Jan 102017


By Claire Byun

The Friends of Lafitte Greenway have a brand new office that opens onto the greenspace, and the nonprofit invites the community to celebrate the new digs.

The group is having a “New Year, New Office” party next week to commemorate the opening of their 2200 Lafitte Avenue office. The group was working out of the Propeller Incubator on Washington Avenue, which offers for-rent space for co-working businesses and organizations, for two years.

Sophie Harris, Friends of the Lafitte Greenway director, said the new office signifies years of hard work, community input and growth.

“It’s really us growing up,” Harris said. “This space allows us to invite people in for meetings and workshops, and bring people out onto the Greenway.”

Friends of Lafitte Greenway was formed in 2006 by community members who were concerned about post-Katrina planning, neighborhood revitalization, and open space development and alarmed about short-term political decisions being made without benefit of long-term planning vision. The community organization works to build, program and promote the Lafitte Greenway as a great public space.

A new office allows the group to host tours of the Greenway and provide classes to the public without having to rent out another space. Much of the organization’s staff bicycles to the office when possible, Harris said, so having a space on the Greenway “is a real opportunity.”

It also allows staff to meet people who use the Greenway every day on their own turf, Harris added.

The party will also celebrate some of the organization’s accomplishments over 2016, Harris said. The group added 35 bike racks across the Greenway last year and host the first public outdoor recycling area in the city. Members also cleared more than 9,000 pounds of litter across the greenspace and have involved more than 1,000 people in their community garden and other health classes, Harris said.

The party is Thursday, Jan. 12 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center, 2200 Lafitte Avenue. Food and drinks will be provided, and Harris asks everyone to RSVP for the event so organizers know how much to prepare.

Party-goers are welcome to bring office supplies for the new space, though a donation is not necessary.

“We want people to come meet us in our new space and get to know about Friends of Lafitte Greenway,” Harris said.

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