More About Our People

Jenga Mwendo

Founder

Jenga Mwendo, a Lower 9th Ward native and current resident/homeowner, is the founder of the Backyard Gardeners Network and has worked since 2007 to  strengthen the Lower Ninth Ward community – organizing neighbors to revitalize and create gardens, planting trees, and developing support systems to encourage and support the culture of growing in the neighborhood by and for the Lower 9th Ward and the larger Black community of New Orleans. Mwendo has worked with the Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development to lead a Food Action Planning initiative, and Tulane City Center as a Community Organizer. She is a graduate of the Southern University Agricultural Leadership Institute, a TogetherGreen Fellow, and a IATP Food and Community Fellow. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work including the 2014 EBONY Magazine “Hero Next Door.” Mwendo currently manages BGN’s two community gardens in the Lower 9th Ward where she lives with her daughter.