NOLA Tree Project Moves From Planting Trees to Feeding Citizens
The NOLA Tree Project gives away trees — live oaks, Meyer lemons, bald cypresses and sweet olives, just to name a few. In total, the organization has gifted the city with 56,288 trees. Due to these trying times, however, the organization is currently focusing its efforts to help New Orleanians in need.
Responding to the COVID-19 national emergency, NOLA Tree Project is delivering meals to senior citizens and housebound residents.
The organization recently put out a call to recruit more volunteers to help deliver these meals throughout the community. The deliveries are scheduled on Mondays through Fridays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. until the end of May.
The organization will give volunteers a route, meals and a socially distanced virtual pat on the back. If interested, you can fill out the volunteer form and then join the effort at NOLA Tree Project’s headquarters at 1509 Filmore Avenue.
Meals and support are being provided by: Entergy, Second Harvest Food Bank, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and Project Isaiah.
Since March 17, with the help of more than 800 volunteers, the organization has already delivered 100,000 meals.
Connie Uddo, the executive director, and Robin Young, NOLA Tree Project’s program director, both have years of experience working with disaster efforts to help victims after events including hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.
“We know how to organize volunteers and we felt this was another disaster that certainly needed to be addressed,” says Young.
The organization is following all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, social distancing is marked out on the sidewalk where volunteers get their routes and meals, and gloves and masks are provided for volunteers who need them.
“We call people and tell them we are on the way,” says Young. “Then we leave the meal on the porch, so there’s no contact. We wait in the car and the people step out on the porch and they almost always wave to us.”
Throughout the year, NOLA Tree Project’s programs include Urban Forestry plantings, Big TREEsy Giveaways, Community and Schoolyard Orchards, Arbor Day events, and many service projects. Uddo coordinates more than 90,000 volunteers.
The organization’s schoolyard orchards become “living classrooms” that increase access to fresh fruit and eco-literacy for thousands of children in New Orleans. Since 2015, 40 community orchards have been planted on formerly vacant and blighted lots, at community centers, and in parks primarily in lower income neighborhoods across the city.
NOLA Tree Project’s tree giveaway program:
- Gives away 3,000 free trees for residents throughout each of the five districts of the city;
- Educates the community through workshops on tree planting and maintenance, stormwater management and the vital role trees play environmentally; and
- Increases community access to fresh fruit with our reduced priced fruit tree sales.
NOLA Tree Project also specializes in creating and managing custom, meaningful volunteer and team building experiences for businesses. The organization has worked with more than 85,000 volunteers from companies including Starbucks, the NFL and American Express Global.
NOLA Tree Project can also create an experience tailored to a corporation’s mission. For example, participants could spend an afternoon planting a community orchard, working in an urban forest or painting a school. NOLA Tree Project will organize and manage the entire experience — from determining the best volunteer project, to setting up and running the event.
For more information, contact NOLA Tree Project at:
1509 Filmore Ave. New Orleans 70122