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

 

CAT’S CLAW KILLS OAKS AND OTHER TREES

Click on the photo for a larger view

CAT’S CLAW KILLS OAKS AND OTHER TREES

A concerned neighbor notified me that large trees were being removed on Ursulines. On Saturday, August 26, 2017, BDG Tree Service, a crew hired by Entergy, removed dead oaks and other trees on Ursulines at North White.

Many of the cut branches I saw on the ground were not only dead but covered in cat’s claw vines. If you have large trees on or near your property that you want to remain there, pull the cat’s claw off of the tree before it gets out of hand and literally strangles the life out of the tree. Pull the cat’s claw off of the tree and dig it up. Cat’s Claw is an invasive species that is remarkably resilient. It must be dug up. If you use weed killer on the cat’s claw, be extremely careful to only spray the cat’s claw and not the tree.

While it may be distressing to see the huge trees go, it is much less distressing than having that same dead tree on your roof during a storm. Thank you BDG Tree Service and Entergy!

If you have cat’s claw on trees between the sidewalk and street, alert your neighbors and ask for help. If the tree is between the sidewalk and street you can call 311 for help but it may take a while. Why not get a group of neighbors together and solve the cat’s claw problem? See an example of a tree being saved from the killer vine below:

oakbayouroad-before-after

Article below courtesy Debbie M. Lord and the Press Register
http://blog.al.com/living-press-register/2009/05/deceptively_beautiful_and_ridi.html

So many of you couldn’t help but notice its catastrophic green tide of foliage this year, breaking over trees and buildings, spewing streams of hazard-yellow blooms.

Cat’s claw, to answer your questions, is what it’s called, and of course it’s beautiful, in the way all the great predator cats of the world are wildly, terrifyingly beautiful — and best admired from afar.

Cat’s claw (the scientist who gave it the official name Macfadyena unguis-cati must have thought himself clever) is a South American vine that was probably introduced to the coastal South sometime early in the last century.

Used to be, there was an astonishing testament to the tenacity of cat’s claw, just below the interstate bridges headed into New Orleans. You could see it a mile away: The roof of a huge warehouse supported a jungle of cat’s claw green and yellow that could have covered four football fields. It took your breath away, seeing it crouched and ready to pounce on New Orleans harbor.

Cat’s claw seems to have a special attachment for roofs throughout the coastal South. In downtown Mobile, the tops of a number of houses and businesses are draped with it, as if wearing absurd green wigs, with thick curls of cat’s claw dangling from the eaves.

Cat’s claw is ideally suited for this rooftop lifestyle. The vine does, after all, have veritable claws — a trio of wiry, grasping tendrils at the tip of every leaf that dig into everything they touch, including wood, brick and concrete.

A shingled roof, with its rough surface and a thousand edges, is the ideal scratching post for cat’s claw. Less rapacious vines, even if they managed to hang on to a roof, would soon wither from the intense heat and blistering sunlight. But cat’s claw seems to seek out such seemingly inhospitable places. Even under the intensity of the summer sun, cat’s claw remains lush and green on its rooftop perches.

Of course, cat’s claw does climb other objects just as readily, and in Mobile has engulfed the tops of a number of large oaks.

But you don’t notice the vine in the trees, since it doesn’t really produce much foliage and flowers until it springs into the full sunlight at the very top of the canopy, out of eyesight of all below.

I haven’t passed by the warehouse in New Orleans on a summer day in the past couple of years, but chances are very good the old jungle of cat’s claw is still there. Cat’s claw is notoriously hard to control. Its sprawling tentacles are supported by a defiant root system that can spread over an acre or more. Every few feet, the root system swells into a large potato-like tuber that sends up another sprout. Cutting one vine only ensures that a hundred other vines attached to these tubers will grow more vigorously.

And that’s why you’ll find far more written about how to get rid of cat’s claw than you’ll find about how to grow it.
Here’s all you need to know about cultivating it: Anybody who doesn’t know better can grow it almost anywhere in the coastal South. It thrives even in very poor soils — to judge by some of the specimens downtown, moderately crumbly asphalt suits it just fine — and it’s famously drought-tolerant, surviving even in the desert climates of the West. While young, it is fairly shade-tolerant, but it is, at heart, a light hog, and by hook or by crook, will find a way to the sunniest spot in your yard, on top of your house, smothering the tops of your tallest trees.

The only natural curb on its rampant growth in our climate would be an exceptionally severe winter (it doesn’t often survive typical winters farther inland, north of Montgomery, which may be why it hasn’t become a legendary Southern icon like kudzu). Once every several years, a harsh cold front may kill much of the above-ground portions of the vine even in coastal areas. But substantial pieces of the root are likely to survive (as they have for decades in downtown Mobile) and will quickly resprout and produce hundreds of feet of vine in a couple of years.

Because it is such an outrageous specimen and produces genuinely showy flowers, one is always tempted to try to find a spot where it might be tolerated.

But keep two prerequisites in mind when planting: Cat’s claw needs something truly monumental, and preferably unattractive, to climb onto. And its root system should be surrounded on all sides by a dense, deep sea of asphalt and concrete, to limit the development of its surrounding tubers. Junkyards and the faceless north facade of Mobile’s Government Plaza come to mind, though I imagine it could be used just as effectively on the prison-like walls of Wal-Mart and other Big Box stores.

In case you didn’t understand: No home garden could accommodate its massive scale and rank growth.

s
Perhaps, therefore, we’re fortunate that cat’s claw is not an easy vine to find at local retailers. Many nurseries wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole because of its invasive reputation and the difficulty of controlling it in a pot.
It’s easy to propagate, which is probably why it spread so quickly through the warmer parts of the globe, but no responsible person is going to tell you how to make more of it. Some hard-headed gardeners will no doubt proclaim to have found it for sale on some Internet site, most likely from some Northern greenhouse operation where long winters tame its bad habits. But if you do bring it home, be courteous enough to let the neighbors know, so they’ll have time to put their houses on the market.

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 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

 

REMOVING CONCRETE DOES REDUCE FLOODING

“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.

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:
https://www.nrdc.org/stories/climate-change-bites?gclid=Cj0KCQjwtpDMBRC4ARIsADhz5O77pxziJinrMJzvQ4bT-F4GFHjub3rBfSNaO0XdZ5sDIuPHQmAux4AaAiGcEALw_wcB

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 jefrazier@nola.gov or call (504) 669-2659.

To help keep you and your community safe, follow the tips outlined in the PDF in the link below:
Zika1info

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:
https://www.novanthealth.org/home/about-us/newsroom/healthy-headlines/articleid/279/protect-yourself-from-zika-this-mosquito-season.aspx?mobilewidthcheck=y

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:

https://www.nola.gov/mosquito/

Bayou Cutters Sail Along the Banks of Bayou St. John

This morning, the Orleans Levee Board cut the grass on the banks of Bayou St. John.
As the photo below sent in by Tommy Lewis shows, they did a tremendous job!

Bayou cutters sailed through the grass on the banks of Bayou St. John this morning. Click on Tommy Lewis’ photo for a larger view.

***

Orleans Levee Board Continues to Impress with Work on Bayou St. John

The Orleans Levee Board takes care of the banks of Bayou St. John.
As you can see from Charlie London’s photos below of today’s work on the bayou, they continue to do high quality work for you and me.

***

Bayou St. John is the Reason for New Orleans


by Angela Carll
Times Picayune – November 15, 1985
Bayou St. John is the reason New Orleans is located where it is. The bayou provided a connection from the Mississippi River overland via an old Indian path to Lake Ponchartrain.

A number of historic landmarks still stand in this neighborhood to remind visitors of the city’s heritage.

The Old Spanish Custom House, built in 1784 at the corner of Moss Street and Grand Route Saint John, is the oldest structure in this neighborhood.
Another renowned home is the Pitot House, named for James Pitot, the second mayor of New Orleans. Built in 1799 at 1370 Moss Street, the Pitot House was later moved a short distance up the bayou to 1440 Moss in 1970.

The Tivoli amusement park once stood where the Pitot House is now. It featured a pavillion, orange trees, and dances were held there on Sundays.

Much of Bayou St. John remained swampy and unable to be developed while the city was attempting to drain the area, which was called “back of town” as early as 1835.

In 1866, the city started using the bayou as a drainage receptacle, and a community of houseboats grew up along it. In 1936, the State House of Representatives declared the bayou a non-navigable stream.

Fort St. John, where the bayou and lake meet, was originally built as a fortification by the French and later became the most prominent resort area in New Orleans during the 1930s. The Old Spanish Fort still stands on this site.

The fort is a modern-day battleground. The Orleans Levee Board has proposed replacing the Lakeshore Drive bridge that spans the bayou at its entrance to the lake with a grade-level crossing using culverts for water to flow back and forth from the lake to the bayou.

Members of the Bayou St. John Improvement Association sued the Levee Board to halt construction, arguing that wind moves water currents and that the City Park lagoons which are fed by water from the bayou will stagnate. They also contended that closing the mouth of the bayou will damage an important part of the city’s historical heritage. (The “waterfall dam” near the mouth of Bayou St. John was removed in 2013. Please visit the link for more information: http://fsjna.org/2012/08/update-on-dam-removal/)

Although the bayou today lacks even the rowing clubs, which were popular in the last century, a drive along its curving shore shows typical Louisiana country homes. It still exists to remind us of New Orleans’ earliest beginnings, and why the city was built in a place that seems most improbable to us today.

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PDF OF THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE.

 

Faubourg St. John was a community ten years before the founding of New Orleans in 1718.

Click on the map of Faubourg St. John for a larger view.

For more information, please visit the ABOUT and HISTORY tabs at FSJNA dot ORG

TAKE A TOUR OF FAUBOURG ST. JOHN


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
plantation.

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 
www.degashouse.com

Love Lives Here

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.”
Chinese proverb


You Are Love —
Directed by Christopher Stoudt, starring Wayne Clark Jr. https://www.instagram.com/saint.pure/, music by Chance Duran
Produced by DNO
https://defendneworleans.com/


The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are…
the second greatest is being happy with what you find

***
Excerpt below is from a speech by Martin Luther King delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, on 17 November 1957

So this morning, as I look into your eyes, and into the eyes of all of my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you, “I love you. I would rather die than hate you.” And I’m foolish enough to believe that through the power of this love somewhere, men of the most recalcitrant bent will be transformed. And then we will be in God’s kingdom. We will be able to matriculate into the university of eternal life because we had the power to love our enemies, to bless those persons that cursed us, to even decide to be good to those persons who hated us, and we even prayed for those persons who spitefully used us.

***

“We think about our ancestors and we think about how much we love them, but this is when the whole community comes at one time to celebrate the dead and to celebrate those ancestors that came before us.”

The most important thing on the marker is not the birth and death date but the dash in between.
Each marker represents a story. The dash in between.

Full story in the link below:
http://www.nola.com/religion/index.ssf/2016/11/new_orleans_and_all_saints_day.html

***

Desoto Place Gets Donation of Sod

Sarah Stogner recently donated some grass sod to a bare spot in Desoto Place at 2623 Esplanade in New Orleans. L.A. Jung donated to the City of New Orleans the triangular plot of ground at the intersection of Esplanade Avenue and Desoto Street. On July 30, 1896, the New Orleans City Council ordained that the plot of land be known as Desoto Place.

desotoparksarah

 
louis-a-jung

Louis A. Jung was a leading figure in the commercial life of New Orleans was born on the Island of Martinique in 1845.

Louis A. Jung came to New Orleans when 3 years old. He attended McCauley’s school, which was then on Camp street, but on account of the father’s idea that in America an education was not valuable, he was taken out of school when he was but little more than 13 years old and put to work. He began as clerk in a wholesale flour store, but afterwards went with Cambon & Avee, where he remained until he was 24 years old, when he went with Godchaux as confidential clerk and held this position for 12 years. In 1881, at the age of 36, Mr. Jung went into the coal business on his own account.

In 1895 he took his sons into partnership with him and the firm became known as Jung & Sons. It was later formed into a corporation, of which L. A. Jung was president. Mr. Jung was also in the oil business, being vice-president of the Texas Oil Co., to which concern he devoted much of his time.

Mr. Jung had a large circle of friends but devoted his spare time to his home. He was a man of artistic tastes and took pleasure in acquiring many objects d’art such as paintings and bronzes.

Mr. Jung died at his home in New Orleans on July 26, 1918 at the age of 73 years.

Information on L.A. Jung courtesy https://archive.org/stream/louisianacompris03fort/louisianacompris03fort_djvu.txt

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