Positively Local

An Interim Foodapalooza Event in LaSalle Parish!

Join us for a special event celebrating local food, parks and places in LaSalle Parish! This is an opportunity to learn how a rural parish is working with partners to build a vibrant community and economy. This event is open and free for all. Register by emailing jdean@cenla.org your name and the names of anyone who will be joining you. 

Positively Local will be Wednesday, July 19, at the Olla Town Square Market in LaSalle Parish and feature skill-building workshops, a locally sourced catered lunch, a tour of local food and community projects in the parish and other activities for anyone interested in learning how to support strong and vibrant communities. The event is funded by a Healthy Behaviors Program Grant from The Rapides Foundation. An agenda for be event can be found below.

Presenting the keynote address will be Chip Johnson, the outgoing mayor of Hernando, Mississippi, a rural community known for its growing park system, popular farmers market, and friendly streets for bicycles and pedestrians. Hernando was named the first “Healthiest Hometown in Mississippi” by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.

To accommodate more Central Louisiana residents, a bus will leave from CLEDA's office (located at 900 4th St. in downtown Alexandria) at 8:15 a.m. to take people to the event. The bus will return to Alexandria by 3:45pm. 

Positively Local is free of charge. Due to limited seating, registration is mandatory. To register, please email your confirmation, including your name and the names of anyone else attending with you, to jdean@cenla.org. If you have questions, or want to learn more, contact John Cotton Dean at 318-441-3424. 

Positively Local is a partnership among CLEDA, Live Lively LaSalle! Alliance, and the Olla Town Square Farmers Market. 

Positively Local Agenda

9:30am to 10:00am:        Introduction by Cynthia Cockerham, Area Agent, LSU AgCenter &Executive Director, Community Development, LaSalle Economic Development District (LEDD)
10:00am to 10:20am:     Farmers Market & Kids Club presentation by the Olla Town Square Market & Allison Tohme, Farmers Market Program Developer, CLEDA
10:20am to 10:45am:     Introduction to Farm-to-School programs in LaSalle Parish- Kelly Thompson, Child Nutrition Programs Director, LaSalle Parish School System
11:00am to 11:50am:     Keynote presentation by Chip Johnson, outgoing mayor of Hernando, Mississippi & locally-sourced lunch by Miss B’s Place
12:00pm- 2:30pm:           Tour of LaSalle Parish community projects; tour will include presentations by local leaders and offer further opportunities for networking and resource sharing
  1. Olla Rec Complex and Recreation District #22
These two recreational facilities are located on adjoining properties and feature disc golf, walking trails, children’s play equipment, outdoor fitness equipment, ball fields, an outdoor basketball court, pond and swimming pool. In addition, these parks are conveniently locating adjacent to LaSalle High School and the Olla Branch of the LaSalle Parish Library.
  1. Potty Tannehill Park in Urania
Home to a historic log cabin, children’s play area, walking path, pavilion with swings and picnic tables, a stocked pond and flock of mallard ducks; the new vintage firetruck play area has become very popular; coming soon is an outdoor basketball court and pavilion and green space for older youth
  1. Outdoor Fitness Center at Hardtner Medical Center
Features a rubberized walking trail and Health Beat outdoor fitness equipment located on the property of a 45 bed rural hospital and clinic
  1. Jena Town Park
The park consists of trails, an outdoor pavilion and parade grounds, tennis courts, ball fields, splash pad, children’s play area, outdoor fitness equipment, nature trail and interpretive center. Jena High School utilizes the ball fields and tennis courts for school sports. The park serves as a trail head to the trail system that serves as a connector from the residential areas to the park and the downtown area. The Jena Vision plan includes eight miles of trail that when completed will include Jena Elementary, the post office and Walmart as addition stops along the trail system.
Tour speakers:
Murphy McMillin: Past mayor of Jena, Murphy will share his experience in the creation and implementation of the Jena Vision plan and the infusion of smart growth principles in healthy community projects throughout LaSalle Parish. 
Q & A: Speakers from the morning session will be available for continued dialogue on the tour.


Keep Me Updated!