YOU CAN HELP REDUCE FLOODING IN OUR AREA

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 nathan@nolawater.org.

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

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. www.bentontreeservice.com & 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
https://www.fuf.net/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 waterwisenola.org

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

504-620-3105
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

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

NOLA Tree Project

504-415-8434
connie@nolatreeproject.org
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

504-581-7032
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 kschweitzer@prcno.org.

SBP

SBP can help homeowners whose homes were impacted by the flooding. Volunteers can assist with gutting and mold remediation. Contact Judy at JMartens@SBPUSA.org 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 http://sbpusa.org/start-here/ 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 lamellem@nola.gov.

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:

 

http://katrinafilm.com/public/wordpress/?p=33273

 

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: http://fsjna.org/2017/08/remove-standing-water/

New Orleans has a Mosquito Control Board. Learn more in the link below:
http://www.nola.gov/RESIDENTS/Mosquito-Termite-and-Rodent-Control-Board/

***

“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:
http://www.urbanconservancy.org/project/fyi/

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:
http://www.northlandnemo.org/images/800TreeCityUSABulletin_55.pdf

PLANT A TREE AND HELP REDUCE CRIME!

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 (Tinyurl.com/TreeCrimeReport) 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!

 

TREES TO PLANT IN NEW ORLEANS

choose-tree

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ONLY WATER GOES INTO CATCH BASINS


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.
(1)
Definitions.
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.
(2)
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)

AMAZING DONATIONS TO MAKE RIGHT NOW

photos and info from Jeffrey Major on Facebook…

Yesterday, at about 5pm I spent about 3 1/2-4min compiling some of my pics, some friends pics and some off my FB feed, to give my friends in other places some perspective on what’s unfolding down here. I woke up to 10000 shares, 500 friend requests, 100 messages, 15 nonprofits wanting to use the album, and very sweet ladies from Indiana and Iowa calling me a hero and asking me how they can help.

loveisallyouneedJeffreyMajorIt’s crazy, and on top of disaster recovery, a little overwhelming. But I will take it. Every bit of it. In between clean up and work and fighting bad phone service to check on folks, I’m gonna try and respond to everyone.

It’s time to step up, and my people, Coon-asses we call ourselves, have stepped up. And stepped up big time, in their white boots, their aluminum bateaux skiffs, their big ass trucks, they are stepping up. Welders, fishermen, farmers, lawyers, oil field hands, insurance salesman, housewives, truck drivers, just regular guys and gals who are being real heros. I’ve never been more proud of my people. Please share if you’d like and if you can help, even in some small way, we really appreciate it. Thank you

http://www.gofundme.com/louisianafloodfund

boysleepingonroof

Second Harvest is distributing water, food, and emergency supplies

.

Please donate now to help your fellow man

.

https://m.facebook.com/2ndHarvestGNOA/

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flood4JeffreyMajor

The Louisiana SPCA team is at the flood sites. If you want to help our neighbors NOW, drop off unopened pet food and basic pet supplies at these awesome locations:

Demo Diva, Camp Bow Wow Mid-City New Orleans, La, or Canine Connection.

http://midcitymessenger.com/2016/08/15/where-to-donate-and-volunteer-to-help-victims-of-historic-flooding/

Several local and national organizations have put a call out to request donations and volunteers in the wake of Louisiana’s historic flooding. http://midcitymessenger.com/2016/08/15/where-to-donate-and-volunteer-to-help-victims-of-historic-flooding/

 

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Less Paving Equals Less Flooding

article courtesy the URBAN CONSERVANCY

Here’s the Deal

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A New Orleans front yard/parking lot.

In recent years New Orleans has seen an increase in the amount of paved over front yards throughout the city. Property owners are replacing their green spaces in favor of concrete and other impermeable surfaces in an effort to provide additional parking and/or reduce yard maintenance. These impervious surfaces affect more than the single lot on which they sit. The issue of rampant front yard paving is a community issue that has broad and significant effects on the city of New Orleans.

The detrimental effects have an impact on:

Aesthetics – Green space is lost as front yards are converted to parking lots and some cities have seen significant drops in property values as yard paving spreads in concentrated neighborhoods.

Quality of Life/Public Safety
– Cars parked in front yard lots obstruct sidewalks and eliminate the public right of way. In many cases, pedestrians are forced into the street due to the loss of this vital public space. Additionally, curb cuts performed to create front yard driveways eliminate already scarce public street-parking spaces.

Stormwater Management
– Paved yards do not allow rainwater to soak into soil, instead diverting it into the street and stormsewer system. This loss of impermeable surfaces leads to more street flooding and sewer backups, increased pressure on infrastructure, more runoff pollutants entering waterways, and increased subsidence.

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Moving Forward

The result of our efforts to design an incentive program for New Orleans is the Front Yard Initiative (FYI).

The goal of FYI is to provide New Orleans residents an opportunity to remove unwanted paving from their neighborhoods. The program will assist residents on blocks where 4-5 homes are willing to voluntarily remove front yard impermeable surfacing in favor of a yard planted with green, native plants with an emphasis on utilizing stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and Complete Streets methodology. The program aims to further the sustainability and resilience goals spelled out in the GNO Urban Water Plan, Article 23 of the Draft CZO, the New Orleans Master Plan, in addition to complementing the Complete Streets policy.

Fighting the Good Fight

Since late 2013, the Urban Conservancy has been working to curb the excessive use of impervious surfaces on residential lots around the city:

In January of 2014, Travis Martin of the Urban Conservancy wrote an article for The Lens about the negative impact on aesthetics, public safety, and stormwater management of excessive yard paving. The article received positive public feedback and sparked further debate.

In February of 2014, UC Executive Director Dana Eness hosted “All Things Local” on WGSO 990 AM to get the word out further on the issue of excessive yard paving in New Orleans. Dana was joined on the air by Rami Diaz of Waggoner and Ball Architects, realtor Kimberly Hunicke of Urban Vision Properties and the UC’s Travis Martin.

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UC Executive Director Dana Eness and the UC’s Travis Martin on air with “All Things Local” host Kevin Fitzwilliam on Feb. 15.

In March of 2014, we held a public forum on the issue. Special thanks to our presenters Rami Diaz, Travis Martin, Dale Thayer, Karen Gadbois, and Jeff Supak for sharing their wisdom on this topic and helping to move us forward on seeking some long-term solutions to the problems with the existing system of addressing excessive yard paving.

In April of 2014, Dana Eness, Travis Martin, and Rami Diaz presented to the Public Works committee (Stacy Head and Latoya Cantrell were present). We proposed a two pronged approach to deter future paving and to incentivize the removal of existing paving:

1) In order to deter future paving and to minimize after-the-fact confusion and
adjudication, we proposed that the city require a permit for yard paving.

2) And to incentivize the removal of existing unwanted paving, we proposed an incentive program similar to San Francisco’s Front Yard Ambassadors Program that encourages and assists homeowners to reduce the impervious surface on their lots.

In June of 2014, we had a great meeting with Councilmember-At-Large Stacy Head, City Planning Commission, Dept. of Public Works, and GNO Inc. Councilmember Head convened the meeting to discuss the Front Yard Initiative (FYI) and efforts to require a permit for front/side yard paving. We presented to Councilmember Head a sign-on letter with over 150 signatures representing citizens from all 5 council districts and a couple dozen neighborhood associations in support of requiring a permit for paving. Results include a funding commitment from Councilmember Head’s office and widespread support for reducing the excessive use of impervious surfaces in our neighborhoods. Councilmember Head is committed and so is the Urban Conservancy.

In July 2014, The Times-Picayune reported on one of the many neighborhood meetings we have been speaking at over the last few months. Read the story here. The UC has been visiting neighborhood organizations all over town to spread the word on the problems related to excessive yard paving and to introduce the Front Yard Initiative (FYI). Public outreach and education is a critical element of our work to curb this troubling trend.

***UPDATES***

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Dana discusses FYI and the problems related to excessive paving

Dana recently presented for Parkway Partner’s Green Keepers program on the effects of excessive paving and the exciting alternatives proposed by FYI. The Green Keepers program focuses on green infrastructure and how it can drastically improve how we live with stormwater in New Orleans.

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UC and University of Toronto students out and about

We were delighted to host a group of planning students from the University of Toronto for an afternoon walk-and-learn in the Lower Garden District. The afternoon was focused on the small and large-scale interpretations of what it means to live with water in New Orleans. Rami Diaz was kind enough to share the green infrastructure solutions that he has applied to his own property. Check out more on the amazing system designed by Evans + Lighter Landscape Architecture firm here.

Organizations that would like us to present or concerned citizens that are interested in learning more about our work can reach us by phone at 504-232-7821 or by email at dana@urbanconservancy.org or travis@urbanconservancy.org.

Do You Enjoy Flood Water in Your Home?

photos by Charlie London
* EFFICIENT AND TORRENTIAL TROPICAL RAINS ARE EXPECTED TO ONSET
TODAY AND CONTINUE TO IMPACT THE MID-GULF REGION THROUGH THE
LABOR DAY WEEKEND. RAIN RATES OF 1 TO 3 INCHES PER HOUR CAN
RESULT IN FLASH FLOODING AND GENERAL PONDING OF WATER IN
STREETS. MODEL ESTIMATES AND THE NOAA HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL
PREDICTION CENTER INDICATES AN AVERAGE OF 10 INCHES MAY OCCUR
THIS WEEKEND ACROSS THE WATCH AREA. LOCALIZED HIGHER AMOUNTS 15
TO 20 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE…DEPENDING ON FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS OF
THE GULF SYSTEM INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK

USE YOUR BRAIN CLEAN YOUR DRAIN!


If you think the City of New Orleans is going to clean the catch basin in front of your home please rethink that plan. If you don’t clean the catch basin in front of your home it is you who will suffer the consequences. Please consider cleaning the catch basins in and around your home NOW!

Click here for EPA recommendations for catch basin cleaning.

A catch basin, which is also known as a storm drain inlet or curb inlet, is an opening to the storm drain system that typically includes a grate or curb inlet at street level where storm water enters the catch basin and a sump captures sediment, debris and associated pollutants. Catch basins are able to prevent trash and other floatable materials from entering the drainage system by capturing such debris by way of a hooded outlet. The outlet pipes for catch basins on combined sewers (sanitary waste and storm water in a single pipe) are also outfitted with a flapper (trap) device to prevent the backflow of any unpleasant odors from pipes. Catch basins act as pretreatment for other treatment practices by allowing larger sediments to settle in the basin sump areas.

Click here to see catch basin guidelines from Connecticut.

It is important to maintain catch basins to prevent storm sewer blockages and minimize the amount of pollutants entering storm sewers which may eventually discharge into local streams and waterways such as Lake Ponchartrain. Clogged catch basins can also result in the ponding of water along streets and parking lots causing a nuisance to motorists, pedestrians and businesses.

How you can help: When you are clearing your sidewalk or driveway, dispose of waste in trash receptacles instead of sweeping it into the gutters or catch basins.

If leaves or other debris are blocking a catch basin near your house or business, remove and dispose of the debris properly.

Article from:
http://www.bwsc.org/PROJECTS/Maintenance/catchbasin.asp

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