Adopt a Storm Drain project with this subset of data.

Even better. We officially have a working mobile friendly web site! For all you techies out there, the application is based off a previous set of open source code originally written by Code for America and available to others under an open source license commonly referred to as “3-clause BSD.” The application code itself is written in Ruby on Rails, the web application is currently hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, and uses a PostgreSQL (a.k.a. Postgres) open-source relational database management system. Special kudos to the team at Infascination and their fearless leader Tre King who helped us get this far. We’ve included some screen shots below for you to check out.

Now that we have a working web application, we are in the testing and perfective phases to iron out the kinks of the application. We are currently recruiting a small Citizen User Test (CUT) group to help us out. In order to help us organize and execute this, we’ve gotten the assistance from CGI, which we are really excited about! Folks there are always looking to help push Lafayette forward from a tech perspective.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, we are working on finalizing/stabilizing our community partner strategy. As you would probably guess, sometimes the technology parts of projects like this are “easy.” Having the right long term steward of an application of this type so that it can take root and grow, can be the hardest part. To that end, we are working on lining up the right partners to help with long term sustainability and hope to be able to report out some exciting news on this front in the coming months.

Sincerely,
The Adopt a Storm Drain Team

Kids N Media Update #5

Kids N Media Update #5

Dear Community,

Not much has changed since the last time we checked in. In our last update we shared our plan to restart classes in the next school year. The goal is to begin the first week of school. Our focus for this school year was to identify a new group of students with an interest in media. We have 4 students and plan to add 2-3 more before classes start.

We have decided to have students record smaller portions instead of a short documentary. This will allow them to record, edit and view a finished product in a shorter time frame. We believe this will help keep them engaged and increase the sustainability of the project. This will also help us avoid having an unfinished project due to instability some of the students face.

We still have funds remaining to purchase a Canon camera, a group subscription to AOC and Adobe subscription. These items will be purchased in the fall. Although we had to delay our project, we know it was the right choice. We are still excited to have the class done right. We look forward to sharing an update once classes begin.

Sincerely,
Raquel Henry
Kids N Media Team Leader

Greening Festival Update #5

Greening Festival Update #5

Dear Community,

Did you enjoy this year’s Virtual Festival? What about a Festival favorite drink or menu item on a patio or from the comfort of your home? As you know, our project meant to eliminate the use of styrofoam at Festival International de Louisiane and inspire interest in zero waste events, was stunted due to Covid-19 and the shift to a virtual Festival in both 2020 and 2021.

Our “Plan B” to pivot for this year and incorporate plant-based to-go containers into Feastival locations did not end up taking place. We know we’ll be able to make a bigger impact both for Festival International and the community by sticking to the original plan for one big push towards a foam-free Festival accompanied by a switch to compostable containers. So, we still have all of our funds earmarked from 2020 and they are ready to be utilized for the next live event — mark your calendars now for Festival International 2022, April 27 – May 1st!

As previously planned, we will work with Festival International staff and their vendors this coming fall and winter to help educate and subsidize the switch to compostable to-go containers. In the meantime, check out our fiscal sponsors No Waste Lafayette. They hosted Lafayette’s first “Zero Waste Week” in May and have many tips and resources to help people reduce waste every day!

Yours in Green,
The Greening Festival Team