From her tinted green hair to her green nails and purse, Alzina Burrell Dural is the embodiment of her nonprofit, Seasons the Green Leaf. Everything that she does relates back to its mission – to care for and give back to the community in which you live.
How did you decide to start a nonprofit? It was my spiritual path. I worked in consolidated government for more than 12 years before I retired. I kept having this inner spirits tell me that I needed to leave my job, so I did. In 2006 I started my own company Seasons the Green Leaf. Then about 5 years ago I started the nonprofit by the same name.
What is the goal of Seasons the Green Leaf? All neighborhoods don’t look the same, and mine was starting to deteriorate. I wanted to know who my neighbors were and know that I lived in a safe community. I went to the Mayor’s office, Lafayette Consolidated Government, the Chief of Police. I joined Keep Lafayette Beautiful and I sat on the Community Relations Board. As time went on, it evolved and I got support from the community.
Tell me about some of the nonprofit’s efforts. I’ve brought in the police department and the fire department. We teach our neighbors about stranger danger, “if you see something, say something” and about the importance of finger printing children. I’ve established Block Captains who keep an eye on their block. We are teaching people to take pride in where they live. After five years I’m starting to see some of the blighted properties be boarded up, revamped or they are being torn down.
Do you have any special events for Seasons the Green Leaf? I host community luncheons four times a year in my neighborhood at my home so that I can get to know my neighbors and hear what their concerns are. We’ve fed up to 150 people at those luncheons. Once a year, I host a large community event called Quiet Town Community Block Party. We have all kinds of resources and information available that people might not know about.
What else have you done for your neighborhood? I have a mobile food pantry. I noticed that some of the kids in the community were hungry. I teamed up with a friend who built the food pantry for me. I keep it filled with dry goods. The policy is, if you need something…take something. If you have something to donate…feel free. The mobile pantry is great because it can also be a diaper van. We can take it into different parishes.
Your work isn’t isolated to Lafayette, correct? No, I work in other parishes as well. I received the Strong Girl Chronicles Award in St. Mary Parish. Most recently I have worked alongside Councilwoman Sherry Guidry, New Iberia, District-5 with a Project called Mini Library that was launched by Josh Edmond here in Lafayette, we put them in areas that most need them, to help improve reading skills and communication between parents and their children. Also I worked with Councilwoman Guidry on her tight and right cleanup project and neighborhood watch meetings. Under Project Front Yard, I go into other cities to promote being litter free.
What work are you most passionate about? Outside of Seasons the Green Leaf, I’ve been a member of the Progressive Baptist Church for 15 years and I’ve been an usher there for 3 years. My passion is serving the homeless and the people at the men’s shelter and St. Joseph’s Diner.