City Park Conservancy Expands Festival Grounds Wetland
NEW ORLEANS – On Friday, June 23, the City Park Conservancy and its corporate partners will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony highlighting the expansion and rehabilitation of the park’s Festival Grounds Wetland. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Festival Grounds. Partners include the Louisiana First Horizon Foundation, RES – Global Renewable Energy Company and Dana Brown & Associates.
The wetland rehabilitation project aims to improve park ecosystems and the surrounding community by increasing stormwater storage capacity, removing invasive vegetation and planting native species to increase embankment stability. It also includes resurfaced and reshaped walking paths and a boardwalk.
“Improving and protecting our local ecosystems and communities is crucial to our mission at New Orleans City Park,” said Cara Lambright, City Park Conservancy president and CEO, in a press release. “City Park Conservancy and its partners are so proud to be able to reveal a project on which we’ve worked so tirelessly, and we’re very thankful to our partners for their contribution to expanding, restoring and revitalizing the City Park Festival Grounds.”
The constructed wetland can hold over 700,000 gallons of stormwater before it is released. This is designed to improve water quality and reduce the strain on the city’s drainage system in intense weather events.
“It was an honor to work alongside City Park Conservancy and our other dedicated partners to complete a vital project that will positively impact not only the Park, but the city of New Orleans,” said RES Gulf Coast General Manager Frank Cuccio. “As we approach hurricane season, it is especially important that we give our wetlands – the lands that often aid in softening the blow of severe weather – the attention they deserve and need.”
The work was made possible through a $250,000 donation from the Louisiana First Horizon Foundation.
“Through projects and partnerships, we’re committed to preserving biodiversity and generating benefits to our communities,” said Mary Lakey, First Horizon’s head of environmental, social and governance. “The wetland impacts countless park visitors and the surrounding neighborhoods, and we are happy to be a part of a project that fosters joy and resiliency in our community.”
RES met with CPC maintenance and volunteer staff to share expertise on keeping the wetland functioning, and it will conduct ongoing maintenance and monitoring throughout the calendar year to ensure the wetland is performing as expected.