Reforesting St. Claude Avenue

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REFORESTING ST. CLAUDE

In February 2012, the U.S. Forest Service declared that New Orleans is the most deforested city in the country.

St. Claude Main Street is partnering with Parkway Partners and other neighborhood organizations on the “Reforest St. Claude” project.  This tree planting effort is part of Parkway Partners’ ReLeaf program and the organization’s commitment to plant another 10,000 trees by 2017.  As with all of Parkway Partners’ tree plantings, it adheres to the planting guidelines of its public partner, the City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways.

St. Claude Main Street is donating $2500 to the “Reforest St. Claude” project and is canvassing the St. Claude corridor, identifying businesses that may want to buy a tree to go in front of their business. For the first twenty St. Claude businesses to sign-up to become a member of the St. Claude Business Association, St. Claude Main Street will split the cost of the tree package, reducing the total cost to $125.

Phase one of this project entails the first planting of Live Oaks along St. Claude in the space between the street and sidewalks.  This community-based initiative strives to enhance the look and feel of this street with a beautiful Live Oak canopy.  These trees, which once lined this corridor, will provide much needed shade while transforming our environment.

View St. Claude Tree Plantings.kml in a larger map

Trees improve the quality of air, water and soil, slow stormwater runoff, and produce oxygen.  In fact, in just a year one mature tree produces enough oxygen for 10 people.  They also cool off cities, remediating the “heat island effect”, by decreasing the temperature that is elevated from the concentration of heat-generating buildings, roads and pavement.

And you thought St. Claude couldn’t get any cooler!

How is this a community-based project?

Parkway Partners is working with community partners like St. Claude Main Street in generating support for this effort.  Businesses, organizations, neighborhood associations and citizens can show their support in many ways.  Anyone can:

  1. Buy a tree ($125), cutout ($100) and water bag ($25).  Total of $250.

You can buy one item or the entire package.  A water bag wraps around the base of the tree and can be filled with a hose or water jugs.  Water bags allow for water to percolate into the soil, which is the proper way to water new trees.

  1. Help plant trees

Parkway Partners and trained Tree Troopers will be there to guide you.

  1. Perform a cutout

Maybe you can’t donate monetarily, but you can lend your brawn.  This involves some serious back strength, and experience with a diamond saw and jackhammer to create a “cutout” in the concrete where the tree will be planted.  It also involves removing the concrete.

  1. Provide a dumpster

If you’re doing construction on your home or business, lend your dumpster for the effort.

  1. Commit to watering a tree for a year

The first year of a tree’s life after being planted is its most vital year.  Twice-per-week watering is essential for one whole year.  Fill up the tree’s water bag with a hose or water jugs.  In order to be planted, every tree must be accompanied by a commitment to water.

  1. Act as a block captain and organize volunteers on your block

Reach out to the neighbors on your block and coordinate volunteers for this effort.  Block captains may also help keep neighbors on task with watering.

The Goal

Parkway Partners and its partners on this project seek to achieve a goal of two Live Oaks per block from St. Bernard to Poland Avenue.  The first phase of planting will occur 4-6 weeks from now.  Next Fall when the weather cools, phase two of planting will begin.

Why Live Oaks?

Live Oaks are integral to New Orleans’ identity, character and charm.  Strong and durable, they stand up to hurricanes and drought, and urban conditions like root confinement, construction and pollution.

Also, Live Oaks can live for over 300 years.  So by participating in this reforestation effort, you are planting trees not just for yourself, but for generations to come.

St. Claude Reforestation Partners:

Parkway Partners

The Department of Parks and Parkways

St. Claude Main Street

St. Claude Business Association

Marigny Green

“Your Name Here”

 

JOIN IN THIS EFFORT!

Contact Susannah Burley, Parkway Partners Program Director at:

office  504-620-2224, ext 400

email  sburley@parkwaypartnersnola.org

Sign up for the St. Claude Business Association

http://www.stclaude.org/business/