Friendship Force International has partnered with Global Green in order to provide environmentally-focused, friendship-building Journeys together. During the home-hosted portion of the Journey in Baton Rouge, ambassadors will have the opportunity to learn more about the Louisiana culture as well as their new friends from around the globe. Then they will travel together to New Orleans to build rain barrels and rain gardens for an in-need neighborhood. In this project led by Global Green and Water Wise, ambassadors will work alongside residents of the 7th Ward of New Orleans to help take pressure off of drainage systems and ultimately assist in reducing flooding in these neighborhoods. It is our hope that friendships will be made, not only between host and ambassador, but also between the members of the group and residents of New Orleans who share the same passion to help improve our world.
Home Hospitality provided by the Friendship Force club of Baton Rouge.
Live With a Local
- Get a sample of the Creole-inspired culture of the area with a traditional jambalaya dinner and some Cajun dancing.
- While in New Orleans, ambassadors will have the opportunity to engage with local residents in the neighborhood they are serving. Ambassadors will also have time in the evenings to explore New Orleans as a group or individually.
- Ambassadors will get the chance to know some of the local residents in an in-need community in New Orleans, learning more about the unique environmental needs of the area and how those are affected by income level.
- Some cultural sightseeing options include classic Louisiana favorites like a historic home tour and a swamp boat ride.
Our common values that include helping people, places, and a planet in need will be brought to life during these incredible Journeys, where travelers will make life-long friends while discovering new perspectives and collaborating to build peaceful and sustainable communities around the world. - William Bridge, Chief Operating Officer at Global Green
Global Green and Friendship Force International Environmental Awareness Journey to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, USA
7 Days / 6 Nights Program and Itinerary:
March 24, 2018 – March 30, 2018
Coordinator: Bob Duncan, FF Baton Rouge
All Friendship Force Itineraries are subject to change.
Arrival in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Home hosting usually includes a tour of a historic home, a swamp boat ride, a jambalaya dinner, some Cajun dancing, or something similar depending on budget.
Homestay in Baton Rouge.
Homestay in Baton Rouge.
Transfer from Baton Rouge in the morning and then participate in a Rain Barrel Build, 3 hrs.
DIY Rain Barrel Build: While rain barrels are known as a water conservation method, they also provide a stormwater management benefit in New Orleans. With the copious amounts of rainfall that New Orleans receives, rain barrels are a tool to capture and store rainwater and take pressure off of the drainage system during these frequent storm events. Ultimately, a network of rain barrels can be utilized to reduce flooding in New Orleans neighborhoods.
As part of this Friendship Force Journey, Water Wise will lead a rain barrel build and installation with homeowners in the 7th Ward of New Orleans. Friendship Force volunteers will help build rain barrels alongside 7th Ward residents and will help install the rain barrels at the home of the residents as well. During this process, residents will learn how to build and install a rain barrel, so that they can teach the method to their neighbors, family, and friends. Friendship Force members will learn how to build and install rain barrels, while also creating lifelong friendships with New Orleans residents.
A rain barrel build consists of transforming food-grade barrels into rain barrels. This happens through the limited use of power tools (drill and the jigsaw). There is also an option to paint the rain barrels. Installation of the rain barrels will take place on properties that have an already installed a gutter system. The rain barrel installation process may include leveling the surface where the rain barrel will sit (i.e. adding or removing soil) and retrofitting the downspout.
Rain Garden, 8 hrs (includes breakfast and lunch)
DIY Rain Garden Build: A rain garden is different than a traditional garden because it is designed to infiltrate, filtrate, and detain rainwater and to utilize native plants that thrive in wet environments. Rain gardens are strategically placed near downspouts or in low spots to adequately manage stormwater.
Water Wise will work with residents in the 7th Ward to identify a residential site on which to build a rain garden. Working with the homeowner, Water Wise will design the rain garden and select a palette of native plants. Alongside Friendship Force ambassadors, members of the community will be invited to help build the rain garden or to stop by to learn how the rain garden is built. Friendship Force members will learn how to build a rain garden, while also creating lifelong friendships with New Orleans residents.
Building a rain garden entails removing the clay soils and placing layers of crushed concrete or limestone, river sand, native plants, and pine straw mulch. Shovels are generally used to remove the dirt and sometimes a pick ax is needed to loosen up the soil.
Rain Garden – Day Two, 8 hours (includes breakfast and lunch).
Know before you go
- Ambassadors should be fit enough to spend 2.5 days building rain barrels and rain gardens for local residents.
Friendship Force International provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level. Through the signature program of home hospitality, local hosts welcome international visitors into their culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region.