Blog Archives

Posts from January 2015

What are your plans for 2015, City Park?

There is a lot going on at City Park and sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the changes and improvements.

We have repaired most hurricane damage, but we are also building a better park in concert with the Park’s Master Plan – City Park 2018.
We’ve put the following list together to help you keep track of Park progress.


What have you done for me lately?
Since Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005, we have:

• Built the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn
• Constructed the new Big Lake area
• Renovated Tad Gormley and Pan American Stadiums
• Renovated the practice track surface
• Renovated the North Golf Course
• Renovated the Casino Building
• Installed four miles of new sidewalks and jogging paths
• Completed Carousel renovations and installed two new rides in the Amusement Park
• Replanted the Botanical Garden and renovated all of its buildings
• Installed a new high tech playground
• Repaired all Storyland exhibits and added two new ones
• Planted over 6,000 trees
• Utilized 35,000 volunteers who have made dramatic improvements in the Park
• Demolished several hurricane-damaged buildings
• Repaved Harrison, Wisner, Robert E Lee and Marconi
• Landscaped the entrance to the Park
• Opened the new dog park – City Bark!
• Finished a 250-car parking lot at Tricentennial Place
• Built a new fishing pier along Marconi
• Opened the new City Park / Pepsi Tennis Complex
• Moved out of our trailers and into our new Administration Building
• Made additional road repairs and installed over 100 new LED street lights
• Constructed the Arbor Room at Popp Fountain – a new rental venue
• Dedicated the new 50-acre Festival Grounds
• Opened the Morning Call Restaurant
• Built City Putt, a 36-hole miniature golf complex
• Built a very large covered rink at Equest Farms
• Gave the century old Perisyle a facelift
• Dedicated the Matt Savoie Soccer Complex
• Built and opened Parker’s Café
• Purchased a food truck
• Built and opened Parker’s Pizza
• Installed ‘Icon’ at the Festival Grounds
• Built a new Little Red School House in Storyland

What are your plans for 2015?
We will either start or start & finish the following projects:
• Construct a new pedestrian bridge and parking lot at Couturie Forest
• Complete Amusement Park upgrades, including a new Ladybug Roller Coaster
• Major infrastructure improvements in and around Tricentennial Place
• Begin construction of a new championship level golf course and club house.
• Begin construction on a new entry to the Botanical Garden
• Start construction on the Enrique Alfèrez Sculpture Garden
• Build a new bike/jogging/ walking path between Robert E. Lee and Harrison Avenue
• Build a parking lot adjacent to the Arbor Room at Popp Fountain
• Relocate disc golf to north of I-610
• Install additional bike racks throughout the Park
• Install the Ladybug Roller Coaster
• Install ‘The Wave’ a new sculpture at Big Lake
• Will finish a 30-year restoration of the Carousel


What will I likely see in upcoming years?
• A new skate park
• A new maintenance building
• A new entry to the New Orleans Botanical Garden
• Construction of a new Environmental Education Center
• Construction of a Splash Park: City Splash


Want to learn more about the Master Plan: City Park 2018? Click here

Do you see the tulips? You will see them SOON!

Today, City Park staff, including Charlsie, Dillon, and Dan, planted 12,000 tulips on the bank of Big Lake.

Yep, you read that correctly - 12,000! 

We’ll all be thanking them in a couple of months when a stretch of the path (near NOLA, between the lake and Lelong) is in FULL bloom.  Soon you'll be able to walk the Zemurray Trail around Big Lake and it'll be like tiptoeing through the tulips!

Fair warning: after a walk, run or spin around this three-quart-mile trail ringing Big Lake, you may never go back to a drab gym. This scenic path is designed for walking, jogging or biking, and is one of the most beautiful places in New Orleans to burn off a few po-boys. 

As with all of our flower fields, please remember to take only photographs. Please don't pick the flowers or on trample them. 

There's even MORE to the Big Lake area! 

Not to be confused with that other “big lake” just outside of the city, City Park’s Big Lake has been one of the Park’s most popular recreational attractions. The lake is surrounded by 25 acres filled with art installations, wildlife and wetlands, paths for walking, jogging and biking, the New Orleans Museum of Art and much, much more!

Parking is available on Lelong Avenue and in a lot on the north side of Big Lake on Friedrichs Avenue.

The Singing Oak

City Park’s Singing Oak is one of the many unexpected delights visitors stumble upon when exploring the park. This large oak tree, which sits adjacent to Big Lake near the intersection of Wisner and Lelong in the John S. McIlhenny Meadow, is strung with a set of wind chimes that ring a pentatonic (five notes per octave) scale. This musical art installation was designed by artist Jim Hart, and is proof positive that there’s always music in the air in New Orleans! Fun fact: one of the chimes in the Singing Oak is 14-feet long.

Boat Rentals
See City Park from a new perspective! Spend a lazy afternoon floating with the ducks, swans and geese on the park’s historic bayous and lagoons. Click here for details. 

Bike Rentals
Explore City Park on two wheels!
City Park’s four miles of bike paths take riders from Bayou St. John to Lake Pontchartrain. Plus there are trails around Big Lake (3/4 of a mile) and the Festival Grounds (1 mile).
No bike? No problem. Bikes can be rented from the City Park Boat House on Big Lake. Take s troll with a friend on a tandum bike. Have fun on a surrey bike with a canopy. Click here for details.
Wheel Fun Rentals provides both our bikes and boats for rental.

Grateful Labors
This painted aluminum sculpture by New Orleans artist Wayne Amedee is dedicated to the countless individuals who helped rebuild the city following Hurricane Katrina. The red and green aluminum structure is located along the jogging path to the right of City Park’s main entrance.

New Orleans Museum of Art
The New Orleans Museum of Art celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011 and is the city’s oldest fine arts institution. The museum sits just steps away from Big Lake and is home to a permanent collection of 40,000 objects ranging from French and American art to photography, glass and Japanese exhibits. Don't miss the the five-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden holds more than 60 sculptures collectively valued at $25 million. It's located just to the left of the entrance to NOMA. Fun Fact: Just to the left of the sculpture garden is the famous Dueling Oak.

At every turn, you’ll find something to love around Big Lake: rare and native birds, including brown pelicans and the Park’s waddling gaggles of ducks and swans; the Pump House; the lake’s fountain, which shoots water 40 feet into the air; the Louisiana Trail dotted with trees representing our state’s seven distinct tree regions. The lake is divided by the Enrique Alferez bridge, and the tranquil, smaller section of the lake – a popular spot for picnickers and the park’s geese – flows into the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Our advice? Take your time, explore all of the nooks and crannies around Big Lake, and come back for more as often as you like!

The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with City Park, developed this trail and meadow to commemorate the indomitable spirit of the residents of Greater New Orleans for their resilience and commitment to rebuilding their homes and neighborhoods after Hurricane Katrina. We believe parks and open spaces are essential elements that support vibrant, thriving communities, and we believe growing City Park is key to a healthy New Orleans.

New Orleans’ Only High Ropes Challenge Course Open to the Public for One Day

On Monday, January 19th, Friends of the Louisiana Outdoors Outreach Program (Friends of LOOP) will be hosting a community climbing day on “New Orleans’ only High Ropes Challenge Course.” 

Located in New Orleans City Park, the Challenge Course has helped school groups and community organizations increase team cohesion and safely strengthen participants’ confidence. In 2015, Friends of LOOP will be expanding its climbing schedule, and we encourage your group to check out the action.

The MLK Day Community Climb will begin at 10 am, and all participants 4 feet and over will have a chance to test themselves on elements including “The Cat Walk,” “Space Loops,” or everyone’s favorite, “The Pamper Pole.” With a donation of $20 per adult, a child 12 and under will also be admitted free.  All funds will support Friends of LOOP in their important mission of to “Provide positive, life-changing outdoor experiences for youth in Greater New Orleans.”