Our wild flower fields are a hit with people, butterflies, and bees.
What is the Park doing that's 'Green'?
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Park officials are currently working to remove invasive plant species such as Chinese Tallow and Giant Ragweed from the Park, particularly within Couturie Forest.
Urban Forestry Practices: Trees play a vital role in City Park’s natural beauty. After losing over 2,000 tress due to Hurricane Katrina, Park officials have planted more than 6,500 live oaks, cypress, magnolia, pine, and other trees. City Park is home to 25,000 trees – each tree removes 120 - 240 pounds of pollutants from the air each year.
In the coming years, Couturie Forest alone is expected to double in size from 30 to 60 acres.
Park officials are currently working to remove invasive plant species such as Chinese Tallow and Giant Ragweed from the Park, particularly within Couturie Forest. More than 1,000 wood bollards have been installed to ensure the Park’s vehicular traffic does not negatively impact the green space.
The Reunion Shelter is on the Festival Grounds
The Reunion Shelter: The newest shelter in City Park sits on the cusp of the new Festival Grounds and offers groups basic amenities and front row access to some of the best wide-open greenspace in the Park.
The covered shelter is a great place to gather in the shade, and with nearby parking and on-site restrooms, water and lights, the Reunion Shelter is well-suited for large family reunions, group outings, and corporate events.
Have you seen the solar panels on the Reunion Shelter? Here are some impressive facts about them:
• The Photovoltaic System is interconnected with the local Entergy electrical grid
• The system allows for Net Metering, which allows the facility to “bank” extra electricity created to be used at a time that the facility is being used
• The total system size is 16.17kW or 16,700 watts
• There are a total of (66) Made in America solar panels
• The system will produce roughly 20,175kWh with an estimated yearly savings of $2,421
• Over 30 years, the solar system will offset approximately 5,430 tons of CO2, which is the equivalent of planting 27,210 trees.
• Installed by South Coast Solar, a homegrown solar energy contractor, serving commercial and residential application
Long-time City Park employee Sylvester with one of our new propane fueled mowers.
Our Maintenance Department uses Propane Zero Turn Mowers. These machines produce 80% to 85% less emissions than diesel Burning Zero Turn Mowers.
The mowers are quieter and much friendlier to the environment than the gasoline powered mowers. We have four and six more will be arriving soon.
Sylvester (seen in the photo) has said because the new mowers operate at a higher RPM, the mowers do a much better job of cutting the grass!
The New Orleans Botanical Garden is beautiful no matter what month or season
City Park is more than just a place to play. The New Orleans Botanical Garden features educational programs focused on composting, rain gardens and vegetable gardening. In addition, the Garden has launched Louisiana’s first Master Naturalist certification program. The program is designed to train citizens in conservation and natural resource management on public lands.
The Botanical Garden has a special area dedicated specifically to the proliferation of native plant species. The Botanical Garden is also home to a eco pavilion built with reclaimed pine, eco-friendly wood and recycled cable trays from offshore oil rigs. In 2011, we constructed a state-of-the-art bioswale to filter runoff water and built a seven-acre urban farm in partnership with Tulane University called Grow Dat.
20 acres of the Park that twinkle during the holidays
Wetlands at the Festival Grounds: This constructed wetland was developed as a way to divert one-third of the stormwater from the 50-acre site, which was previously a golf course. The wetlands slow it down and filters runoff water using it to support a native ecosystem with plants and animal life, before it enters the City’s stormwater system. The bioswale has a 187,000 gallon capacity. During a storm, it can hold up to 534,000 gallons of water. This takes the strain from storm waters off of the Park the city.
Celebration in the Oaks is 99% LED lights (some of the older installations are not LED but we’re moving that way!).
The Administration Building is located at 1 Palm Drive
In the Administration Building we recycle paper and ink cartridges and we compost the daily coffee grinds. All offices in the Park have recycle bins for paper. The Administration building has motion-detecting lights in offices, meeting rooms, and the bathrooms, as well as electric hand dryers to save paper. We also have an energy-management system which only runs the heating and cooling when the building is occupied. City Park employees are encouraged to find out information on the Park’s Intranet as opposed to having papers printed with information for each person individually. When papers need to be printed, employees are encouraged to print on both sides of the paper. Park wide any paper we do use is at least 30% recycled.
We have a shower in the Administration building to encourage employees biking and walking to work, as well as a bike rack.
The Administration Building Parking Lot is constructed of porous asphalt with a deep base of high-permeability stone which stores and ultimately filters rainwater before it enters the City’s storm water system. Parking lots usually carry lots of pollutants so this not only slows down the water, which helps the pumps catch up, but it also cleans the water entering Lake Pontchartrain.
We encourage all employees to break down cardboard boxes before placing them in the recycling dumpster.
Employees are encouraged to bring electronic waste, batteries, Mardi Gras beads, and light bulbs to the Administration building where it is brought to a recycling facility monthly.
A volunteer helping to place recycled Christmas trees in a Park lagoon
With sustainability in mind, we encourage ‘catch and release’ fishing in all Park waters. We place recycled Christmas trees in Park lagoons to create fish habitats.
Storm water in the Parking Lot at Tri-centennial Place flows into a bioswale which filters the water and houses an array of native plants and trees.
There are currently recycling bins at Carousel Gardens, City Putt, Storyland, stadiums and tennis complex, and at select events in the Park. Our Catering and Concessions departments recycle all waste cardboard boxes.
Our Concession Department has made some changes in their daily routine. The Frozen Coke and beer cups are now made from 100% renewable resources. We use bulk condiment dispensers instead of condiment packets. (Pending: we are working with Backyard Bio Diesel Company for removal of all used grease. The company will recycle that grease and convert it into fuel. We will be on a test program for new grease barrels that will have sensors to reduce the company’s unnecessary travel.)
We encourage recycling at many Park events by partnering with the Young Leadership Council, and offering recycling education and extra portable bins for patrons.
Four Park employees participating in NOLA's Bike to Work Day
We routinely have Super Saturday volunteer days in the Park where volunteers give of their time for various activities that need to be done in the Park including lagoon clean-ups, tree planting, and the removal of invasive species.
We offer an array of bikes and boats to rent to explore City Park, and encourage biking to activities at City Park by providing a multitude of bike racks throughout the Park. We have installed additional racks and bike a repair station in the park.
The Park recently bought a Wood Chipper. Using the plant material the Park already makes naturally, the Wood Chipper will turn it into mulch to be used around the Park.
Couturie Forest has the tallest site in all of New Orleans. To climb the 43 feet there are three paths. One path is reused concrete pieces. Another is reused rail road ties.
We also installed a solar powered composting toilet at Scout Island’s Ropes Course.
Earth Day is fun AND educational
City Park holds an annual Earth Day event aimed at helping our patrons be more ‘green’ in their daily lives.
The majority of our NEW streetlights placed around the 1300 acres are LED lights. Park wide in buildings we aim to minimize the amount of lighting we use during daytime hours opting in favor of natural light where possible. Any lights that do remain on during the day utilize efficient light bulbs.
Friends of City Park, the 501c3 fundraising arm of New Orleans City Park, hosts multiple events throughout the year to raise money for capital improvements within the Park. Their largest fundraiser, Lark in the Park, took place in the Pavilion of the Two Sisters and was their first green event of 2015. With over 850 guests in attendance utilizing 10 compost, recycle, and landfill stations, Friends of City Park produced spectacular numbers from their efforts. The total materials diverted from the landfill were 584 pounds of compostable material and one 8 cubic yard dumpster of recyclable material. These efforts eliminated the use of an additional trash dumpster at the Pavilion. All bowls, plates, utensils, and napkins were compostable; and all cups, aluminum cans, and plastic bottles were recyclable. Their efforts were made possible by the support of Chevron – Gulf of Mexico, LifeCity, City Park Green Team, Progressive Waste Solutions, and The Composting Network.
The City Park Green Team implemented recycling for the first time at the Spring Garden Show in 2015. Garden Show guests utilized 8 recycle bins placed throughout the Garden, producing over 315 gallons of recyclable material, greatly reducing the amount of material collected for landfill. The Spring Garden Show is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter in cooperation with the Metro Area Horticultural Foundation and the New Orleans Botanical Garden.
We are a Life City Premium Member
We have joined Life City as a Premium member, to become better Stewards of New Orleans City Park. We will participate this year in the Green Games, competing against other Green companies in the area to improve our sustainability and decrease our environmental footprint.
We live in an encouraging world and we’re listing to you. Let us know your thoughts: what do you like that we’re doing? What can we do better? Send your thoughts to Info@nocp.org. We want to decrease our footprint and be a better Park and be better to the Earth.