Growing the Greenway is an initiative by Friends of Lafitte Greenway, advocating and creating sustainable community gardens along the Lafitte Greenway to improve health outcomes of local residents, strengthen neighborhood bonds, support environmental stewardship education, and foster economic growth in the Lafitte Greenway.
Sophie Harris & Nellie Catzen
Sophie is the Executive Director of Friends of Lafitte Greenway, a nonprofit organization committed to building, programming, and promoting the Lafitte Greenway as a great public space. Sophie previously managed the NEWCITY Neighborhood Partnership, a coalition of 100 organizations that promotes community economic development in New Orleans’ Tremé and Mid-City neighborhoods. She also worked on the Faubourg Lafitte Housing Development at Providence Community Housing where she led neighborhood research and developed the education strategy. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors of Broad Community Connections and is an active member of the ReFresh NOLA Coalition.
A big believer in the power of community engagement, Nellie Catzen is the Community Health Program Coordinator for Friends of Lafitte Greenway. Nellie has 5 years of nonprofit project coordination experience, and has spent most of her career working in youth empowerment, food justice, racial justice, and environmental advocacy. Before joining the Friends of Lafitte Greenway, she spent two years as Special Projects Coordinator for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans where she focused on strengthening the agency’s services to refugees and immigrants. She holds a degree in Environmental Health from the University of Pennsylvania Nellie is passionate about healthy food, community organizing and live music.
During the Startup Accelerator Program, Growing the Greenway developed a budget for Phase I and Phase II of their plan to buildout community gardens and urban farms on the Lafitte Greenway, and developed an annual operating budget. They have received conceptual support from Providence Community Housing for Phase I of the buildout and are on track to receiving approval.
The Propeller Accelerator Program helped us develop critical connections, structure and momentum to grow our program from a concept to a forthcoming reality. Without the support of the Propeller mentors, team and supportive community, we would not have been able to progress so substantially in such a short window. We are deeply appreciative of Propeller’s competent and committed support.
Co-Founder, Growing the Greenway (Propeller'15)