Thanks to Robert Thompson for sending this in…
Article courtesy Forester Magazines

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.”

No Waste NOLA


The widespread reliance on single-use plastic bags by retailers is economically inefficient, environmentally destructive and aesthetically unpleasant.

Other cities have taken steps to ban or reduce the distribution of these bags, and it’s time that New Orleans moves to provide a cleaner, greener environment for its citizens.

As one of the most environmentally jeopardized cities on the planet, and one of the largest tourist destinations in the American South, New Orleans should lead the charge to improve its visual appeal and ecological impact.

When retailers give away “free” plastic bags, they pass their increased overhead costs onto consumers through higher prices. Furthermore, these bags often end up as litter, which costs the city money to clean up.

Some people may attempt to reuse these bags, but this limited reuse is vastly outstripped by their distribution. Ultimately, the throw-away nature of single-use plastic bags harms consumers, businesses and the environment. Only the bag manufacturers benefit.

The plastic bag manufacturing process emits pollutants and contributes to climate change. In New Orleans, sea level rise threatens the very ground beneath our feet, while an ever-expanding dead zone wreaks havoc on our fisheries.

Unfortunately, marine wildlife often mistake plastic bags for food and die from their consumption. With an economy so dependent on seafood, it is irresponsible to allow these hazards to continue to threaten our fisheries and economy.

Finally, plastic pollution is ugly; New Orleans is beautiful. We have architecture, traditions and entertainment unlike any other city. When tourists arrive and see plastic bags blowing in the wind, littering our parks and marring our waterways, it detracts from the aesthetics of this incredible city. Tourism is the backbone of the New Orleans economy. We must not permit litter, especially preventable litter like single-use plastic bags, to detract from the value that tourists and locals place on New Orleans.

The residents of New Orleans deserve a cleaner and more environmentally friendly city. Banning the single-use plastic bag is the right choice for the environment, for businesses and for consumers. Forward-thinking cities around the country, including Austin, Texas; Washington D.C.; and San Francisco, have already banned the bags. It’s time for New Orleans to do the right thing.

Max Ciolino
president, NO Waste NOLA

In the link below is a petition to eliminate single-use plastic bags in New Orleans. Please sign and share this petition through your network. We will deliver the petition signatures to the City Council, along with our proposed legislation to reduce plastic waste in New Orleans.

Parkway Permeable Paving

by Charlie London

featured-img-parkwayParkway Bakery. Those who frequent this restaurant know quality poboys and friendly folks can be found there.

pavers1eEven the President of the United States and his family heard how great the place was and decided to check it out.

pavers1gDriving down Jefferson Davis Parkway toward Bayou St. John, where Jeff Davis turns into Hagan, you may have noticed the transformation of the lot on the corner there.

pavers1bAs many assumed, the lot is going to be a place for cars to park. But, what was once a constantly flooded mess will now be an environmentally friendly place for folks to put their vehicles when they visit Parkway Bakery for poboys.

Jay Nix, owner of Parkway   Poboys paved his parking lot in an environmentally friendly way.
Jay Nix, owner of Parkway Poboys paved his parking lot in an environmentally friendly way.
How could a parking lot be environmentally friendly? It’s not asphalt or cement but recycled plastic forms that are filled with gravel. This type of pavement allows the water to go through the parking lot so pools of water don’t form when it rains and there won’t be water running off in to the street further taxing the city’s pumping system.

See those yellow lines in the photos below? Those are not painted on lines like you would see on a regular parking lot but plastic inserts that snap into the molds.pavers1i

Permeable paving allows water to go through the parking lot instead of running out into the street.
Permeable paving allows water to go through the parking lot instead of running out into the street.

Want to know more? Check out the video report below from WDSU TV:

You can have an environmentally friendly driveway or porch installed at your home for about 7-10 dollars per square foot.
You can have an environmentally friendly driveway or porch installed at your home for about 7-10 dollars per square foot.
Yellow plastic inserts are snapped in to the molds to make lines for the parking lot.  No  paint!
Yellow plastic inserts are snapped in to the molds to make lines for the parking lot. No paint!

For more information about TRUE GRID PAVERS, click on the photos above or the link below:

Cisterns: The Original Rain Barrel

cistern-ad-1909Robert Thompson sent in this business card from one of 23 New Orleans business which made cisterns in 1909.  Robert writes, “The original rain barrel! A few even survive today as evidence New Orleans can retain and use rainwater. How about a tank which could slip easily into the crawl space underneath our many shotgun structures…lot of potential storage there.”

Faubourg St. John neighbor Michael Ward noted,  “I have a company that installs rainwater pillows for under the house, rain barrels, and custom cisterns.  We have been doing it for 8 years.

New Orleans Bamboo LLC

 Rain water Pillows
New Orleans Bamboo LLC can size and install rainwater pillows in any size from 1000 gallons on up.
For more information on this or other products, call New Orleans Bamboo at 504.486.0052 or email mike(at)


 Custom Cisterns
New Orleans Bamboo LLC can design and install anything from a rain barrel to cisterns of any size. We are accredited by the American Rainwater Catchment Association.   New Orleans Bamboo is happy to come out to you and give you a free assessment.  They offer maintenance contracts on all of their cisterns. Rain water is a free resource and your gardens and plants will thrive with natural water.     For more information on this or the other products they have, call New Orleans Bamboo at 504.486.0052 or email  mike(at)



Problem: New Orleans is below sea level and sinking, and the city’s pumping system designed to alleviate flooding is often overwhelmed during heavy rains. At 60+ inches of rain per year, the Greater New Orleans area sees some of the highest annual rainfall in the country. Storm runoff during heavy rain events causes flooding that affects the well-being, property, and livelihood of every New Orleans inhabitant. The city’s pumping system expends a colossal amount of resources to pump water, full of pollutants from city streets, into Lake Pontchartrain.

Solution: Harvesting water in rain barrels helps divert some of the water that would otherwise run off of impervious surfaces into storm drains and contribute to street flooding. By catching and recirculating water locally, residents can help manage storm water runoff from their property. Residents can use the storm water around the home and garden, helping them conserve their municipal water use. Green Light plans to implement a small-scale rain barrel program for its backyard gardeners, who can use the water to grow their vegetables.

Green Light New Orleans
8203 Jeannette Street
New Orleans, LA 70118

phone number: 504-324-2429

Spring Garden Show


Check out the Spring Garden Show today at the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park.

wagon-lady4webThe annual Spring Garden Show in the New Orleans Botanical Garden invites visitors to explore the beautiful Botanical Garden, more than 50 horticultural exhibits, family friendly activities, and enjoy educational lectures. The festival includes plant sales, garden product sales, a Plant Health Clinic, the Children’s Discovery Zone, an art market, and live music on the Haspel Outdoor Stage. CONTACT: Susan Capley, Education Director for the New Orleans Botanical Garden: or (504) 483-9473.

TODAY, Sunday, April 12, 10am to 5pm

Go to the New Orleans Botanical Garden at 3 Victory Avenue in New Orleans City Park
There is free parking available on Park streets and in the parking lot next to City Putt.

Admission is $8.00 for Adults and $4.00 for Children 5 to 12.
Children under 5 and Friends of City Park receive free admission.

TODAY, Sunday April 12, 2015 from 12pm to 1pm you can learn about “Caring for Citrus and Managing its Pests” from Sarah Bertrand, Jefferson Parish Horticulture Extension, LSU AgCenter

From 1:30pm to 2:30pm, you can learn about “No Thyme for Parsley” from Linda Franzo & Collen Wood, Herb Society of America, New Orleans Unit

From 3pm to 3:30pm, check out the VIDEO “Elem-Tree: Trees, Our Heritage, Our Lives” featuring Tom Campbell, Retired LA Urban Forestry Program Director and Paul Orr, Retired LA Forester. This video was made possible by the Friends of Jefferson the Beautiful and Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry The “Plant Doctor” Dr. Nick Singh, from the LSU AgCenter Plant Diagnostic Center, will also be on hand today to answer questions about plant disease, insect and weed problems. Patrons are encouraged to bring samples of plants with disease and insect problems to the Plant Health Clinic! Please bring the samples in a sealed zip-lock type bag.

LSU AgCenter faculty and volunteers can help diagnose and recommend treatment for sick plants. For a nominal fee, soil samples may be brought in for analysis by the LSU AgCenter’s Soil Testing Lab. Please also provide these in a zip-lock type plastic bag. For additional information or to book exhibit space, please contact the LSU AgCenter at (504) 658-2900.

The Spring Garden Show is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter in cooperation with the Metro Area Horticultural Foundation and the New Orleans Botanical Garden.

Save the dates! The 2016 Spring Garden Show will be held in New Orleans City Park on April 2nd and April 3rd.


City Removes Tree


A neighbor in the 3200 block of Grand Route Saint John called the City of New Orleans about a dead tree in front of their home.

The tree was dead and full of bees. The City came out and determined that the tree needed to be removed. The Parks and Parkways Department will help with trees on City property. This tree was between the sidewalk and the street. The area between the sidewalk and the street belongs to the City of New Orleans.

The Department of Parks and Parkways encourages tree planting by citizens, but requires citizens to get a free Tree Planting Permit to plant a tree between the sidewalk and curb. Citizens also need to submit plans for the trees and/or shrubs they intend to plant on public property.

For full information and a permit application, see the Tree Planting Permit page from the City of New Orleans Permit & Licenses department. Depending on the location planting location, citizens may also need a Sidewalk Cut Permit.

If you need to contact the City of New Orleans please visit the link below:

Many thanks to the City workers
who did a great job!


Entergy came out after the tree was removed
to make sure all the utilities were safe.


City workers left the area clean.

Sunday Environment

9 am Earth Day Festival begins with Yoga |

9:45 am: IRON MAN Arrives in Faubourg St. John |

11 am: Bicycle Workshop at the Earth Day Festival |

11 am: Earth Day Regatta |

NOON: Sunday Brunch in Faubourg St. John |

5 pm: TRASH MOB on Conti |