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.


Capture New Orleans from a different perspective. Kayak on Bayou St. John as we guide you along our historic waterway running through the city. We’ll keep with the pace of the city—nice and easy, taking in the southern scenery, hospitality and weather.

The bayou itself was a key component in establishing our city. The Native Americans showed early explorers (Iberville and his brother, Bienville) the bayou as a way to access, at the time, a potential future city from the Gulf of Mexico without having to fight the Mississippi River’s strong currents. While kayaking, you will see some of the older city structures, like the Spanish Custom House and the Pitot House, both built in the late 1700’s. You might hear and catch a glimpse of the happenings at Fair Grounds Race Course, one of the oldest horse tracks in the United States, as well as the site of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. You will be paddling along side beautiful City Park, which houses centuries-old live oak trees. You’ll see New Orleans Museum of Art as you pass the grand entrance of the park. St. Louis Cemetery #3 will be visible from your kayak. The elaborate above-ground tombs are pretty spectacular.

There is plenty of wildlife to observe. It isn’t uncommon to spot a blue herring perched on an old piling or a pelican diving into the water after a fish. At sunrise or dusk you might notice one or 15 of the notorious nocturnal nutria venturing out for a swim and a snack.

Bayou St. John flows through many thriving neighborhoods. You’ll have the opportunity to observe (and maybe interact with) the other wildlife. Folks do all sorts of things on the banks of the bayou—exercise, play, picnic, tag, etc. You’ll certainly get a feel for New Orleans through the local community.

A variety of foliage surrounds Bayou St. John—cypress trees, oak trees, magnolia trees, crepe myrtles, etc. The locals living along the bayou build colorful festive gardens that can be seen while touring.

This experience will bring balance to many things: You’ll find nature in an urban setting, visit history in the present, have a few active hours among several decadent ones, and feel local while vacationing.

Kayaking tours on historic Bayou St. John

Rent a kayak and paddle yourself into paradise!

Take a walking tour of the area!

Rachel Dangermond submitted the information below:

City Park and Bayou St. John
The intersection of Esplanade Ave. at Bayou St. John and
City Park Ave. is one of the points of higher elevation in the
city. Bayou Metairie flowed into Bayou St. John here. Bienville
is supposed to have found the Indian village of Tchou-Tchouma
in 1718 where the Esplanade Ave. bridge is now located. In the
18th and 19th centuries Bayou St. John provided an important
second water route to the city. The mouth of the bayou at
Lake Pontchartrain was protected by a fort built by the Spanish.

Ocean going vessels were able to travel as far as the present
end of the bayou. From this point goods were carried to and
from the city by portage during the 18th century along Bayou
Road. In 1805, a canal was dug, following an earlier canal by
Spanish governor Carondelet, which brought the ships to a
turning basin just behind what is now the Municipal Auditorium
at Basin St.

Statue of Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard
(May 28, 1818 – February 20, 1893) was a Louisiana-born
American author, civil servant, politician, inventor, and the first
prominent general for the Confederate States Army during the
American Civil War. Beauregard was trained as a civil engineer
at the United States Military Academy and served with
distinction as an engineer in the Mexican-American War.

His arguably greatest achievement was saving the city of
Petersburg, Virginia, and thus also the Confederate capital of
Richmond, from assaults by overwhelmingly superior Union
Army forces in June 1864. However, his influence over
Confederate strategy was marred by his poor professional
relationships with President Jefferson Davis and other senior
generals and officials. In April 1865, Beauregard and his
commander, General Joseph E. Johnston, convinced Davis
and the remaining cabinet members that the war needed to
end. Johnston surrendered most of the remaining armies of
the Confederacy to Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, including
Beauregard and his men.

Following his military career, Beauregard served as a railroad
executive and became one of the few wealthy Confederate
veterans because of his role in promoting the Louisiana
Lottery. Today he is commonly referred to as P.G.T.
Beauregard, but during the war he rarely used his first name
and signed correspondence as G.T. Beauregard. Nicknames
were The Little Creole, The Little Napoleon, Bory, Felix

Place of birth: St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana ontreras”
sugar-cane plantation in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana,
about 20 miles (32 km) outside New Orleans, to a white
Creole family, the third child of Jacques Toutant-Beauregard
and Helene Judith de Reggio Toutant-Beauregard. He had
three brothers and three sisters. Beauregard attended
New Orleans schools and then went to a “French school” in
New York City. It was during his four years in New York,
beginning at age 12 that he first learned to speak English.
He trained at the United States Military Academy at West
Point, New York. One of his instructors was Robert Anderson,
who would later become the commander of Fort Sumter and
surrender to Beauregard at the start of the Civil War.

In 1841, Beauregard married Marie Laure Villeré, the daughter
of Jules Villeré, a sugar planter in Plaquemines Parish and a member
of one of the most prominent Creole families in
southern Louisiana.

Marie was a paternal granddaughter of Jacques Villeré, the
second governor of Louisiana. The couple had three children: René,
Henri, and Laure. Marie died in March 1850, while giving
birth to Laure.

Ten years later, the widower Beauregard married Caroline Deslonde,
the daughter of André Deslonde, a sugar planter
from St. James Parish. Caroline was a sister-in-law of John
Slidell, a U.S. senator from Louisiana and later a Confederate diplomat.
She died in Union-occupied New Orleans in March
1864. They had no children together.

On first meeting, most people were struck by [Beauregard’s] “foreign”
appearance. His skin was smooth and olive-
complexioned. His eyes, half-lidded, were dark, with a trace
of Gallic melancholy about them.

His hair was black (though by 1860 he maintained this hue
with dye). He was strikingly handsome and enjoyed the
attentions of women, but probably not excessively or illicitly.
He sported a dark mustache and goatee, and he rather
resembled Napoleon III, then ruler of France—although he
often saw himself in the mold of the more celebrated
Napoleon Bonaparte.

Place of death: New Orleans, Louisiana and was buried in the Tomb
of the Army of Tennessee, Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans

City Park is a beautiful and well maintained
urban park, the largest in the city and fifth largest municipal
park in the United States and, at this writing, is reported to
be one of the safest. In 1854, the first section of the park
was acquired by the city. This tract of land, fronting on
Bayou St. John and present City Park Ave., was part of the
Allard Plantation. The first improvements to the park were
made in the 1890’s. The park is laced with lagoons (the
lagoons along City Park Ave. are part of old Bayou Metairie,
seven miles of them which contain bass and bream), and
trees typical of the region such as magnolias and live oaks
(the dueling oaks are named for the duels that were supposed
to have taken place from 1804 to 1830).

The amusement park area has a fine old carousel dating from
1904. The Casino, dating from about 1914
is the center for information, rentals, and refreshments
(domed band shell and Beaux Art style pavilion were built in
the 30’s). The park has three 18-hole golf courses. Major restorations
and all of the paving of roadways, construction of bridges, drainage
and other improvements in a large area of the park were done under
WPA in the late 30’s.

copy of the Pitot Housec. 1940
800 Moss Street
A modern Pitot House (see 1440 Moss Street) facsimile. One
of the original Pitot House mantels still survives in the newer residence.

Louis Blanc Housec. 1798
924 Moss Street
Formerly the plantation and home Louis Antonio Blanc. The
second story gallery has slender colonnettes and the
French window, jalousies and steep roof are characteristic of
Louisiana colonial plantation houses; similar to Parlange
and Homeplace Plantations elsewhere in the state.

Spanish Custom Housec. 1784
1300 Moss Street
A small-scale typical Louisiana Plantation hose. Various
reasons have been given for the name of the so-called
“Custom House” although there is no real tradition that it
ever functioned in this manner. Probably built for Don
Santiago Lloreins when the land formed part of his

Evariste Blanc House
(Holy Rosary Rectory)
c. 1834
1342 Moss Street
Some Greek Revival alterations have been made in this
Bayou St. John plantation house, although evidence of an
earlier style including slender colonnettes and round arched
doors, is plainly visible.

Cabrini High School1964 – 1965
1400 Moss Street

Morel-Wisner House
c. 1850’s
1347 Moss Street
Mid-19th century, possibly constructed as a residence
for the attorney Christoval Morel in the late 1840’s after
he purchased a large tract of land on the Bayou St. John
in 1847. The house served as New Orleans’ first Fencing
Club in the 1880’s and one time as a rowing club. From
1935 until her death the house served as the home of Dr.
Elizabeth Wisner, an original member of the faculty and later
the dean of the School of Social Work at Tulane University.

Christoval Morel’s father, Pierre L. Morel dueled under the
oaks in City Park while his wife (Victorine de Armas) was
pregnant with Christoval. The Duelling Oaks in City Park
have seen some of the most colorful scenes in New Orleans’ history.
For years sword clanged against sword and bullets streaked between
the ancient trees.

An article in the Times-Democrat, March 13, 1892, said,
“Blood has been shed under the old cathedral aisles of
nature. Between 1834 and 1844 scarcely a day passed
without duels being fought at the Oaks. Why, it would not be strange
if the very violets blossomed red of this soaked grass!
The lover for his mistress, the gentleman for his honor, the courtier for
his King; what loyalty has not cried out in pistol
shot and scratch of steel! Sometimes two or three hundred
people hurried from the city to witness these human baitings.
On the occasion of one duel the spectators could stand no
more, drew their swords, and there was a general melee.”

In early Creole days more duels were fought in New Orleans
than any other American city. Creole honor was a thing of intricate delicacy,
to be offended by a word or glance. The Duelling Oaks were a favorite setting
for these affaires d’honneur, with pistol, saber,
or colichemarde, a long sword with a broad forte and very
slender foible, a favorite duelling weapon since the
seventeenth century.

Creoles were expert swordsmen and often delighted in any
and every opportunity to exhibit their art. Duels were fought
over real and trivial insults, were sometimes deliberately
provoked by young men anxious to display their skill. A quarrel between rival lovers,
a fancied slight, a political argument, a difference of opinion regarding an opera,
any one of these things was ample excuse for a duel under the oaks. In his
History of Louisiana, Alcee Fortier states that on one Sunday
in 1839 ten duels were fought here.

In 1855 the police began to enforce the laws against duelling,
but it continued surreptitiously for many years, despite
frequent arrests and prosecutions. Finally, however, the law
began to have some effect and there seems to have arisen a simultaneous
loss of interest in the affairs. At last the time
came when a man challenged to defend his honor with the
sword or pistol, suffered no stigma by refusing an invitation
to the Oaks. By 1890 duelling was only history.

The house is a frame one and a half story Greek Revival style structure raised
off the ground on six-foot-high piles. The large half story created by the gabled
roof is broken by two fine dormers on the Bayou St. John façade. The roof which
extends outward to form a gallery across the bayou façade
is supported by six square wooden columns resting on the
brick piers below.

The entrance façade is five bays wide with the front door
placed at the center. The façade is covered with ship-lap
siding while ordinary weatherboards cover the solid brick
exterior walls. The rear, which once contained a gallery and
two cabinets, has been converted to a kitchen/den/breakfast area.

The house is very similar to raised houses in the Bayou-
Lafourche area. However, by the 1840’s the traditional
Creole plan with no hall had been replaced with the
increasingly popular center hall plan favored by Americans.
As such, this house is an important example of two
different building styles. Morel house is a New Orleans
landmark. New Orleans Designated Landmarks

Pitot House
c. 1796 – 1799
1440 Moss Street (Formerly 1370 Moss Street)
In 1964 as a result of a trade with Cabrini High School
the Pitot House, threatened with demolition, was moved
about 200 feet and is now located in a corner of the
Desmare Playground. It is another fine Moss Street example
of the Louisiana plantation house on a fairly small scale.
While the upper part of the present structure is totally
original, some of the older brick columns were either re-used
or rebuilt after the move. Restored under the auspices of the
Louisiana Landmarks Society. Open Thursday 11 am – 4 pm.

Musgrove-Wilkinson Housec. 1850’s
1454 Moss Street
A large, extremely simple Greek Revival residence, with wide central
hall and plain interior mouldings.

New Orleans Museum of Art1911
City Park
1971 Additions: Stern Auditorium, Wisner Educational Wing
and City Wing – August Perez & Associates, Architects and
Arthur Feitel, Consulting Architect.

The Degas House
Historic Home,
Courtyard & Inn
 2306 Esplanade Avenue 
New Orleans,
Louisiana 70119 
(504) 821-5009

Bodacious Boogaloo

by Charlie London


Since the beginning, the Bayou Boogaloo, held on the banks of Bayou St. John in New Orleans during May, has had a mission to give back to the community. The first Bayou Boogaloo in 2006 was a healing effort for the community. Many folks were still rebuilding their lives and their houses after “the storm”. The Bayou Boogaloo was a welcome respite from the daily grind. It provided much needed fun for both adults and children.

One of the often forgotten aspects of the Bayou Boogaloo is its emphasis on zero impact on the environment. I’ve personally witnessed the meticulous cleanup after the event. One would never know the music festival ever took place because the area is left as clean or cleaner than it was before the event.

The Bayou Boogaloo has promoted solar energy, recycling and encouraged folks to consider the environment. The Bayou Boogaloo has led by example. Several huge oak trees have been planted along the banks of Bayou St. John leaving a lasting positive impact on the environment and the community.

The Bayou Boogaloo gives back in other ways too! The event helps neighborhood organizations raise funds for their operations, has helped build playgrounds, has supported community sports initiatives, helped plant native habitat-building and erosion-preventing marsh grasses, and replaced trees lost during hurricanes.

The City even recognized the Bayou Boogaloo’s founder, Jared Zeller, with a proclamation for promoting an economically and environmentally sustainable event.

Join the Bayou Boogaloo this Friday, Saturday and Sunday May 20, 21, and 22. The Bayou Boogaloo is more than just a music festival, it’s a community building coalition!

More info at:

By Geraldine Wyckoff
Contributing Writer

It’s been less than three weeks since the last notes rang out at the Fair Grounds to close the 2016 edition of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Not far away, bands will strike up again at the 11th Annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo. The free event is presented from Friday, May 20 to Sunday, May 22, 2016 along the banks of Bayou St. John between Dumaine Street and N. Jefferson Davis Parkway. It features three main music stages at Dumaine Street, Orleans Avenue and Lafitte Street plus a Kids Stage that has both music and other activities to please the youngsters.

There are some excellent local and national headliners at the festival that didn’t perform at this year’s Jazz Fest including Nolatet (Sunday, 6 p.m.), The Lowrider Band (Saturday, 7:45 p.m.) and the Wailers (Friday, 7:45 p.m.).

Let’s start with Nolatet, a band of all-star jazz masters – drummer Johnny Vidacovich, bassist James Singleton, vibraphonist/percussionist Mike Dillon and pianist Brian Haas. This performance marks the first time many local people will have the opportunity to experience this group as they’ve only performed in New Orleans several times. Formed spontaneously in 2014 and quickly releasing its exciting debut album, Dogs (The Royal Potato Family) just this year, Nolatet has been out on tour promoting the CD and, according to Vidacovich, has been very well-received. “They liked it a lot – a lot more than I imagined,” he is quoted in OffBeat magazine. “I thought the music would be a little too orchestral. There’s a lot of things that we’re doing that are just out of the norm.”

“I can tell you what it sounds like to me sometimes when I’m involved with the music and my head is spinning,” he continued. “It reminds me of a circus and a Christmas tree with a lot of lights.”

Because pianist Haas, unlike the other members, doesn’t live in New Orleans, Nolatet is a get-it-while-you can band though all concerned express their hope and intent to do much more in the future.

Just an aside – it’s great to have Dillon, who absolutely floored the crowd at last year’s performance of his New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium – back at Bayou Boogaloo. Hopefully, the Consortium, an amazing collection of rhythm masters will return next year or be booked somewhere else soon.

The Lowrider Band, which partly due to the presence of one-time Crescent City resident, drummer Harold Brown, feels almost like its from New Orleans. It’s also got that funk and street band attitude that music lovers here can really relate to. The last time the Lowriders performed in New Orleans was in 2009 at a benefit for the Save Charity Hospital organization. Now that’s awhile ago…

The band is, of course, made up of original members of the group War, including Brown, the great harmonica player Lee Oskar, guitarist Howard Scott and bassist B.B. Dickerson, who, because of health issues will be unable to perform with his fellow Lowriders. Due to a court order, nobody in the group is allowed to mention their participation in War in any promotional material or advertisements. Fortunately, these talents have been able to retain their rights to their compositions and receive royalties.

“Here’s how we say it,” Brown explained. “We are the original composers of and performers on ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends?,’ ‘The Cisco Kid,’ ‘The World is a Ghetto,’ and ‘All Day Music.’ All our friends know the Lowriders. Everybody knows exactly who we are.”

“When we come to play in New Orleans it’s like playing at home in our living room,” Brown once proclaimed. “You can drop all of your big shot attitudes. In New Orleans they want to know about your soul – your spirit. I tell people when they come into the city, to turn off the radio and roll down the windows.”

The socially conscious messages of tunes like Bob Marley’s “One Love” are much needed in today’s world. The Wailers keep that warmth, the much-loved classic songs and laid-back reggae riddims alive. Bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett is the only member of the touring band that performed and recorded with the group that backed the late, legendary Bob Marley who influenced the world with the magic of his music and his pen. Barrett was the heartbeat of the rock steady beat, the sound that could be felt to one’s core. Reggae by the Bayou seems so right.

Our local stars like bassist George Porter & the Runnin’ Pardners (Sunday, 4 p.m.), the Queen of New Orleans Soul, Irma Thomas (Saturday, 5 p.m.) and zydeco go-getter, accordionist/vocalist Dwayne Dopsie (Friday, 6:15 p.m.) also bolster the impressive schedule.

Parents might want to bring their children to the Kids Stage on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. where Daria Dzurik, the leader/steel pan player/vocalist of Daria & The Hip Drops fame will hold a percussion workshop. With her talent, lively personality and big smile, Dzurik has the qualities to educate and entertain the whole family. She and the Hip Drops certainly caught the crowd at this year’s French Quarter Festival.

On Friday, the music schedule is abbreviated and begins in the evening on two stages starting at 5 p.m. The Wailers, which hit the stage at 7:45 p.m. close it down. On Saturday and Sunday the music gets going at 11 a.m. Naturally there are food and beverage vendors aplenty and arts and crafts booths from one end of the fest to the other.

One of the beauties of the festival remains its wonderful setting and just being able to sit along Bayou St. John and relax.

This article originally published in the May 16, 2016 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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Magical Mystery Tour

photo of a recent meal at Crescent City Steakhouse

Crescent City Steakhouse is known for their wonderful steaks. Did you know they have a great shrimp meal too? You won’t find it prominently displayed on the menu but, if you ask for it, you’ll be treated to a tasty array of gulf shrimp surrounded by great vegetables and a relaxing atmosphere.

So, if today’s agenda includes a desire for shrimp, head on over to Crescent City Steakhouse and check out this hidden gem. You won’t be disappointed!

Magical Mystery Tour

The Popp fountain was built in 1937. Its artistic design was proposed by an artist named Enrique Alferez. As with most of the fountains around the world, the Popp fountain was heartily donated by one of the locals of the city. In the year 1928, a total sum of $25,000 was given as a gift to the city. The kind people behind the possible building of the Popp fountain were Mrs. Rebecca Grant Popp and her dear sister, Isabel Grant. They helped in the creation financially merely not just the fountain itself but also on the beautification and maintenance necessities that the fountain needed. The fountain was all the same, dedicated to the generous sisters, hence the name Popp Memorial Fountain.

Talking about the designs of the Popp Fountain, the structure itself stretches to a measurement of 60 feet and that is quite wide. The artistic Enrique Alferez put up leaping dolphins that spectacularly spout water into the air to a maximum of 30 feet, and that is half the size of the fountain area. The artistically designed dolphins were made up of cast bronze. There is an upper and a lower public walk that encircle the fountain. These walkways are engulfed in Corinthian columns in which they add up to the beautiful surroundings to the fountain. There is also placement of different green plants all over the path, in such a way that they create a warm ambience around the fountain’s area.

Without a doubt, the fountain has become a main attraction in the urban. With its lust sculpture design and the gifts of nature put together, there is nothing more to be asked for the gorgeous Popp fountain. The park where the Popp fountain is standing has more of a private approach. The park which is an 11-acre site eventually has been the locals’ favorite place to be in the time of important events such as weddings, or just the simple family and friends’ gathering.

Over the years, the Popp fountain also suffered what humans are suffering from, and it is the “Tear and Wear” phenomena. The Popp fountain has experienced a number of both natural and man-made destructions. As historic and as a masterpiece of pride for the locals, the Popp fountain really needs its restoration in one way or another. Thus, the call for beautification and restoration parties is sought after. As a result, the Popp fountain was back to its original beauty in the year 1999. But, unfortunately, it was inevitably damaged by the hurricane named Katrina, and so restoration plans and methods are for a second time required for the famous Popp fountain.

Other than that, the fountain also has its savior and this is no other than the local people. There are good-hearted organizations that answered the call for Popp’s renovation, like that of the Starwood Hotel. This organization’s movement is called the “Operation CPR: City Park Restoration, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide” which resuscitates or relives the original state of the Popp fountain.

Original article can be found at: