The Baton Rouge Garden Alliance was created in 2011 after a number of area residents, leaders, and groups who were already building and maintaining gardens in the city met and realized their shared interests. The history of this organization is rooted in several previously independent community gardening efforts.
Supporters of the BRGA
The South Garden Project (2008-2011) played a big role in founding the BRGA. SGP was a grassroots group focused on building community gardens with adults and children who live in South Baton Rouge. In its tenure, SGP collaborated with many different gardens, so people working on independent projects in the city met one another at SGP-sponsored events and heard about each other from SGP leaders and volunteers. This networking that SGP provided between gardens led naturally to the development of the Baton Rouge Garden Alliance.
Individuals and leaders from community gardens, church gardens, memorial gardens, school gardens, and senior gardens across Baton Rouge were also instrumental in starting the Baton Rouge Garden Alliance. Whether they met one another through SGP, in a coffee shop, at church, or out working in the garden, these people came together to share resources with and support one another.
In addition, organizations and businesses who support the growth of community gardening in Baton Rouge helped make the BRGA possible. The Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), for example, has a Community Gardens Initiative. The New Ark Baptist Church built and maintains the New Ark garden. Three sisters (and longtime neighborhood residents) started and maintain Stamp of Hope. The American Muslim Mission of Baton Rouge donated the land for From the Bottom to the Top and wrote a grant to start a fresh produce market in Baton Rouge (Hilltop Produce Stand). First United Methodist Church sponsors The Beauregarden. Rev. Marva Coleman founded and helps maintain Aevia's Rainbow. A number of community gardens in the city have been awarded Love Your Block grants via the mayor's office. Grants and donations for area gardens have also come from University Presbyterian Church, Home Depot, Clegg's Nursery, and more. Each of these projects and efforts led to the creation of the BRGA by supporting residents' collective gardening work.