After Hurricane Katrina, tropical cyclone that struck New Orleans’ Ninth Ward back in 2005. Former policer officer David Young couldn’t stay put and decided to help the ommunity get back on their feet. David started gardens on 30 abandoned lots left over from Hurricane Katrina, he also helped talked hunger among the poor as well as help the local bee population from endangerment.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. Homes were destroyed, businesses were permanently shuttered and lives were lost. The community is still struggling to rebuild 15 years later. David Young found a way to ensure that every family in the Ninth Ward had enough to eat, and he helped the local bee population thrive in the process.
Honey bees pollinate one-third of the world’s food supply. Without bees, a large percent of the global population would starve. Billions of bees are killed every year, despite the indispensable role they play in our food supply chain.
When David Young found out that swarms of bees were plaguing the community, he knew he had to act before homeowners took matters into their own hands. The bees might be a nuisance, but they play an important role in the local ecosystem.
Young, a former police officer, first visited New Orleans on a humanitarian mission in 2009. He was shocked by how little progress had been made in New Orleans’ low-income neighborhoods since Hurricane Katrina, and he wanted to make a difference.
Inspired by the swarms of bees, David Young founded Capstone Gardens. Capstone Gardens was built on 30 abandoned parcels of land throughout the Lower Ninth Ward. Each garden grows fruits, vegetables, and herbs that are available at no cost to members of the community.
Homeowners in New Orleans can call Capstone Gardens if they have a bee infestation. Volunteers remove the bees and relocate them to one of the garden plots. When the bees produce honey, Capstone Gardens sells it locally to raise money to continue rebuilding the Lower Ninth Ward.
Bees are not the only creatures that have found a home at Capstone Gardens. A herd of goats happily eat any overgrown bushes in the neighborhood, and dozens of chickens lay eggs that feed the community.
Before Capstone Gardens, many families in the Ninth Ward struggled to survive. There was only one food bank in the area, and they couldn’t help everyone. David Young is feeding people in need, saving the bees, and creating a sense of community.
Ninth Ward residents call David Young “the Santa Claus of Food,” and it’s not only because of his long, white beard. He’s brought hope and joy to a community that felt abandoned after Hurricane Katrina.
David Young and Capstone Gardens are a perfect example of how everyday people can make a difference. We’d love it if you’d use the comments to tell us about the everyday heroes that inspire you.