Ready, Set, Roll Out

photos by Charlie London

Blue Bikes title sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield Of Louisiana, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Social Bicycles celebrated the start of bike share in New Orleans on December 5, 2017

Social Bicycles
is the program operator for the bike sharing program in New Orleans. Here is what they have to say about the Blue Bikes: “Blue Bikes is the fun new way to get around New Orleans. Whether you’re heading to work, to meet friends for dinner, or just want to explore the city, Blue Bikes offer a convenient, fun, and healthy way to experience the city you love.” More at:

Gambit had this to say, “The bikes will be available 24 hours a day at kiosks throughout the city. Riders will have to download a smartphone app and start an account to access the bikes. A monthly pass is $15, which covers up to one hour of riding a day. The city also will offer a pass for low-income riders at $1.67 a month ($20 a year). There also is a “pay-as-you-go” rate for $8 per hour of use.

Each three-speed,  blue-colored bike is equipped with GPS and “remote locking capabilities” and front and rear lights and a basket. Riders also can track their miles pedaled, calories burned and amount of carbon they offset by riding rather than driving.”

The Blue Bikes are ready to roll near on Jefferson Davis Parkway near Bayou St. John.
Just down the street from Parkway Bakery on Hagan St.

Places where you can check out the Blue Bikes in and around Faubourg St. John:

  • Carrollton & Lafitte Greenway, 401 N. Carrollton Ave., 20 bikes
  • Jefferson Davis & Lafitte Greenway, 3400 Conti St., New Orleans, 20 bikes
  • Sojourner Truth Center, 598 Galvez St., 25 bikes
  • Lafitte & Roman, 602 N Roman St., 20 bikes
  • Broad & Bienville, 2699 Bienville St., 20 bikes
  • Broad & Banks, 637 Banks St., 14 bikes
  • Broad & Ursulines, 2716 Ursulines Ave., 20 bikes
  • Bayou & Broad, 2564 Bayou Rd., 14 bikes
  • University Medical Center – VA, 2200 Canal St., 14 bikes
  • LSU Health Sciences Center, 499 Bolivar St., 20 bikes
  • Orleans & Miro, 2301 Orleans Ave.,  14 bikes
  • Esplanade & Derbigny, 1624 Esplanade Ave., 14 bikes
  • Galvez & Esplanade, 1362 N Galvez St., 20 bikes
  • Esplanade & Desoto, 2790 Desoto St., 14 bikes
  • Esplanade & Ponce de Leon, 3201 Ponce de Leon St., 14 bikes
  • City Park – Esplanade, 3494 Esplanade Ave., 20 bikes
  • City Park – Casino Building, 56 Dreyfous Dr., 20 bikes


Info below courtesy The City of New Orleans at

New Orleans Bike Share

Bike Share Phase 1 Map Released!

The City of New Orleans, in partnership with Social Bicycles, Inc external link external link (SoBi),  launched bike share on December 5, 2017.   It’s a new and affordable transportation system for residents to move through the city. Bikes and stations are available and will roll-out in waves over 4-6 weeks. Click the image below to download a map of the initial 70 stations. Click here external linkfor an interactive map.   To learn more about how these locations were identified, check out the Station Siting section.


Other Updates:

  • Bike share service has launched with stations and bikes rolling out over 4-6 weeks. The launch schedule has been updated in the Station Siting section.
  • Results from the online poll have been published in the Documents section.

Page Contents:

What is bike share?

Bike share is a fun, healthy, and convenient transit option that is already operating in many major cities across the country and around the globe. Bike share technology offers online and on-the-spot opportunities to reserve and rent a bike that will take you where you need to go.

At the end of a journey, just drop it off at the nearest bike share station. You can pick up another when you need it next. Bike share is growing rapidly worldwide external link external link as a popular and fun transit system. It has been shown to encourage people to drive less, support local business, improve street safety, increase personal health, and enjoy the community more.

The goal is to provide a seamless, sustainable, and affordable mode of transportation. It is designed to serve all residents, improve neighborhood quality of life, and provide year-round, equitable access to worksites and destinations.

Watch an overview video of how bike share works by clicking below:

Why is bike share great for New Orleans?


Many people think of biking as a recreational activity or something for kids. In fact, biking is an easy and often faster way to make shorter trips, usually under three miles. Whether it’s for work, school or running errands, bike share means you always have a bike available as an option for those shorter trips.

The more you bike instead of drive, the more money you can save on your transportation costs. In fact average spending on vehiclesexternal linkexternal link (including purchase, fuel, maintenance and insurance) cost households about $708 a month! The bike share program will cost $15 a month (and even less for low-income residents). That’s a lot more money for things you need and want.

There are many reasons people resist riding bikes. Owning and maintaining a bicycle is a big one. Even if you have a bike already, many time you find yourself without one and wishing you could make a short one-way ride. Bike share solves these problems. It’s an easy way to try riding to work without committing to owning one. Say you drive downtown to work, imagine where you could go for a quick trip during the day without having to park again! Grab lunch or run an errand. Several researchers external link external link  have found big increases in people new to bike riding as a result of have bike share available in their community.

Transit integration is a vital component to bike share. Many trips on transit can be made easier with bike share by eliminating a long walk or transfer to another bus or streetcar to get to your final destination. In some cities external link external link, transit use has even increased as a result of adding bike share. Best practices external link external link in placing bike share stations strongly recommend identifying locations that are directly visible from busy bus and streetcar stations for easy connection between systems.

Just as bike share can seamlessly connect with transit, it also works with cars. Some people may find they are close enough to give up driving altogether. A 2015 study external link external link of four North American cities show bike share participants drove 25% to 52% less. While many people may find it easy and convenient to just use bike share, many people still need to their car to get around, particularly for long distances. However, once parked, bike share makes for a very convenient way to move around, particularly in parts of the city where parking is difficult or expensive. Bike share can also allow someone to park a little further away and avoid parking meters and tickets.

Not only can biking regularly reduce monthly transportation expenses, but new research external link external link  finds people who ride bikes actually spend more in local stores than people who drive. Travelling by bike means noticing more around you. And even though people sometimes don’t spend as much on each trip (bikes have small baskets) they shop more often, putting more dollars into the local economy. Business immediately next to bike share stations have also seen big boosts external link external link thanks to a steady supply of potential customers.

No need to drive to the gym – biking from A to B keeps you active and moving without requiring separate time for fitness. Active commuting has been shown external link external link many times over to reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

An extensive study external link external link on bike share safety found a much lower risk of collision and injury with bike share than riding a personal bike, even with lower helmet use. According to researchers there are a number of factors behind this, but the primary ones are 1) safer bikes that are slower with bright colors and better lights; and 2) more casual riders who tend to be more cautious and follow the rules of the road

When you can ride a bike for your commute to work or even to run an errand, you feel much more joyful. The hassle and stress of traffic and finding parking is behind you. Biking connects you to your community in a completely different way that makes any trip feel fun.


All Aboard the SOUL Train

The Greater New Orleans region is defined by our relationship with water, which brings economic and recreational opportunities. However, our abundance of water also brings the challenge of flood risk. Our region experiences two distinct kinds of flooding: smaller-scale, localized flooding from rainfall and the potential for larger-scale flooding from tropical storms. Both kinds of flooding can cause safety concerns and damage to property. Additionally, we experience subsidence (land sinking) which is impacted by how we have historically dealt with our flood risk. Fortunately, we have many options for reducing, or mitigating, our flood risk and increasing our region’s resilience.

New Orleans receives an average of 64 inches of rain every year, a number that might increase as precipitation patterns change. This year, some neighborhoods have already received around 75 inches of rain, and due to the topography of our land much of this stormwater must be pumped into our surrounding water bodies, such as Lake Pontchartrain. When excessive rainfall overwhelms our drainage system, water can back up and cause localized flooding. To reduce localized flooding, we can reduce the burden on our gray infrastructure (including our catch basins, pipes, pumps, and canals) by supplementing it with green infrastructure. These are systems that store, absorb, and filter water using native plants and other elements that slow runoff and allow water to be absorbed into the ground. Examples of green infrastructure include permeable pavement, rain gardens, bioswales, rain barrels, and French drains. The Sewerage and Water Board and City of New Orleans, as well as nonprofit groups and local companies, have begun implementing green infrastructure throughout New Orleans. We need to expand these programs to mitigate the localized flooding still evident in many neighborhoods and to keep up with increasing rainfall.

New Orleans also experiences flood risk from tropical storms. Hurricane season typically runs from June 1 until November 30, and residents are advised to keep close watch on forecasts should storms impact our region. In New Orleans, we are protected to the 1% annual chance flood risk ( aka 100-year storm) by the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRR), a massive system of levees, floodwalls, and a surge barrier. However, residual flood risk remains, which may require evacuation or sheltering in place. In addition to our infrastructure to mitigate storm surge, our natural barriers of wetlands are critically important to reducing our flood risk during tropical storms. Restoration projects in Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan are vital for New Orleans safety in the face of land loss and sea level rise.

The soils in the New Orleans region are prone to subsidence, or land sinking, which is exacerbated by overreliance on our pumping system. When rainwater is not able to infiltrate into the ground due to impervious land cover (such as concrete) and is instead pumped out of the city, the soils dry up and subside. Our soil can be compared to a wet sponge left on the kitchen counter; as it dries, it contracts and shrinks. This causes damage to our streets and homes, and increases our flood risk. In fact, it is a major reason that some neighborhoods now lie below sea level. We cannot reverse all forms of subsidence but we can slow future subsidence associated with the de-watering of soils by actively managing our groundwater, thereby prolonging the life of our infrastructure and addressing flood risk. For more information, please contact Nathan Lott, director of the Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans at

The information above was made possible in part by the generous support of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Learn more at

It is clear that we need to shift our mindset about stormwater in New Orleans.

So, what should we do moving forward? We need to keep as much water as possible out of our drainage system.

Here are some examples of how to do this.

1. PLANT TREES! Trees drink hundreds of gallons of stormwater daily, with Bald Cypress absorbing up to 880 gallons! The more trees are clustered, the more stormwater they can impact. In fact, can you imagine if we had had a healthy and dense urban forest last Saturday? We have room for one million trees in New Orleans. We could have absorbed hundreds of millions of gallons of water that instead flooded our streets.

2. REMOVE CONCRETE and impermeable surfaces so that water can soak back into the ground and stay out of the drains. The Urban Conservancy’s Front Yard Initiative is a great resource for concrete removal.

3. STORE YOUR WATER. Water detention can take on many forms. One option is “harvesting” your roof water in a rain barrel and reusing it for watering plants. Or you can capture and detain it on your property in a rain garden or bioswale. Check out Green Light New Orleans and ReCharge NOLA for rain barrel resources. If you’re interested in building a stormwater detention landscape, Evans and Lighter, Spackman, Mossop, Michaels, and Dana Brown and Associates are the local landscape architecture firms with extensive “green infrastructure” experience.

More Trees Means Less Flooding
Read Stephanie Bruno’s Advocate article about SOUL and our strategy for reforesting New Orleans!

Call for Block Captains
If you want to see trees in your neighborhood, then consider becoming a block captain! Block captains are vital to shaping the reforestation of their neighborhoods. Being a block captain involves talking to neighbors and asking them to sign up for trees by signing a permit. We are offering a block captain training

Sign up to be a block captain and we’ll contact you soon.

Email Scott with questions.

Advocacy & Policy
SOUL is very excited to announce that its recommendations were accepted into New Orleans’ Master Plan. We are grateful to Cm. Cantrell’s office for their guidance and support throughout this process. Explore our recommendations on SOUL’s website

Our next step is to propose changes to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) regarding protecting valuable trees on private property and introducing heritage tree legislation.

Tree Tips by Tim • Don’t Love Your Tree To Death
Remember- if you received one of our trees last year- don’t prune yet. Young trees are already under a lot of stress and pruning too early can cause “sun scald.” If you’re itching to tend to your tree, restrict your pruning to dead branches, and keep 2-3″ of mulch around the base of your tree without touching its trunk. Don’t overwater your tree during this rainy time. It’s also time to loosen your support if you staked your tree. This helps this tree flex and develop its strength.

Tim Benton is a licensed arborist who practices in New Orleans. & Facebook

Check out our Upcoming Events!

Our goal is to plant 600 large native trees this year!
Want a tree (for free)?
If you live in one of our partner communities- Mid-City, Broadmoor, or Algiers/Algiers Point, and want a tree, sign up here.

Want to volunteer and help plant trees?
Sign up here.

Our goal is to cluster trees in our partner communities. We prefer to plant twenty trees on one block than twenty trees on twenty blocks. Clustering allows the trees to more quickly impact stormwater, subsidence, shade and their other benefits.

Donate today so that we can plant native water-loving trees!

Benefits of Urban Greening
It’s obvious that street trees and sidewalk gardens beautify our urban environment.  They provide so many other benefits that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and city planners regard them as part of a city’s “green infrastructure.”

Trees increase property value
Street trees increase the “curb appeal” of properties.  A study of the sale of houses in Portland, Oregon found that on average, street trees add 3% to the median sale price of a house and reduce its time-on-market by 1.7 days.

Trees produce oxygen, clean the air and reduce global warming
Trees release oxygen as a product of photosynthesis.  Two medium-sized, healthy trees can supply the oxygen required for a single person for a year.  Trees clean the air by absorbing greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming; they store carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas, in their stems and leaves.  Trees capture airborne particles such as dirt, dust and soot; a mature tree can absorb120-240 lbs of particulate pollution each year.  A 2008 study by researchers at Columbia University found that more trees in urban neighborhoods correlate with a lower incidence of asthma.

Trees and sidewalk gardens reduce flooding and water pollution

Trees calm traffic
The presence of trees reduces the speed of drivers, and reduces the frequency and severity of crashes.

Trees and sidewalk gardens increase revenues in shopping districts
Consumers have a 12% higher willingness to pay for goods and services in retail areas that have streetscape greening such as street trees and sidewalk gardens.

Trees and sidewalk gardens may reduce crime
The greener a building’s surroundings, the fewer reported crimes.  Apartment buildings with high levels of greenery had 52% fewer crimes than those without any trees.  “Green” spaces are used more frequently (by pedestrians and for recreation), which increases “eyes on the street” and deters would-be criminals. Residents living in “greener” surroundings report lower levels of fear, fewer incivilities, and less violent behavior, because greenery promotes a greater sense of community and alleviates mental fatigue, a precursor to violent behavior. (see source)

Trees and sidewalk gardens promote exercise
In a neighborhood with more street trees and other plants, people judge walking distances to be less, and are therefore more likely to travel on foot, which has health benefits. (see source)

And more benefits…
Trees can make the wait for a bus feel shorter.
Street trees and sidewalk gardens create a physical and mental barrier between the street and the sidewalk, keeping pedestrians, children and pets out of harm’s way.
Street trees and sidewalk gardens provide a natural habitat for birds and insects.
Street trees absorb traffic noise and increase privacy.
Street trees and sidewalk gardens build neighborhood and civic pride.
Neighborhood planting events strengthen communities and bring neighbors together.


Everybody loves a party, and nobody loves a good time more than New Orleans, particularly during Mardi Gras when nearly one and a half million visitors flood the city, more than tripling its usual population. But after any good time, there is a lot to clean up from the festivities, and street trash is an overwhelming burden. This year the city had help, thanks to the Wing-Gate automatic retractable screen (ARS) stormwater inlet protection devices from California-based United Storm Water Inc. and United Pumping Services.

Company stormwater sales manager Terry Flury explains how the specialized protection devices help municipalities cope with the everyday headache of trapping trash and protecting stormwater. “Although we originated in southern California, compliance with increasingly stringent policies of municipal separate stormwater sewer systems [MS4s] across the country is helping drive our popularity. Our full-capture devices are all stainless steel and have a five-millimeter perforated screen that prevents items as small as a cigarette butt from entering storm drains.

“We also have stormwater filter DrainPacs that filter out hydrocarbons, and we can customize the filter media to address whatever the customer needs. For example, if you’re concerned about heavy metals, oils, or fertilizer, the filter media could be Perlite, activated carbon, or whatever you might need to address the problem.”

And customizing the product is all in a day’s work, even when it’s a rush to meet the deadline for arguably the country’s biggest, or at least most enthusiastic, outdoor party.

“We recently did a Wing-Gate screen install on Bourbon Street in New Orleans,” explains Flury, “and we had to come up with a special design. Our standard ARS screens are configured completely different and could not accommodate the New Orleans street grate models, which are very unusual and strange looking, made around 1900, and all cast iron with multi-phased support legs.”

Flury says the city wanted something in place by Mardi Gras 2016, so the design team was challenged to come up with a new configuration.

“We did a pilot test of 30 basins and came up with a Wing-Gate design that was completely different. This went through [the city’s] approval process and we had the screens in place well before Mardi Gras.”

City officials were pleased, he says. “We’re now working on a plan to eventually do the whole city.”

The Wing-Gate devices, he explains, are automatic retractable screens that respond to the incoming water, both retaining trash and allowing water to flow. The ARS fits right into the curb openings; in dry months the screen prevents trash from entering the catch basins, and during rain events it opens after water reaches about 40% of curb height. Connector screens then act as a second line of defense for debris, protecting the outlet pipes.

Sometimes meeting client needs has to address more than making a new size or configuration. Flury describes how the bright stainless steel of the ARS was virtually a magnet for scrap collectors in some urban areas. “So for customers who need it, what we’ve done is simply finish the stainless in flat black paint with a powder coating, which replicates plastic and draws far less attention and protects their investment.”

Since the company actually comprises two entities—United Stormwater and United Pumping—Flury says they can manage not only client stormwater needs, but also hazardous waste.

“If we run into a hazardous waste issue, we can act in a remedial capacity. For example, if we run into an oil spill, oil in storm drains, our crews will come and dam up the area and either broom off or vacuum the oil. We really have the best of both worlds when it comes to managing and protecting our water.”


article below by R. Stephanie Bruno and courtesy
The Advocate

Susannah Burley was dealing with an insurance adjuster when I caught up with her to talk about green infrastructure in the aftermath of the most recent unexpected New Orleans flood.

“I live in the Fairgrounds Triangle neighborhood, and we got water inside of our rental property and both cars,” she lamented. “My husband’s car will be OK, but the adjuster wants to total mine.”

I met Burley a couple of years ago when she led the education program at Parkway Partners and I took the “Green Keepers” classes. Burley became so committed to the idea of using rain gardens, retention ponds and appropriate street plantings to reduce flooding that she left Parkway Partners and founded a new nonprofit, SOUL NOLA, in June 2016.

“It’s an acronym for Sustaining Our Urban Landscape, and the idea is to work neighborhood by neighborhood to help residents form a strategic plan to reduce dramatically the amount of stormwater that goes into catch basins and the drainage system,” said Burley, who also holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture from LSU.
“We had a lesson last weekend in the limits of what drainage systems can do … and we know it won’t stop flooding in the future. We need green infrastructure.”

The catastrophic flooding of last weekend appears to be the result of problems with the pumps and an abnormally large volume of rain in a short period of time. Yet Burley said that a robust approach to creating “green infrastructure” citywide might have reduced the flooding by keeping rain water out of the streets.

If the terms “green” and “infrastructure” don’t seem like they belong together, Burley says it’s because the idea is new to most cities.

Before Hurricane Katrina, the goal was to ensure that rainwater reached the drainage system as quickly as possible so it could be pumped to Lake Pontchartrain. Thinking has changed.

Now the idea is to deal with rainwater where it falls and to find ways to retain it or slow its path to the drainage system so the system won’t be overwhelmed and so rain can seep into the ground and replenish groundwater, important to reducing subsidence. Rain barrels, rain gardens and the like are some obvious ways to do it.

“At City Hall Tuesday, we learned what it would take to completely rebuild the drainage system to handle more water — it’s not going to happen,” Burley said, referring to the public meeting held to discuss the flood.

“So green infrastructure has to become part of the city’s plan for the future. As long as we pin our hopes on the drainage system and ignore the benefits of using green infrastructure to handle stormwater, we’re going to flood over and over again.”

SOUL is working with neighborhood leaders in Mid-City and Algiers and is in the planning phases with Broadmoor on a project aimed at reforesting the city, one neighborhood at a time.

“There are so many different options for green infrastructure, but right now we are focusing on tree planting. Did you know that New Orleans is the most deforested city in the United States?” Burley asked. “Estimates are that New Orleans can accommodate a million more trees than we currently have — a million! Though our ‘Ya Dig?’ program, we planted 190 trees last year and will plant 600 this year. Once the neighborhoods we are working with are reforested, we’ll expand to more neighborhoods.”

Burley says trees are critical to helping manage storm water because they drink it up, thereby keeping it out of the vulnerable storm water drainage system. The bigger the tree, the greater the water storage capacity, she said.
Some of the thirstiest include Sweetbay magnolia, pond and bald cypress, and red maples.

A map on SOUL’s website shows the locations of trees planted to date. Every time volunteers and neighbors sink another one into the ground, its location is plotted on the map.

Click on a tree icon and see the address of the property where the tree was installed, the tree type and the container size. SOUL monitors tree health and condition after planting, but it is up to the residents and neighbors to keep the tree sufficiently watered the first year.

Live oaks, sweet bay and Little Gem magnolias, Drummond red maples, native fringe trees and Savannah hollies are a few of the tree types that appear on the map. Larger trees (live oaks) have been planted on neutral grounds and smaller trees (small magnolias, for example) on residential properties at the owner’s request.

Burley said, “We need to stop thinking of trees and greenery as merely ornamental and think of them for what they are — our front-line defense against flooding.”


below from

DIY Guide to Simple Rainwater Harvesting

Stormwater Compendium
Compendium of Urban Water Management Developments in Southeast;

Stormwater Compendium Site Map – New Orleans
Map of Urban Water developments in New Orleans

Joy of Water Cookbook
Booklet with information on how to install stormwater management on your lot

HCP water management fact sheet

WaterWise Workshop vocabulary

Neighborhood Green Infrastructure Presentation

Managing Water Where It Falls


American Red Cross

The Red Cross continues to work closely with local officials and partners to provide support to those affected by flooding in New Orleans this past weekend. Currently, the Red Cross is coordinating with local government to assist with damage assessment, as well as providing cleaning kits and recovery planning support to affected individuals and families. Contact the American Red Cross at 504-620-3105.

Cajun Army external link
If you need assistance with cleanup, sign up on the website or call Windy at 504-982-6333.

NOLA Tree Project

NOLA Tree Project can coordinate volunteers, tools, and cleaning supplies to help with cleanup activities. Contact them for volunteer opportunities or to request assistance.

Rebuilding Together New Orleans

Rebuilding Together New Orleans, a program of the PRC, helps homeowners with critical home repair services by utilizing volunteers. If your home received damage and you need help, contact the intake department at 504-581-7032. If you want to help, contact Volunteer Manager Kat at 504-636-3075 or


SBP can help homeowners whose homes were impacted by the flooding. Volunteers can assist with gutting and mold remediation. Contact Judy at for volunteer opportunities. Homeowners in need of assistance should contact the client services department at 504-644-4639. SBP provides free resources (mold remediation, basic insurance guide, avoiding contractor fraud) for residents affected by disasters. These guides can all be accessed and downloaded from external link.

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services

504-529-1000 x223
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services can provide legal assistance to tenants who are being evicted or who are being asked to pay for repairs by their landlords due to flooding. Go to their office at 1010 Commons Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 9-3 and bring proof of income, lease, and any other important documents.

If your organization is accepting volunteers or offering services for residents affected by flooding and would like to be listed here, email

Clean up Safely

NOLA Ready guide to cleaning up after safely external link

Prevent Mold Growth

  • Clean wet or moldy surfaces with bleach. See the guide on the following page for how to safely clean with bleach.
  • Use fans to dry wet building materials, carpets, and furniture.
  • Throw away anything that you can’t clean or dry quickly.
  • If mold growth is large, contact a licensed mold removal professional.

Prevent Mosquito Breeding

  • Remove trash and clutter like old tires, buckets, and tarps.
  • Empty standing water from containers like pet dishes, children’s toys, and flowerpots.
  • Keep water fresh in containers like bird baths and kiddie pools.
  • Clean gutters and catch basins.
  • Call 311 to report illegal dumping, abandoned swimming pools, and water leaks.

Organize Debris for Sanitation Pickup

Sanitation collection will occur as scheduled. For properties eligible for collection by the City:

  • During the 2nd collection this week, the Sanitation Department will pick up bulky waste including debris, carpeting and other large items. Residents are encouraged to inform 311 of bulky waste pickup needs.
  • Tree limbs, branches and carpeting must be cut in four feet (or less) lengths and bundled. Tree limbs cannot be more than 12 inches in diameter.
  • Leaves should be bagged and the bags secured.

Resources for Small Businesses Affected by Flooding

Contact the Office of Economic Development

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development is currently conducting preliminary damage assessments of businesses affected by Saturday’s flooding. If your business was damaged, contact Economic Development at (504) 658-4200.

View the New Orleans Building Hardening Guide

The City of New Orleans Office of Resilience & Sustainability and NOLA Ready have put together a guide on how to protect your business from high winds, flooding, fire, winter weather, and hail. These techniques range from very minor, inexpensive retrofits which you might do by yourself to far more complicated measures which require the assistance of a licensed professional.
View the New Orleans Building Hardening Guide external link.

File a Claim for Flood Damage to Your Home or Business

Read more on how to file a claim from FEMA external link.

Start the Claims Process by Contacting Your Insurer

After experiencing a flood, contact your agent or insurance company to file a claim. Make sure you have the following information handy:

  • The name of your insurance company
  • Your policy number
  • A telephone and/or email address where you can be reached at all times

An adjuster should contact you within a few days of filing your claim. If you do not hear from an adjuster, you can contact your insurance agent or company again.

Document the Damage

Separate damaged from undamaged property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage to your home and possessions to prepare your repair estimate.

  • Take photographs of all of the damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels.
  • Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their date of purchase, value, and receipts, if possible.
  • Officials may require disposal of damaged items so, if possible, place flooded items outside of the home.

Complete a Proof of Loss to Support Your Claim

Your adjuster will assist you in preparing a Proof of Loss (which is your sworn statement of the amount you are claiming including necessary supporting documentation) for your official claim for damages. A Proof of Loss can be many things, but must contain the specific details set forth in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. You’ll need to file your Proof of Loss with your insurance company within 60 days of the flood. This document substantiates the insurance claim and is required before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or insurance company can make payment.

You’ll receive your claim payment after you and the insurer agree on the amount of damages and the insurer has your complete, accurate, and signed Proof of Loss. If major catastrophic flooding occurs, it may take longer to process claims and make payments because of the sheer number of claims submitted.

File a Claim for Flood Damage to Your Vehicle

Contact your car insurance company

Have your policy number and contact information ready.

Flood Repair Permits

Permits directly related to flood damage resulting from the August 5, 2017 flood event will have all associated permitting fees waived. Come to the One Stop Shop prepared with all of the documents that you need to obtain your permit in a single visit. If your building did not experience structural damage, but you still need to repair portions like floors, drywall, cabinetry, and electrical outlets, please click here to learn about the 4 things you will need to get your permit. external link

All Aboard the SOUL Train
Check out more about Sustaining Our Urban Landscape in the link:



“Thought you would like to know that our front yard did beautifully yesterday!” This message brought to you by the owners of the Broadmoor house that used to get 8″ in their front yard after a hard rain who participated in the #FrontYardInitiative.

The driveway on the left and bioswale on the right now capture and slow water from entering the city’s system. Photo below shows what used to happen after a one-hour 2″ rain (Broadmoor got 5.49″ in a matter of hours on Aug 5.) Evans + Lighter Landscape Architecture Quality Sitework Materials Truegrid Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans. Details about the program in the link:

The Front Yard Initiative is the Urban Conservancy’s response to excessive yard paving. Rampant front yard paving is a community issue that has broad and significant effects on the city of New Orleans from stormwater to safety.

Stormwater management in New Orleans has been characterized by regularly overwhelmed drainage systems, excessive paving and pumping that has depleted groundwater levels and led to a sinking city, and urban water assets being wasted while hidden behind walls, underground, or pumped into the river and lake. All of these issues and the failure of traditional infrastructure (levees, pipes and pumps) to protect the city from Hurricane Katrina, continuous flooding, and subsidence has led to a shift in mindset regarding the most effective and thoughtful way to manage stormwater in South Louisiana. It is clear that the single-minded approach of rushing stromwater over pavement, into pipes and pumping it out of the city needs to be reevaluated.

Install Rain Barrels Under Your Downspouts to Help Reduce Flooding

While certainly not a solution to flooding, rain barrels reduce the amount of runoff to the City’s pumps and can reduce your water bill if you are an avid gardener and use a lot of water in your garden. If you connect rain barrels to the downspouts they will be more effective. However, I have one on a stand that still provides a lot of water for the garden. More about rain barrels in the link:
Learn more about rain barrels: CLICK HERE

Also in the photo you will notice open containers that I use to collect rainwater. If you use those, be sure to use the water in them relatively quickly so that you don’t help breed mosquitos. After every rain, remove any standing water from around your home. More about mosquitos in the link:

New Orleans has a Mosquito Control Board. Learn more in the link below:


“Thought you would like to know that our front yard did beautifully yesterday!” This message brought to you by the owners of the Broadmoor house that used to get 8″ in their front yard after a hard rain who participated in the #FrontYardInitiative.

The driveway on the left and bioswale on the right now capture and slow water from entering the city’s system. Photo below shows what used to happen after a one-hour 2″ rain (Broadmoor got 5.49″ in a matter of hours on Aug 5.) Evans + Lighter Landscape Architecture Quality Sitework Materials Truegrid Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans. Details about the program in the link:

The Front Yard Initiative is the Urban Conservancy’s response to excessive yard paving. Rampant front yard paving is a community issue that has broad and significant effects on the city of New Orleans from stormwater to safety.

Stormwater management in New Orleans has been characterized by regularly overwhelmed drainage systems, excessive paving and pumping that has depleted groundwater levels and led to a sinking city, and urban water assets being wasted while hidden behind walls, underground, or pumped into the river and lake. All of these issues and the failure of traditional infrastructure (levees, pipes and pumps) to protect the city from Hurricane Katrina, continuous flooding, and subsidence has led to a shift in mindset regarding the most effective and thoughtful way to manage stormwater in South Louisiana. It is clear that the single-minded approach of rushing stromwater over pavement, into pipes and pumping it out of the city needs to be reevaluated.


Planting a tree on or near your property can reduce flooding!

Trees in our community provide many services beyond the inherent beauty they lend to streets and properties. One of the most overlooked and underappreciated is their ability to reduce the volume of water rushing through gutters and pipes following a storm. This means less investment in expensive infrastructure and – importantly – cleaner water when the runoff reaches rivers, lakes, and bayous.

Details in the link:


Click here for the original article.

Click here for a PDF from the LSU Ag Center on why you should plant trees

baltimoreThe city of Baltimore’s high crime rate inspired a gritty TV drama. But a new study ( by the University of Vermont’s Transportation Research Center, in Burlington, found that a 10 percent increase in trees in a given area led to a 12 percent decrease in crime. “It’s really pretty striking how strong this relationship is,” says Austin Troy, lead author of the study, published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.

Researchers examined the correlation in and around Baltimore using aggregated crime data and combining it with high-resolution satellite images to conduct the analysis. The working hypothesis is that because people enjoy spending time in pleasant outdoor spaces, there are more observers present to hinder criminal activity. Also, a well-maintained landscape seems to send a message that someone may be watching.

To avoid culture bias, the study considered many socioeconomic factors, including housing, age, income and race of residents, as well as variables such as rural versus city setting and population density. The findings should prove helpful to urban planners.

NativeFringeTreeLousiana-500x333Fringetrees are excellent anywhere that a very small tree is needed, such as near a patio, in small yards, or under power lines. Like many white-flowered plants, they look especially nice planted in front of a dark backdrop. They can be used as individual specimens, in groups, in mixed shrub borders or in natural gardens. They are well suited to urban plantings due to pollution tolerance and adaptability to varied soils. Fringetrees are not salt tolerant.

Although fringetrees are adaptable and will grow in most soil types, they prefer moist, deep, well-drained, acidic soils. They grow well in full sun to partial shade. Leaf appearance is best in some shade, but flowering is heaviest in full sun. The ideal compromise would be sun through most of the day, but shade during hot afternoon hours. Fringetrees have low maintenance needs once established.

Due to a naturally strong branch structure fringetrees rarely need pruning. Pruning while young may be desirable if a single stem tree form is preferred. Fringetrees do not transplant well so take care to choose an appropriate permanent location and use proper planting methods. Plant it high, it won’t die!


Plant it Low, It Won’t Grow | Plant it High, It Won’t Die

The most important consideration in planting trees and shrubs is the planting depth. Don’t plant too deep!
Plant all trees and shrubs about one inch above the surface of the existing soil. No dirt should be placed on top of the existing roots and nursery soil so as to not smother the root system. Mulch well, leaving a two inch gap around the caliper(s) of the plant.

For the most efficient use of water, construct an earthen berm two to three inches high around the drip zone area of the plant after planting. Water in well after planting!






Please remind your friends and neighbors to make sure their yard maintenance contractors are not blowing stuff into the storm drains.

· Sec. 66-287.1. – Use of leaf blowers to transfer or direct debris to public drains prohibited.
Leaf blower. A mechanical, battery-operated or gasoline-powered device which projects pressurized air forward to cause movement of leaves, grass or other debris commonly associated with grass cutting, lawn care, gardening or yard maintenance activities.
Public drain. Includes catch basins or gutters located parallel to public rights-of-way, open segments of city subsurface drainage conduits, flood control and water path canals or drains located on public property and incorporated into the public infrastructure for wastewater management or scipening.
Use of leaf blower to impede or restrict drainage or water flow prohibited. Use of leaf blower for private or commercial use in any manner which causes or results in the transfer, movement or directing of grass, leaves, yard debris, debris derived from yard maintenance, lawn care or any activities whereby debris is accumulated and projected to public drains or results in impeded water flow of public drains or restricts the public designated purpose of such drains is prohibited by law. Violators shall be subject to citation or administrative adjudication by duly authorized code enforcement officers or duly authorized law enforcement officers.
(M.C.S, Ord. No. 21912, § 1, 4-7-05)

New Orleans Health Department wants to Help You Fight Mosquito-borne Diseases

“Parts of the United States that once had steady precipitation are now experiencing periods of drought punctuated by heavy rainfall. Sudden deluges leave behind puddles of standing water—moisture that mosquitoes need to hatch their eggs. In addition, hotter weather is shortening these eggs’ incubation times, increasing the overall mosquito population. Female mosquitoes are the ones that bite, and warmer weather makes them more likely to do so.” For the rest of the article from the National Resource Defense Council, please visit the link below:

The New Orleans Health Department would like to remind everyone of the importance of keeping their facilities and homes as mosquito-free as possible.


This is important to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, dengue, and West Nile virus. Mosquitoes in New Orleans are able to carry and infect humans with all three diseases. Zika has been proven to be transmitted through unprotected sex.

In order to help you become mosquito-free, the Healthy Environments team at the New Orleans Health Department is happy to visit your facility and offer a number of services.

The New Orleans Health Department can provide mosquito education training which discusses the importance of a mosquito-free environment, risk factors for disease, and personal protection methods.

Additionally, the New Orleans Health Department can provide mosquito repellent or an inspection of your facility to help you make sure that you are doing everything possible to be healthy and mosquito-free.

If your organization is hosting an event and would like for the New Orleans Health Department to attend the event and provide information to participants, please send an email to or call (504) 669-2659.

To help keep you and your community safe, follow the tips outlined in the PDF in the link below:

Following a review of existing research on Zika virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that Zika virus causes microcephaly and other severe brain defects in babies. The CDC finding was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In their review, researchers looked at studies conducted in Brazil and French Polynesia during recent outbreaks of Zika virus. In September 2015, researchers in Brazil reported an increasing in the number of infants with microcephaly. French Polynesia noted a similar increase of this brain defect during an outbreak there in 2013 and 2014.

One Brazilian study of 88 pregnant women infected with Zika who underwent prenatal ultrasonography testing found fetal abnormalities in 29 percent of the cases.

The CDC is concerned that the American public is not well-informed or well-prepared with regard to the Zika virus despite its best efforts. An Associated Press poll found that four out of 10 Americans have heard little or nothing at all about Zika virus.

Ninety percent of Americans who have heard of Zika know it can be spread through the bite of a mosquito carrying the virus but only 57 percent were aware the virus can be spread through sexual intercourse with an infected person.
To date, Americans infected with Zika have acquired it through travel to countries with active mosquito-borne transmission of the virus. The CDC has posted travel warnings for Americans traveling to these Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The CDC has advised women who are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant to avoid travel to Zika- affected areas. It has also expanded the initial guidance to include women’s partners, as it has become more clear that the virus is spread through sexual contact.

Currently, the mosquitoes that carry the virus, Aedes aegyptiand Aedes albopictus, are present in at least 30 U.S. states, according to the CDC. Since no vaccine exists to prevent Zika, the agency is recommending the following preventive measures:

Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.
Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
Use insect repellents, even if pregnant or breast-feeding.
Treat clothing with permethrin.
Prevent sexual transmission by using condoms or abstaining from sex.

Reviewed by Dr. David Priest, medical director for infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship, Novant Health

Article above courtesy Novant Health:

The New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board works to enhance the quality of life in New Orleans by monitoring and controlling populations of mosquitoes, termites, and rodents, to reduce rodent and insect-borne disease and destruction.

The Board manages all pest populations in the most environmentally safe, efficient and economical manner.

Integrated Mosquito Control
An integrated mosquito management approach is used by The City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board (NOMTCB).  This involves vector population surveillance, public education, larval mosquito habitat reduction, and chemical control of larval and adult mosquitoes. Larval source reduction (i.e. the physical elimination of larval breeding sites) involves the inspection and removal of man-made containers (including tires), clutter and trash around residences. For sites that cannot be removed or drained, biorational larvicides are used to target developmental stages. Adult mosquitoes can be treated on a yard, block or residential level using a variety of equipment; backpack or hand-held sprayers, trucks and airplanes. Click Here for Audio Visual Presentation

For more information about the City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite, and Rodent Control Board please visit the link below:

Litter Education for Grades K-5 Receives Unanimous Support

litter educationphoto courtesy


By Susan Russell / Executive Director, Keep Louisiana Beautiful

At a time when our national and state politics are fraught with partisan discord, it’s significant to note that there are some policies that find favor on both sides of the aisle. Such a case occurred last month, when House Bill 111, which calls for the incorporation of litter education into the K-5 curriculum, received unanimous support from the House and Senate — to a round of applause. The bill was signed into law earlier this month as Louisiana Act 72, and Governor Edwards gave it his executive approval surrounded by Keep Louisiana Beautiful representatives, Representative Stuart Bishop (R-Lafayette, author of HB111), First Lady Donna Edwards and Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, all of whom have been ardent supporters of anti-litter initiatives in our state.

Much has been said about Louisiana’s dirty habit: we have a crippling litter problem that seems to be getting worse. Much time and resources have been spent bemoaning the problem, pointing well-intentioned fingers in different directions, all trying to find out exactly what the problem is here that you don’t see in many of our neighboring states. As in most complicated social problems, there is no magic bullet to apply to this issue and a multi-pronged approach from all aspects of our society will be required. While parents assume a huge responsibly to teach their children not to litter, we cannot put this squarely on the back of those that are oftentimes the biggest offenders. The problem will only be resolved when all of Louisiana embraces three core initiatives: improving infrastructure and policy to make it easier to reduce littering and increase recycling; increasing enforcement of the litter laws; and influencing behavior change through environmental education. Louisiana Act 72 will go a long way to address the latter.

Teaching environmental stewardship and litter education is the first step we can make towards changing our prevailing cultural attitude from one of environmental disregard to one of true stewardship. Litter education goes beyond simply not throwing trash on the ground– it includes full understanding of the impact of litter on the health of our wildlife, waterways, and economy. Most importantly, it focuses on prevention rather than spotty-at- best treatment.

Keep Louisiana Beautiful, its statewide network of 40 affiliates that boast a combined force of 35,000 volunteers, and all of its many partners and supporters extend a sincere thanks to Representative Stuart Bishop and the state’s top leadership body for supporting legislature that teaches our children environmental responsibility. We hope that this measure will spark a new level of commitment and care for our state and its natural resources.

2017 Bastille Day in Faubourg St. John Celebrates Joie de Vivre

Join the fun in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon for the Faubourg St. John Bastille Day block party in New Orleans on Saturday (July 15) from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The celebration will include food, music, children’s activities, and an art market. There will also be a contest for the best Marie Antoinette or Napoleon costume.

Many people will enjoy the Faubourg St. John Bastille Day block party in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon in New Orleans on Saturday, July 15, 2017. The celebration will include food, music, children’s activities, and an art market.

On July 14, 1789 more than 8,000 men and women stormed a prison fortress in Paris known as the Bastille, demanding the release of the political prisoners being held there, plus the prison’s store of weapons. The storming of the Bastille was the spark that set off the French Revolution, an event that had a significant impact not only on France itself but its colonies and former colonies as well, including New Orleans.

Arising from the tumult and chaos of the French Revolution was a young, ambitious general named Napoleon Bonaparte. In order to help finance his wars in Europe Napoleon sold off his country’s largest North American colony in what became known as the Louisiana Purchase. With that 1803 transaction, New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana – plus a vast swath of land between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains – became part of the United States.

bastille-day-faubourg-st-johnBastille Day is commemorated in New Orleans on the closest Saturday preceding the 14th of July. The occasion is celebrated with a block party in the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon Street in the city’s historic Faubourg St. John neighborhood, adjacent to Esplanade Avenue. This quiet, residential section of the city was once the home of many families of French Creole aristocracy. Most of the historic houses they lived in are still visible and in use today.

The Faubourg St. John Bastille Day party on Saturday, July 15, 2017 features live music, food and drinks to toast the memorable occasion. This is a family-oriented event with fun things for the kids to do, including arts and crafts and games. All of the neighborhood’s stores and businesses actively participate.

article courtesy