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GCA Grant Restores Historic Park


April 28, 2022

New Orleans City Park, Louisiana

On August 29, 2021, Hurricane Ida struck south Louisiana with maximum winds of up to 150 mph. The storm’s wind field was fierce and significant, creating wind-related destruction for eight hours in and around New Orleans. New Orleans City Park lost power that day, finally regaining it on September 6. The park sustained approximately $2 million in damages, specifically impacting the urban tree canopy, facilities, and park infrastructure. The major winds resulted in park-wide tree loss, hanging limbs, and significant debris on the ground. 

New Orleans City Park is an historic site, public garden, community park, and former recipient of the The Garden Club of America’s (GCA) 2007 Founders Fund award. The park is the center for multiple educational programs including the Grow Dat Youth Farm program, which nurtures young leaders working collaboratively to grow food, empower, and inspire students to create personal, social, and environmental change. New Orleans City Park is also home to the Louisiana Children’s Museum with outdoor classrooms, edible gardens, and bio island diversity. The Garden Study Club of New Orleans has partnered with the New Orleans City Park on various park projects since 1982, including sponsorship opportunities, capital projects, volunteering, disaster recovery, and general operating support. The park is also home to the largest grove of mature live oaks in the country, some of which are nearly 800 years old.

In an effort to assist with recovery following the storm, the GCA has awarded a $10,000 Restoration Initiative grant to the Garden Study Club of New Orleans. The grant will assist with the costs for securing contractors to complete tree assessments, tree and dangling branch removal, debris hauling, cost of new trees, staff labor, and supplies. The maintenance, health, and replenishing of the tree canopy in the park is crucial and essential for sustaining the educational component of the park.

The GCA established the Restoration Initiative in 2017 in response to the urgent needs caused by catastrophic storms, hurricanes, floods, fires, and mudslides to assist member clubs involved in public landscape restoration and conservation projects. Seventeen grants, totalling $170,000 have been awarded to clubs in California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, New Orleans, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.



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