Brenda Lomax-Brown
New Orleans, Louisiana

“We cleaned a lot of drains. It was an amazing day. I really appreciated that everybody had something to contribute, whether it was the supplies, the manpower–it all came together to make a successful program. We’re a small neighborhood but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference. Being small doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference for our environment and for future generations.”

Brenda is an Air Force veteran and resident of the Dixon neighborhood in New Orleans. She is the president of the Hollygrove Dixon Neighborhood Association, and has been active combatting blight and improving her neighborhood for many years. “I’m retired but I’m still busy,” she said. “That’s what keeps me going. There’s so much to do.”

She participated in several community volunteer projects as part of the Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps program in New Orleans, including a cleanup of catch basins to prevent flooding. Since joining the effort to keep the neighborhood’s catch basins clean, she has developed a deeper understanding of and appreciation for water management in New Orleans.

Brenda is now committed to teaching her neighbors about the importance of maintaining the city drains and reducing litter that can flow into and clog waterways. “It’s something near and dear to my heart,” she says, “and I’m trying to put out information for our neighbors so they can see how simple techniques can help.”

Volunteers clean up a catch basin in New Orleans.