Vegetables planted in community garden

Published 8:53 am Friday, May 22, 2015

Saturday saw one of the initiatives started by new Museums of Cassidy Park Director Marcelle Hanneman literally come to life.

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Tau Iota Omega Chapter, based out of Slidell, planted the first crop of vegetables in the new community garden located in front of the Native American Museum in the large brick structure that reportedly once housed a fountain. Those participating were from Bogalusa, Baton Rouge and Hammond. The group included Tameka T. White, Renada S. Brown, Chaska W. Weary, Lazette Watterson, Erica D. Williams, Kristin Robair and Leslie Pittman.

White said the sorority does community-oriented projects all over the state but have not done one in Washington Parish in recent memory, so the group settled on the garden when it was suggested something be done locally.

In an effort to keep things as close to historically accurate as possible, Hanneman said a list was found of plants that could be found in the 1800s.

“We sent them a list of those to choose from,” she said.

The group planted tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and a variety of peppers.

Hanneman said the garden is just the start of several initiatives planned to get the public more involved in the upkeep and evolution of Cassidy Park.

“We want people to jump in and help us get it started,” she said. “We want to get people to come together for a positive reason.”

She added that the general public is invited to help keep the garden weed free and even to help themselves to some of its bounty but asked that those wishing to plant in the park contact her before doing so.

“I’d love to get a regular bunch of people together to come weed,” she said.

Bogalusa City Councilwoman Gloria Kates was also on hand to witness the garden’s birth.

“I think this is the perfect place for bringing back the 1800s,” she said, adding that she was working with the sorority to have them come out to William J. Bailey Jr. Park in District A to aid in its beautification and perhaps plan some activities for local children.

She added, “They look like they’re off to a good start.”

Hanneman agreed, noting, “We need people in this community to make the changes we need.”