Blog Archives

Posts from April 2020

Need a bike? Donate a bike?

#BikeMatchNOLA is a way to connect people in need of a bicycle during the COVID-19 pandemic with bikes donated by other individuals.

If you’re in need of a bike or have one you would like to donate, fill out this Form. #BikeMatchNOLA will review the requests, make the match, and then connect folks so they can safely exchange the bikes.

#BikeMatchNOLA is proud to facilitate this mutual aid for the Greater New Orleans community.

If you have any questions, please email info@bikeeasy.org.

Want to learn more about biking in City Park? Click here. 

Want to chat about enviornmental or sustainablity ideas for the Park? Email Lindsay at lkirsch@nocp.org. 

The Wildflowers are Blooming!

City Park is excited to announce the spring wildflowers have bloomed. For the sixth year in a row, the Park’s been fortunate enough to plant seeds and see the colorful blooms providing fields of wildflowers for the public. This year may be more important than ever with the need for outdoor respite and recreation during this challenging Covid-19 pandemic time.

This year, to bring a piece of the Park to you at home and as a small thank-you, for a limited time when a donation is made to New Orleans City Park or Friends of City Park, donors receive wildflower seeds they can plant at home.

Why donate now: More people are enjoying City Park than ever before. Since Katrina, the Park has taken an entrepreneurial approach to its operations. Currently, the Park generates 90 percent of its revenues, most of which have been eliminated or severely reduced since mid-March. Therefore, it must appeal to the public for voluntary contributions during this critical period.

How to donate: Visit NewOrleansCityPark.com or FriendsofCityPark.com to securely donate to the Park online. We also accept payments by check sent to 1 Palm Drive, New Orleans, LA 70124. If you would like to speak with someone about a donation, please reach out to Casie Duplechain, Chief Development Officer, at 504-483-9437.
Please use #iheartcitypark when posting your wildflower seed journey to social media so we can see it.

About the flowers: The Park loves being able to provide the wildflower areas for the public. City Park’s horticulture department plants cosmos seeds in two varieties: Cosmos Bipinnatus 'Sensation Mix' (the pink and white flowers) and Cosmos Sulphureus 'Bright Lights' (the orange and yellow). Areas for planting are chosen as they are low-ground and difficult to mow due to rain-water collecting in the area. We call the areas “Grow Don’t Mow.” We’re also particularly thrilled to have specific places for the bees to do their important work. The Horticulture Department tills and seed and typically sees growth between 6 and 8 weeks later. This year, the fields were seeded just before the Stay Home Mandate was declared. Dependent on weather, the team plants three batches per year, March, June, and September (we hope to be able to complete this schedule again this year).

Quote: “We use about 600 pounds of wildflower seeds,” says Dan Preziosi, Director of Grounds, “We till and hand plant the seeds over dozens of acres of land between the two fields on Marconi, six smaller areas at Big Lake, and at Bayou Oaks. The small areas at Big Lake have other flowers as well: Black-Eyed Susan 'Gloriosa', Liatris, Salvia Coccinea, Purple Coneflower, Indian Blanket, and Cleome or Spider plant.”

General Rules Reminders:
- Follow all CDC recommendations when visiting the Park and the wildflower fields including physical distancing and mask usage.
- Stay on the created paths and do not walk on the flowers
- Do not pick flowers

Help Support a Legacy:
Seeing record visitation numbers, City Park is playing a vital part to the public during this challenging time. The Park is a place for people to practice solitary passive recreation but the attractions are closed and events are canceled. City Park makes revenue from attractions and events. This revenue goes directly back into the Park. The Park needs your support. We know these are challenging times for everyone, but if you are able to donate, please do. Or consider becoming a member of Friends of City Park. Every dollar helps City Park keep open-spaces operational for the public right now and will help the Park get back on its feet to reopen fully when the times comes. All donations are appreciated. Donation or not, we’ll continue to be there for the people of New Orleans and the region for as long as we can.

Migration is happening now!

April 22nd has passed, but we can still celebrate Earth Day - Go Check out some migrating birds!
Migration is happening now! And we’re still enjoying beautiful April weather, so in honor of a continued Earth Day celebration, get outside! Whether you are an early morning riser, or a night owl, take a few minutes to check out the sky and see who is flying by!


Hawks and birds of prey can mostly be spotted during late morning and early afternoon, while most songbirds migrate at night. Point your binoculars towards the moon to see them passing through!

Some star birds to look for:
Indigo bunting is one of the most spectacular and popular birds on your bird feeder. These birds really like millet seed, and even if you don’t have a feeder you can just spread it on the ground for them!

The elusive Painted bunting is beautiful, but harder to find. Learn their song and you will be more likely to track one down. The painted bunting do breed throughout LA, and are often found nesting along the Mississippi river in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

The ruby throated hummingbird will also be coming through, watch for them in your hummingbird plants!

Some Challenges our Birds Face:
Since 1970 3 billion birds, mostly migratory species, have disappeared. What can you do to help?!
-WATER: All birds need water. Keep water fresh available for them, and if you are able to have moving water that is even better.
-FOOD: good choices are white millet and black-oil sunflower as these both attract a wide variety of birds. Stay away from mixes that include milo or red millet as virtually none of our native birds will eat it.
-HUMMINGBIRDS: to make food for your hummingbird feeder mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water. Heat the water up to help get rid of chlorine from the tap and dissolve sugar and you do not need to add dye.  Change out once a week to keep it fresh for the birds!
-SHELTER: Birds need shelter to hide, to rest, and to build nests and lay eggs so offer them birdhouses to do so.
- PLANT NATIVES: plant native plants and don’t use pesticides in order to attract another food source for birds - insects! If you need help choosing native plants for your yard, Audubon has an online database where you can enter your zip code and it will pull up a list of native plants for your area to plant for the birds!
-PREVENT COLLISIONS: Building collisions are blamed for up to 1 billion bird deaths per year in the US. To help avoid this at your house, put your bird feeders either right next to your window or 50 ft away to protect birds from flying into windows.

Here are some recommended Apps to try to help with your birding adventures: iNaturalist, eBird, The Audubon Bird Guide, Merlin Bird ID.

And if you still have questions you can always reach out to an Audubon Louisiana staff member here or use one of the multiple Facebook groups that offer identification help. On Facebook look for "What's this bird” or "Louisiana birds and bird watching.”

Interested in capturing your birding adventures? Here is a free preview of a nature journaling class to give you some pointers on how to journal while birding.

-Lindsay Kirsch, Environmental Program Manager

Earth Day

The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day is April 22, 2020!!
If you want to celebrate or take some action from home, visit the 24 hour digital Earth Day celebration or 3 day Earth Day Live site April 22-24!
From Earth Day Network: “On Earth Day 2020, we say enough is enough. We say we believe in science. We say that everyone can make a difference. We say that the protection of our planet and the wellbeing of the people who live upon it are the top priorities. We may be apart, but through the power of digital media, we’re also more connected than ever. While you may feel isolated, you’re never alone, because we’re all in this together, here on Earth.
Human health and planetary health are inextricably linked. To protect one, we must protect the other. Millions rallied behind this idea to create the first Earth Day in 1970, and, 50 years later, we must rally behind it again.”
“Over the 24 hours of Earth Day, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day will fill the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more. While Earth Day may be going digital, our goal remains the same: to mobilize the world to take the most meaningful actions to make a difference. No matter where you are, you can make a difference. And you’re not alone, because together, we can save the Earth.” 

-Lindsay Kirsch

lkirsch@nocp.org

50th Anniversary of Earth Day” celebrate at home

Happy Earth Day Month! Even though we can’t celebrate together in the Park, our community can still make an impact. Join in with folks from around the world and pick a few things you can do in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Picking a few outside activities will not only celebrate the Earth, it will help lower stress, anxiety and promote strong immune systems!

Are you taking a solitary walk under the oaks with your reusable water bottle? Or logging miles on your bike for the Love to Ride challenge? Are you plogging - jogging and picking up trash to help out and exercise? Are you teaching your child about our native critters? Are you spending some time reading instead of streaming? If you’re celebrating Earth Day in some way in the Park this month, we’d love to see your photos ! Post and tag:  #earthdayeveryday #neworleanscitypark

Here are some things you can do:
Mark your calendar for April 22, 2020 and plan to be a part of Earth Day Goes Digital! Sign up to get email alerts and stay in the know about all that will happen. “Over the 24 hours of Earth Day, EARTHRISE will fill the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more.”
 

Calculate your Carbon Footprint
Want to take a few challenges in order to help out the Earth this month? Start by calculating your carbon footprint to see what the areas where you could make the biggest impact by making some small changes. “Humans use as much ecological resources as if we lived on 1.75 Earths. The Ecological Footprint is the only metric that compares the resource demand of individuals, governments, and businesses against what Earth can renew.” Answer a few questions on your lifestyle to see how many Earths we would need if everyone lived the way that you live. Once you know your impact, challenge yourself to make a few changes!
 

21 Ways to ‘Love the Boot’ from Keep Louisiana Beautiful:
Keep Louisiana Beautiful is a non-profit whose focus is on education, enforcement, awareness, litter removal and beautification. There are 39 affiliate organizations across the state and 35,000 volunteers that work to improve communities and transform public spaces. Though KLB has had to cancel their “Love the Boot Week,” a week of challenges and events that they worked hard to organize in honor of the 50th annivesary of Earth Day, they have replaced it with a list of “some activities to help us all feel connected to one another, our community, and our environment during this challenging time. It takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Start incorporating eco-friendly habits in your home and life.”


Pick an Eco-challenge to institute a few new daily habits in support of the Earth:
“Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day with a global community of changemakers. Dedicate your actions to Earth throughout all of April!
Earth Day Ecochallenge connects you to a global community of advocates and changemakers, each doing what we can, in ways that are most relevant to us, to make this great spinning dot we call home a healthier, more equitable, more sustainable place. Welcome to Earth Day Ecochallenge!”
 


11 Actions for the Planet during a pandemic
“...as we exercise our individual and collective responsibility to reduce viral transmissions to preserve human health, we can still exercise our responsibility to act for environmental health. We can use this solitary time to reassess our current habits and develop new ones that are better for the planet. Below are 11 ways to take action for the planet while social distancing — we hope they’ll stick, even after our global health crisis subsides.” 


Find Some Joy with Birds!
Are you an avid birder feeling cooped up and missing your regular birding walks in Couturie Forest? Or a novice that was hoping to add a new hobby to your spring weekends? Here is a way to still feel some connection to birds! The National Audubon Society has put together this "birdy care package" to help us all have some friendly, feathery distraction. Check out this site to see some sweet baby bird pics, watch some entertaining bird behavior videos, or use the live cam to spy on some sandhill cranes at Audbon's Rowe Sanctuary in Nebraska.
 

Or check out one of the live bird cams from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

 

-Lindsay Kirsch, Environmental Program Manager


 

Sign up for the Bike Easy “Love to Ride” challenge

Sign up for the Bike Easy “Love to Ride” challenge - and take some solo or family bike rides!

“This April everyone in Greater New Orleans is invited to join the Bike Easy April Challenge, powered by Entergy. It's a fun, free competition that helps get more people on bikes.
In response to Covid-19, we want to help you stay active, feel connected and make the most of riding responsibly and safely. This is why we're adapting the Bike Easy April Challenge to fit the times we're living in.
Only solo rides and rides with members of your household are allowed during this time. But you can interact virtually with other riders through this platform, emails, and social media.
It doesn't matter if you ride every day or if you haven't been on a bike in years. You only have to ride for ten minutes to take part and you will also be rewarded for encouraging others to ride. Indoor rides count, too!
Though we can't ride together, we can stay connected through the Bike Easy April Challenge, powered by Entergy.
Find out more here,  and register in one minute here!

-Lindsay Kirsch

Enviornmental Programs Manager