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October Events in the Park

Ghosts in the Oaks + Brews and Boos

The most spook-tacular events of the season! 

City Park’s Halloween fundraisers are BACK at Carousel Gardens and more fun than ever. In addition to unlimited rides and ghastly giveaways, attendees can expect... 

Ghosts in the Oaks, October 20-23, features trick-or-treating, arts & crafts, pumpkin patch and hot-dog roasting around the campfire:
• 5-6pm Early Admission | 6-9pm General Admission
• Early Admission - $30 | General Admission - $25 | Friends of City Park Members - $22
• Children under 36 months are admitted free of charge

Brews and Boos, October 28-29, features adults-only access to the amusement park, costume contest, DJ and unlimited beer for guys and ghouls 21+:
• 9pm-Midnight (both nights)
• General Admission - $35 | VIP - $60
• VIP features full open bar, seating and special treats

Tickets go on sale Thursday, August 18. All tickets will be sold online and in advance.

Endymion Impact on Park

On Saturday, February 26, City Putt, the Louisiana Children's Museum, the New Orleans Botanical Garden, the New Orleans Museum of Art and Storyland will be closed for the Krewe of Endymion parade. 

Additionally, there will be limited vehicular access to the south side of the Park. Please see map for full details. 

2022 Day of Service

CITY PARK ANNOUNCES ANNUAL DAY OF SERVICE
Volunteer registration now open for January 17 event hosted by Friends of City Park

On Monday, Jan. 17, New Orleans City Park will kick off 2022 with a Park-wide volunteer event.

The Annual Day of Service in City Park coincides with the National Day of Service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This year, hundreds of New Orleanians will come together to help care for City Park by lending a hand to beautify the community’s green space. The Annual Day of Service provides opportunities to give back by cleaning, painting, weeding, planting, and more.

Through the event, Friends of City Park connects individuals to a small group of volunteers spread throughout the Park and provides the tools to make a tangible, lasting difference.

“In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we acknowledge and encourage all New Orleanians to volunteer to improve their community on January 17 — by participating in a ‘day on, not day off,’” said Stephanie Bell, executive director of Friends of City Park. “Dr. King worked resolutely to build a culture that values the worth and dignity of every human being — principles shared by Friends of City Park. He also recognized the power of service to build communities. By committing to a service project on this day, you along with hundreds of your neighbors will be investing in the social cohesion of our city.”

In 2020, the first Friends of City Park Annual Day of Service had more than 150 volunteers and produced a total of 300 hours of labor through projects across the 1,300-acre Park (equivalent to a $7,440 investment for New Orleans City Park). The individual goal for 2022 is to have 400 volunteers on this special day to help improve and transform common areas, trails, and facilities throughout the Park.

In 1994, Congress designated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official Day of Service taking place the third Monday in January each year. This is the only federal holiday observed as an official Day of Service. Several community-minded organizations across the city will be participating in City Park’s Annual Day of Service by coordinating teams of volunteers, including event sponsors Ochsner Health System and Raising Cane’s.

Community members are encouraged to volunteer for specific Park-improvement projects. For more information and to register, please visit FriendsOfCityPark.com.

How to participate:

When:
Monday, January 17, 2022
Two-hour shifts (vary depending on project)
Full list of volunteer opportunities here.

Where:
New Orleans City Park
Volunteer check-in at 1 Palm Drive, New Orleans, LA 70124

Registration:
All volunteers must pre-register by clicking here. 

AN UPDATE FROM CITY PARK CEO | With your help, we can make a difference.

AN UPDATE FROM CITY PARK CEO  | With your help, we can make a difference.

As we reflect on this past year, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to you, our loyal supporters. We’ve faced enormous challenges over the last 11 months and are proud of the role City Park has played in the community, from providing a respite from the pandemic to staging support for disaster recovery efforts.

At this time of reflection, I know I’m personally grateful for the amazing City Park team. Since the pandemic began, and more recently during Hurricane Ida, our dedicated staff and volunteers have supported one another and our mission of bringing the best possible Park experience for the thousands of daily Park guests. During these overwhelming times, they continued to help one another, work beyond their normal scope of duties, give their best, and think creatively to ensure the betterment of City Park for our community. City Park is people-powered. We cannot care for this thriving urban greenspace without you.

Your year-end support is more impactful than ever as we recover not only from the continued effects of the pandemic, but also Hurricane Ida. While we receive some reimbursement from FEMA and insurance, the impact to our bottom line has been significant. The storm highlighted the need for continued investment in expanding staff, including growing a robust in-house conservation program to nurture our urban tree canopy. Please consider a year-end gift today by clicking here and invest in a sustainable future for City Park.

There have been, and continue to be, many reminders along the way that the Park is playing a critical role for the community, and we are honored by the opportunity to care for City Park. Whether a financial contribution or volunteering your time, we thank you for the support you have given this past year and are honored to count you as a partner. With your help, we can make a difference.

Best wishes for 2022,

Cara Lambright
Chief Executive Officer
New Orleans City Park

P.S. DID YOU KNOW? You can claim up to $300 in charitable contributions made to a nonprofit this year without having to itemize deductions on your 2021 tax return. The maximum deduction is increased to $600 for married individuals filing joint returns. In order to be eligible for a 2021 charitable deduction, your gift must be received by December 31.

City Park Tennis Center: Rubico Court Resurfacing

Hurricane Ida caused widespread damage within City Park including to the Tennis Center’s clay courts. 

The courts are insured through the State of Louisiana and are awaiting assessment by insurance.  The high amount of damage to state assets has created delays in onsite assessments, but we have been assured that this should take place very soon.

It was the Park’s hope to keep at least a few courts playable during this time.  However, Tennis Center staff determined that they are unsafe for play unless they are topped with rubico, which will prevent a proper assessment of storm damage.

To ensure that we are able to keep the process moving forward swiftly, we have identified potential contractors and moved forward with securing cost assessments for a resurfacing of the courts.  The current courts have not been resurfaced in over five years, and as a result, we have concluded that we should move forward with resurfacing at this time.

The next steps are to have the storm damage assessed. After that we hope to move quickly into securing a contractor for resurfacing.  If not, the Park will seek to ensure that a least some of the courts are available for play while awaiting a full rehabilitation.

City Park welcomes the opportunity to bring a significantly improved playing experience to our players.  Please direct any questions or concerns to Cara Lambright, CEO at clambright@nocp.org. 


For the most up to date information on Tennis, please visit our Tennis Center page here. 

Sign up for the City Park Newsletter to stay informed about City Park Tennis Center by CLICKING HERE.

City Park Recovery Update + Reopening

Now, nearly two weeks after Hurricane Ida made landfall, the Park has made significant strides in addressing fallen trees and removing countless tons of debris.  Our urban tree canopy was significantly impacted, along with other Park amenities. Much more work remains.

We are grateful for the resiliency of this urban greenspace.  Things could have been much worse. City Park acted just as a Park should, a big green sponge, absorbing water and mitigating its effects on adjacent neighborhoods.

Park staff and contractors are still performing post-storm tree assessments throughout the 1,300 acres of the Park. Please use caution while in the Park, and avoid walking or parking around any dangling limbs or leaning trees. We hope we can count on you to help us in other ways as well. Help us by taking your trash out of the Park when you leave. Take out what you take in. Help us steward and care for this wonderful resource.

If you are able, please consider donating to our Disaster Relief Fund. Home to the largest collection of Live Oak trees in the world, the rehabilitation of City Park is integral to our region, and your support today will directly impact the recovery, beautification, and preservation.

We will be mobilizing volunteer efforts in the near future to assist with our recovery and beautification. Register now by clicking here to be notified of City Park volunteer efforts when recovery projects have been added and we are ready for hands-on support.

The City Park Administration Building will open on Monday, September 13 for normal business hours of 8am - 5pm. Below you will find a list of facilities and there reopening dates.*

Thank you for being a critical part of the City Park community. 

Friday, September 10
Wheel Fun Rentals

Saturday, September 11
Bayou Oaks (South Course + Driving Range)
Cafe Du Monde
Louisiana Children's Museum

Monday, September 13
City Park Administration
Christian Brothers
City Bark
City Park Tennis Center

Tuesday, September 14
New Orleans Museum of Art

Wednesday, September 15
New Orleans Botanical Garden

Friday, September 17
Storyland
City Putt

Saturday, September 25
Carousel Gardens Amusement Park

The Pelican Greenhouse Plant Sales and Wednesday Evenings in the Garden will resume in the near future. *Reopening dates are subject to change with recovery efforts. 

Culture Aid NOLA - Fill the Fridge

Free groceries to be distributed today, September 8th, 2:00 pm at Tad Gormley Stadium

Culture Aid NOLA will host a 70,000+ lb free food giveaway beginning at 2pm on Wednesday, September 8th at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park in New Orleans 5400 Stadium Drive.

Guests at the event will receive bags of fresh fruits and vegetables, while dancing (in their cars) to brass bands curated by Derrick Freeman and DJ Siphne Aaye. No identification, paperwork or reservation is required to pick up groceries.

Cars should line up on Marconi Drive at City Park by Tad Gormley Stadium parking lot, (map attached), a walk-up line will be located at the front entrance of Tad Gormley Stadium.

“We’re celebrating New Orleans’ spirit the best way we know how,” says Culture Aid NOLA Executive Director Erica Chomsky-Adelson, “With good food, good music, and good friends. As our city continues to recover from Hurricane Ida, we want to provide folks with groceries to keep them going.”

Cara Lambright, CEO of New Orleans City Park says "City Park is the People's Park, and we are proud to support Culture Aid NOLA as they provide crucial resources to thousands of our families"

Along with partners Second Harvest Food Bank, New Orleans City Park, World Central Kitchen, Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, The New Orleans Musician’s Assistance Foundation, The Greater New Orleans Foundation, Sankofa, lowernine.org, Council Member Joe Giarrusso, Resilience Force, Premium Parking, and many more, the organization hopes to serve over 2,000 New Orleans families Wednesday afternoon.

Says Jay Vise, Director of Communications for Second Harvest Food Bank, “Second Harvest's partnerships with other aid and disaster response organizations like Culture Aid NOLA greatly expands the number of people either of us could serve at events like this. We’ll continue to send supplies to all seventeen parishes impacted by Ida for as long as needed”

When: September 8th 2021, 2:00 pm
Where: Tad Gormley Stadium, City Park, New Orleans
What: Fill the Fridge free food distribution

Hurricane Ida update from City Park CEO, Cara Lambright

Hurricane Ida, one of the strongest storms to hit our state, decimated so many communities in southeast Louisiana. This is a difficult time for everyone in the storm’s path, especially our surrounding parishes and even as far away as New York. Recovery will be a long path, but the people of our region are uniquely resilient.

We are assessing the extent of the damage caused to City Park’s 1,300 acres, from facilities to the historic live oak trees. Due to the heavy debris and wind damage, facilities and amenities remain closed until further notice.

Our team has been working closely to ensure a strategic and efficient recovery, with debris removal set as first priority. The safety of our staff is also high priority; therefore, we only have essential workers on the ground and the remainder of our staff is working remotely.

In the spirit of community resilience, we are supporting Entergy's power restoration efforts where we can, housing 100 linemen trucks from Georgia on-site, and we have donated our food inventory to Culture Aid NOLA, who has cooked a few thousand meals a day thus far at Howlin' Wolf (907 S Peters St.).

We have launched a Disaster Relief Fund to support City Park’s recovery efforts. If you are able, please consider donating to the fund. Home to the largest collection of Live Oak trees in the world, the rehabilitation of City Park is integral to our region, and your support today will directly impact the recovery, beautification, and preservation.

The New Orleans spirit and the way in which our community steps up to help each other continuously inspires me – from family, friends, neighbors, to strangers. This spirit bonds us all. City Park is a place for everyone, a place of community. Our commitment to maintaining the Park for our region is unwavering.

As we begin the road to recovery there are numerous volunteer opportunities within New Orleans for those that are able and willing to help our community now – click here for more information.  Your Park will also need help recovering from the storm. Register now by clicking here for City Park volunteer efforts to be notified when recovery projects have been added and we are ready for hands-on support.

We have weathered many storms together and this one won't be the last. But we will
persevere, and the Park will be here for you as a place of respite and calm. Stay safe and help others where you can.

Sincerely,

Cara Lambright
Chief Executive Officer
New Orleans City Park

Hurricane Ida Updates

Please follow the below updates for information regarding New Orleans City Park:

AUGUST 30

New Orleans City Park is assessing the impacts to its 1,300 acres and facilities from Hurricane Ida. Due to the impact, facilities and amenities remain closed until further notice.

AUGUST 27

In preparation for Hurricane Ida, effective August 28, New Orleans City Park will close the Botanical Garden, City Bark, City Putt, City Park Tennis, the Pelican Greenhouse, and the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. In addition, the jamboree at Tad Gormley Stadium and scheduled events have been cancelled for the weekend.

City Putt will not open for Friday, August 27.  

Cafe du Monde will be closing Saturday, August 28 in the afternoon. 

Louisiana Children's Museum will be closed Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29.

New Orleans Museum of Art will be closed Saturday, August 28 through Monday, August 30. 

For updates on City Park and Park closures, check back here! Stay safe and be well.

A Weekend of Celebrations: Carousel Gardens Amusement Park Reopening and 3rd of July Celebration

A Weekend of Celebrations: Carousel Gardens Amusement Park Reopening and 3rd of July Celebration

After halting operations during Covid-19 pandemic, City Park’s Carousel Gardens Amusement Park will reopen to the public on July 3rd with a preview day for first responders on July 2nd, kicking off a weekend full of fun in the Park.

We're thrilled to announce a weekend of celebrations on July 2nd and 3rd, featuring the reopening of the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, a salute to first responders and a spirited gathering of members of our community for an early Fourth of July celebration featuring a free musical performance and fireworks.

Reopening events include:
● July 2, 2021 – Carousel Gardens Amusement Park open to first responders from 11 am – 6 pm.
● July 3, 2021 – Carousel Gardens Amusement Park reopens to the public from 11 am – 6 pm.
● July 3, 2021 – 3rd of July Celebration presented by Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust on the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn from 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm.

First responders will exclusively experience the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park a day early, free of charge, where the Park will thank them for their heroic efforts this past year. First responders must register in advance and admission will be limited.  The Amusement Park officially opens to the public on Saturday, July 3. For more information on booking your first responder reservation, ticket pricing, and season passes, click here. Guests are strongly encouraged to purchase admission tickets in advance.

“Reopening the beloved Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is a great testament to the work of our team and the support of our community,” said Cara Lambright, City Park CEO. “We are looking forward to thanking our first responders with early access to the Amusement Park and we can’t wait to welcome back visitors of all ages who have missed the rides tremendously over the past year.”

Alongside the reopening of the Amusement Park, City Park welcomes the return of its annual 3rd of July Independence Day Celebration presented by the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust, following the 2020 cancellation. The event will take place on the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn, complete with food trucks, fireworks, a performance by the Marine Forces Reserve Band and the National Anthem sung by Robin Barnes. This free community event will bring people together from across the region.

“We are coming out of a hard year and this event is a special show of unity as a state, and pride for our country, as Louisianians are proving once again our resilience and strength together,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana.

Guests are encouraged to arrive early with chairs, blankets and picnics, while donning their red, white and blue.

“During the summer months, we all look forward to utilizing and visiting New Orleans' great family and recreational spaces, including City Park, and we gladly welcome the return of these two great attractions,” said Candice Henderson, Deputy Director of the Mayor's Office of Youth & Families, City of New Orleans. “It is thanks to the hard work our residents put in throughout the pandemic to help us get to this point of beginning to reopen many of our beloved attractions that make New Orleans, New Orleans.”

To read more about the 3rd of July celebrations, click here.

City Park is continuing to hire passionate individuals who care about the New Orleans Community. City Park has a range of full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions open, which start at $11.19 an hour, and are necessary to resume normal operations. To see all available positions and to apply online, click here.

About New Orleans City Park:
For over 170 years, New Orleans City Park has provided access to abundant natural and cultural resources to residents of the region and visitors from around the world.  The Park’s 1,300 acres make it one of the largest urban parks in the United States. City Park is a popular place to fish on the bayou, picnic, experience safe outdoor play, or engage in athletic pursuits—as evidenced by more than 16 million visits each year. City Park’s annual operating budget has been largely derived from self-generated activities. The COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly affected revenue-generating facilities due to restriction closures, highlighted the vital importance of diversifying revenue streams. Through these challenges, the Park’s walking trails, urban forest, and open spaces continue to be a respite to the public. 

Earth Day: Celebrate with City Park

In City Park, every day is Earth Day. We have such admiration and appreciation for the beauty of the ancient live oaks, greenspace, and animals. Each visitor has a story or memory to share of their unique experience within our shared outdoor oasis. We are each a steward of nature and appreciate everyone who helps us keep the Park clean, healthy, and beautiful for future generations.

In addition to offering an array of recreation and cultural amenities, City Park is committed to preserving natural habitats and biodiversity in the Park. The Botanical Garden is home to more than 2,000 varieties of plants, the thirty-acre Couturie Forest has eight distinct ecosystems, Birder's World Magazine named City Park the best birding spot in New Orleans as 280 bird species have been sighted in the Park, and 819 species have been documented through the volunteer efforts of citizen scientists.
Celebrate Earth Day with us on Wednesday, April 21 in the New Orleans Botanical Garden from 5pm – 7:30pm. Admission is free for Louisiana residents.

Join Us For:
• Guidance on leading a more environmentally responsible lifestyle.
•  Local businesses and non-profit organizations dedicated to environmental protection, improvement, and education.

Participating Partners:
- The Bug Lady - Linda Auld - Butterfly Garden
- City of New Orleans - Updates on the - Lakeview - City Park Hazard Mitigation Project
- Sewerage and Water Board Stormwater - Division Environmental Group
- Louisiana Master Naturalist of Greater New Orleans
- New Orleans City Park Green Initiatives
- New Orleans Museum of Art
- Home Compost Workshops by CompostNOW

In addition, our Evenings with Enrique event will be occurring in the Helis Foundation Enrique Alférez Sculpture GARDEN featuring live Latin music, as well as delicious food from Chef Pat White in our Outdoor Kitchen, with refreshing Garden Mojitos!

Sign up today for one of our Earth Day Activities: Compost with Confidence Earth Day Workshop

City Park App: OuterSpatial

New Orleans City Park is proud to announce its first mobile app to help facilitate safe outdoor wellness and recreation. This exciting new project is funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, and gives the Park an opportunity to engage more with Park users. To promote health and wellness in the Park, we have partnered with OuterSpatial, an app that’s free to download and easy to use as a  guide to find all of your favorite City Park outdoor activities- trails, points of interest, outings, and more.


The Outer Spatial app provides maps of Park trails and routes, and features other wellness and recreation information relevant to visitor needs. Trails are for multiple fitness levels.  Routes are sorted by distance and duration set for walking and running. You can locate yourself on the map, or help others find you, while you're out on the trails, because the app works even when you are offline.


"With the help of this grant, City Park can allocate resources toward health and wellness as we adjust to a new normal of Covid-19 life. The Park’s short-term goal is to open the line of communication between City Park and the community strictly about health and recreation through the app. The Park’s long-term goal is to use the information gathered to organize a scalable wellness program in the future and improve our trial systems throughout the Park,” says Liz Lowe, GIS Specialist for New Orleans City Park.

Explore the thirteen hundred acres of outdoor oasis and discover 24 miles of walking trails through our urban forest. Nature comforts and nature inspires. Get outside yourself. Get to City Park.

Download the App Today: 

IOS APPLE APP

ANDROID APP

Download the User Guide here to help you navigate the App and find New Orleans City Park!

Master Naturalists Volunteer in City Park

On the third Saturday of each month, Master Naturalist volunteers partner with New Orleans City Park staff to remove invasive camphor trees from Scout Island.

Volunteers spend their time cutting or digging-out camphor tree saplings around forested areas of City Park. In keeping with City Park's mission to remove invasive species, our goal for this partnership is to reduce the invasives so native trees and shrubbery can germinate and thrive. If we suceed, then wildlife, especially birdlife will increase in numbers and variety. 

We truly appreciate our Master Naturalist volunteers for their expertise and enthusiasm on this project!

To learn more about volunteering in City Park, please click here.  There's so much to do and we appreacite all volunteers. 

- Tyler Havens, Volunteer Manager

thavens@nocp.org 

CITO Trees are for the Fish

Fifty Christmas trees from this years Celebration in the Oaks fundraiser in New Orleans City Park are now serving a new role as habitat/shelter for juvenile fish in Bayou St. John. City Park and LDWF, with to help of volunteers and sponsors, bundled small sets of trees and anchored within casting distance along the western shore of the bayou, just north of Filmore Avenue.
Small fish and invertebrates are attracted to brush piles and fallen trees for shelter and to feed on the even smaller organisms that gather there. In turn, larger fish come by looking for a easy meal. This gives the trees a dual purpose; enhancing fish production and making the area a good place for humans to fish. The trees will gradually sink in place, and each bundle is marked with a recycled bamboo stake.
HUGE thanks to our volunteers! Should you want to volunteer in City Park, please email Tyler Havens, Volunteer Manager, at thavens@nocp.org.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Simmons

NEW Floats in the Oaks Details

**NEW Details Announced**
New Orleans City Park Fundraiser "Floats in the Oaks"

As New Orleanians, we know parades may be canceled, but Mardi Gras isn’t.

Rob DeViney, Captain of the Krewe of Argus and Chief Operating Officer of New Orleans City Park, and City Park staff first began discussing the possibility of a drive-through Mardi Gras themed fundraiser soon after Mayor Cantrell’s call for alternative ideas to the traditional Mardi Gras parades canceled this year due to the pandemic.

‘Floats in the Oaks’ is a once in a lifetime opportunity for visitors to view iconic floats from various Mardi Gras krewes all in one place and it will give our region the opportunity to experience a part of Mardi Gras during this historic year. Families can safely participate in a parade-type event, by viewing a stationery parade with floats and entertainment from their cars, while also supporting City Park. View floats from your favorite krewes with over 40 floats, see flambeauxs, experience live entertainment along the route (done safely with pandemic precautions taken), see light installations, mambo to Mardi Gras music and more! We invite participants to wear Mardi Gras costumes and decorate their cars.

Participate in the "reverse throw'': Guests are encouraged to bring beads from their home and throw them from their car at the bullseye or at the Bacca-Whoppa. All beads will be donated to our Floats in the Oaks community partner St. Michael School.

Elements of Celebration in the Oaks will appear in Floats in the Oaks: Eli the Pink Elephant: this piece was originally on a Bards of Bohemia Captain’s Float, Victoria the Unicorn: this piece was originally a horse and was on a Caesar Captain's Float, The New Orleans Scene, Crawfish Boil Tree, The Who Dat Tree, the thank you to health care workers, and the NEW RGB light installations turned from holiday colors to purple, green, and gold!

Participating krewes (in alphabetical order): Alla, Athena, Argus, Babylon, Bacchus, Carrollton, Centurions, Choctaw, Druids, Endymion, Freret, Hermes, Iris, King Arthur, Krewe D'etat, Krewe du Vieux, the Lieutenant Governor, Mid City, Morpheus, Orpheus, Proteus, Pygmalion, Rex, Sparta, Thoth, Tucks, the US Coast Guard, Zulu

Kern Studios, Rizzuto and Company, Ducote Designs, and PFJ Floats will assist with transportation of parade units.

‘Floats in the Oaks’ offers both daytime and nighttime ticket opportunities, as well as add-on experiences. All floats will be lighted at night. Guests can order a Park Parade Pack to enjoy Mardi Gras snacks while experiencing the driving tour or the Grandstand Experience in Carousel Gardens, where guests can be the “Grand Marshal'' as they travel through the iconic oaks aboard the City Park Train, capture a special moment with a photo op on a real Mardi Gras float, roast a hot dog over an open fire pit, and enjoy Carnival favorites such as king cake and cotton candy. Masks and social distancing between families will be required and COVID safety protocols will be in place.

Quote from Arthur Hardy 'Mister Mardi Gras': "The Floats in the Oaks project is a first in the history of Mardi Gras; an assemblage of Mardi Gras floats from multiple krewes in one place where they can be enjoyed safely by locals and visitors during COVID. The 2021 Carnival season is the first since 1945 where no Mardi Gras parades will roll anywhere in the region. Parades in New Orleans have been affected in several years since the first Comus parade rolled in 1857: Civil War 1862-1865, Political unrest 1875, WWI 1927-1918, WWII 1942-1946, Korean War canceled most parades, Police Strike 1979 cancelled 12 New Orleans parades, while 13 moved to Kenner, Slidell, and Gretna."

Quote from City Park: “We are thrilled to hear so many people are interested in such a fundraiser to support City Park. It made us even more excited to eventually announce this event knowing the public supported it. City Park is looking forward to bringing a little bit of Mardi Gras to the people of the area, all while doing so safely. City Park will use the funds raised to maintain and operate the 1,300 acres,” says Rob DeViney, COO, “so everyone in our community can continue to enjoy the Park”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has financially impacted City Park significantly with the closure of revenue generating facilities, which makeup 90% of the Park’s operating budget, such as weddings, catered events, and the amusement park. Floats in the Oaks will provide revenue to offset these financial losses. The Park has been a place of respite for our community and the City Park staff will continue to creatively alter its operations to ensure the Park remains a clean and beautiful resource. City Park has, whenever possible, worked with local businesses to build this event.

Quote from Rex: “The Rex Organization salutes City Park’s leadership and board for having the vision to bring this wonderful idea to life so that New Orleanians and visitors alike can safely enjoy some Carnival spirit in this unique year,” said Rex Official James J. Reiss, III.  Reiss continued, “The Rex Organization is proud to honor its special connection to City Park as personified by Beau Bassich, a Marine Corp veteran in World War II who was the longtime volunteer leader of City Park and who served as Rex, the King of Carnival, in 1989.”

When:
Thursday, February 4th through Sunday, February 14th
Weekdays 5pm - 10pm and Weekends 1pm - 10pm

Pricing:
Tickets for ‘Floats in the Oaks’ and Add-On experiences are limited and all tickets must be purchased in advance and online only.
-Saturday - Sunday: 1 pm to 5 pm - $10 per car
-Monday - Sunday: 5pm to 10 pm - $20 per car
-Grandstand Experience Add-On - $15 per person (3 years and under do not need a ticket)
-Park Parade Pack - $12 (pack made for 2 people)

City Park has created exclusive hours for bike riders: $5/bike, Saturday 2/6 and 2/13 from 11am to noon. Guests on bikes must wear face coverings at all times, must only attend with members of their own household unless riding at least 6' away from another rider at all times (even in line), and riders may not stop along the route or leave their bike at any time.

Event address: 2 Freidrichs Avenue, New Orleans LA 70124

Tickets on sale now: neworleanscitypark.com/floats-in-the-oaks

The ‘Floats in the Oaks’ route is 1.3 miles long spanning Palm Drive and Roosevelt Mall. During the set-up and duration of the event, Roosevelt Mall will be closed to the public. Cars will enter Floats in the Oaks off Wisner on to the Festival Grounds track to line up to enter the event. During the active time of the event, the Festival Grounds will be closed. Vehicle height cannot exceed 10 feet. No limos, mini-buses, or pedestrians are allowed on the route. Guests participating in the drive through event in vehicles must wear seatbelts.

Start Composting with Compost NOW

Compost NOW (New Orleans Waste) began collecting food scraps at City Park's Reunion Shelter in August 2020. It is one of several Compost NOW collection sites around the city where local residents can drop off their frozen food scraps (no meat, no bones, no dairy, no oily foods). 

Since begining collection in City Park six months ago, Compost NOW has diverted over four-and-a-half tons of food waste (9300 pounds) from the landfill at the City Park site alone. Compost NOW has collectively diverted over 400,000 pounds of food waste since they began in 2017 at just two sites.

The food scraps are transported to Langston Hughes Academy as part of their Edible Schoolyard program or to Schmelly's Dirt Farm where they are turned into nutrient-rich compost.

Floats in the Oaks

Click for Tickets

As New Orleanians, we know parades may be canceled, but Mardi Gras isn’t.

Rob DeViney, Captain of the Krewe of Argus and Chief Operating Officer of New Orleans City Park, and City Park staff first began discussing the possibility of a drive-through Mardi Gras themed fundraiser soon after Mayor Cantrell’s call for alternative ideas to the traditional Mardi Gras parades canceled this year due to the pandemic.

‘Floats in the Oaks’ is a once in a lifetime opportunity for visitors to view iconic floats from various Mardi Gras krewes all in one place and it will give our region the opportunity to experience a part of Mardi Gras during this historic year. Families can safely participate in a parade-type event, by viewing stationery floats from their cars, while also supporting City Park. We hope participants will wear Mardi Gras costumes and decorate their cars. Additional elements of this experience are still developing.

‘Floats in the Oaks’ offers both daytime and nighttime ticket opportunities, as well as add-on experiences. Guests can order a Park Parade Pack to enjoy Mardi Gras snacks while experiencing the driving tour or the Grandstand Experience in Carousel Gardens, where guests can be the “Grand Marshal'' as they travel through the iconic oaks aboard the City Park Train, capture a special moment with a photo op on a real Mardi Gras float, roast a hot dog over an open fire pit, and enjoy Carnival favorites such as king cake and cotton candy. Masks and social distancing between families will be required and COVID safety protocols will be in place.

Krewes already involved in supporting City Park (in no particular order): Rex, Zulu, Bacchus, Hermes, Thoth, King Arthur, Argus, Alla, Morpheus, Iris, Pygmalion, Mid City, Tucks, Femme Fatale, Babylon, Druids, Carrollton. Kern Studios, Rizzuto and Company, Ducote Designs, and PFJ Floats will assist with transportation of parade units.

Need Help from the Public: The Park is actively seeking additional krewes and parade entertainment groups to participate in this City Park fundraiser to have as many elements of a parade present while continuing to abide by safety protocols. Krewe and parade entertainment group captains/leaders should email FloatsInTheOaks@nocp.org by the end of the day Tuesday, January 26, 2021, if interested in participating or learning more about the event.

Quote from City Park: “We are thrilled to hear so many people are interested in such a fundraiser to support City Park. It made us even more excited to eventually announce this event knowing the public supported it. City Park is looking forward to bringing a little bit of Mardi Gras to the people of the area, all while doing so safely. City Park will use the funds raised to maintain and operate the 1,300 acres,” says Rob DeViney, COO, “so everyone in our community can continue to enjoy the Park”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has financially impacted City Park significantly with the closure of revenue generating facilities, which makeup 90% of the Park’s operating budget, such as weddings, catered events, and the amusement park. Floats in the Oaks will provide revenue to offset these financial losses.The Park has been a place of respite for our community and the City Park staff will continue to creatively alter its operations to ensure the Park remains a clean and beautiful resource. City Park has, whenever possible, worked with local businesses to build this event.

Quote from Rex: “The Rex Organization salutes City Park’s leadership and board for having the vision to bring this wonderful idea to life so that New Orleanians and visitors alike can safely enjoy some Carnival spirit in this unique year,” said Rex Official James J. Reiss, III.  Reiss continued, “The Rex Organization is proud to honor its special connection to City Park as personified by Beau Bassich, a Marine Corp veteran in World War II who was the longtime volunteer leader of City Park and who served as Rex, the King of Carnival, in 1989.”

When:
Thursday, February 4th through Sunday, February 14th
Weekdays 5pm - 10pm and Weekends 1pm - 10pm

Pricing:
Tickets for ‘Floats in the Oaks’ and Add-On experiences are limited and all tickets must be purchased in advance and online only.
-Saturday - Sunday: 1 pm to 5 pm - $10 per car
-Monday - Sunday: 5pm to 10 pm - $20 per car
-Grandstand Experience Add-On - $15 per person (3 years and under do not need a ticket)
-Park Parade Pack - $12 (pack made for 2 people)

Event address: 2 Freidrichs Avenue, New Orleans LA 70124

Tickets on sale now: neworleanscitypark.com/floats-in-the-oaks

The ‘Floats in the Oaks’ route is 1.3 miles long spanning Palm Drive and Roosevelt Mall. During the duration of the event, Roosevelt Mall will be closed to the public. Cars will enter off Wisner on to the Festival Grounds track to line up to enter the event. During the active time of the event, the Festival Grounds will be closed. Vehicle height cannot exceed 11 feet. No limos, mini-buses, bikes, or pedestrians are allowed on the route. Guests participating in the drive through event must be inside vehicles in seatbelts.

NEW CEO ||  City Park names New CEO, Cara Lambright

City Park Names Cara Lambright New CEO

Lambright to Assume New Role Starting in February, Long-time CEO Dr. Robert W. Becker to Retire

Following an extensive national search, the New Orleans City Park Board of Directors announced today that Cara Lambright will become the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the 167-year-old park starting this February. Lambright comes to City Park from Memorial Park Conservancy in Houston. She will fill the role following the retirement of Dr. Robert W. Becker, who has served as the Park’s CEO for 20 years. Lambright’s arrival completes a national search for a new CEO by the nationally recognized firm of Ralph Andersen & Associates, who developed a succession plan and screened potential candidates for the Board’s consideration.

“With this announcement, City Park is starting 2021 with a clear and progressive plan for the Park’s future that will continue to build on our previous successes in recent years,” said Jay Batt, President, City Park (CPIA). “Ms. Lambright has a clear understanding of City Park’s unique history and her vision for our programming, conservation and progressive initiatives align with those of the Board perfectly. Her long history of planning and program development, along with her dedication to civic engagement will be a welcome addition to the Park’s leadership team.”

Ms. Lambright adds, “Signature parks like City Park are the heartbeat of our cities and grounding forces in communities.  The recent pandemic highlighted this as park usage both locally and nationally soared to levels never seen before. I’m honored to have the opportunity to advocate for, and continue to improve, New Orleans’ most beloved greenspace and to follow in the footsteps of Dr. Becker. It is, quite simply, the privilege of a lifetime.”
Lambright is a graduate of the London School of Economics and specializes in operations, capital planning, program development, and fundraising. As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Memorial Park Conservancy, she dramatically overhauled, and oversaw the day-to-day operations and maintenance, programming, finance and development for one of the nation's largest urban parks. During her tenure, Memorial Park Conservancy produced a nationally recognized master plan, negotiated a 30-year operating agreement with the City of Houston, quadrupled the park's annual operating budget and raised over $200 million for capital improvements. Prior to that, she served as President of AndrisinAbbey, a non-profit consulting firm that provided services to nonprofits, from management consulting to capital campaigns to public engagement. Lambright is an ardent believer in civic engagement and has served on the advisory board of the Houston Arts Alliance. She is past President of the Board of Art League Houston, and is a member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Trail Ride Committee. Lambright is certified in Urban Park Executive Leadership though CUNY and the Central Park Institute and is proud to be a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum, and a tribal citizen of the Chickasaw Indian Nation.
Lambright enjoys numerous connections to New Orleans and south Louisiana, spending childhood summers in New Iberia with her grandmother and ultimately confirming her passion for New Orleans by becoming a local homeowner in the French Quarter before moving to her current home Uptown.  Her daughter, Catherine, is also a resident, majoring in economics at Loyola University.
With Lambright’s appointment, long-time City Park CEO Dr. Robert “Bob” W. Becker will move into retirement as CEO Emeritus, after serving the Park for two decades.

“Dr. Becker informed our board of his intention to retire in 2019, but he graciously agreed to stay on the job through the initial stages of the pandemic and the elongated national selection process,” said Jay Batt. “That process concludes with the recommendation of Cara as his successor. Bob has given his heart and soul to City Park and will be dearly missed by all of us who understand his contribution over the years.”

Dr. Robert W. Becker’s tenure began in 2001. He is credited with dramatically improving the Park’s financial condition, securing its first public financing to address operating expenses from both the city and the state, and successfully leading the effort to develop a new vision for the Park’s future. Under his leadership, the City Park Improvement Association (CPIA) adopted City Park 2018, a comprehensive master plan for the Park that detailed the land use strategy and the projects and programs needed for implementation. By the end of 2018, more than $200 million in capital improvements were invested in the Park’s 1,300 acres.

We hope you join us in warmly welcoming Cara to the City Park team and we wish the best to Bob in his retirement!

Hear from Bob Becker

We Love Our Volunteers

We ❤️ our volunteers! Volunteers from the Jefferson Parish Youth Council (JPYC) helped City Park staff to take down Celebration in the Oaks Christmas trees, lights, and ornaments from the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park last Saturday.  One of City Park's annual volunteer projects is to completely strip these leftover trees from Celebration in the Oaks and reuse them in a conservation project.  This year, City Park is partnering with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (LDWF) to install these trees in Bayou St. John to create fish habitats and to help prevent soil erosion along the shoreline.

To volunteer in City Park, please visit this link.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation Fund New City Park Project

New Orleans City Park and Friends of City Park are proud to announce the development of its first community engagement digital mobile application to help facilitate safe outdoor recreation made possible by a $15,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. City Park is excited to begin development of this new project giving the Park an opportunity to engage more with those who are focused on health and wellness through Park recreation.

The Park will partner with Outerspacial, a platform developed to gather data and funnel it into the hands of Park users, to develop the mobile app that will provide maps of Park trails and routes and to post information relevant to visitor needs. Trails will be created for all fitness levels. Routes will be sorted by distance and duration set for walking and running. The Park will also partner with Youth Run NOLA for the project development.
In the future, Park visitors will be able to use the mobile app to check-in, report issues, create fitness challenges, rate trails, and share real-time details with their friends while out on the trail. We hope to partner with other local community groups and individuals who run, walk, plog, or exercise in City Park to add their routes and/or healthy routines to the application for other users to then have the opportunity to view. If an organization or program is interested in being a partner to share information, they should contact Liz Lowe, GIS Specialist, at llowe@nocp.org. The application will be available for guests within six months.
"With the help of this grant, City Park can allocate resources toward recreation as we adjust to a new normal of Covid-19 life. The Park’s short-term goal is to open the line of communication between City Park and the community strictly about recreation through the app. The Park’s long-term goal is to use the information gathered to organize a scalable wellness program in the future and improve our trial systems throughout the Park,” says Liz Lowe, GIS Specialist for New Orleans City Park.
A huge thank you to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation for providing the resources to support this project.

From Hurricane Katrina to coronavirus, how Celebration in the Oaks is coming full circle

BY MISSY WILKINSON | CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Click here to see original article

In December 2005, swaths of New Orleans remained dark and empty because of Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters, and Celebration in the Oaks organizers faced a challenge. How to mount the drive-thru holiday lights show when downed trees marred City Park’s landscape and the storm had destroyed its electrical infrastructure? Their solution was to condense the event’s footprint. Celebration in the Oaks became a pedestrian-only tour in the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park and New Orleans Botanical Garden.

Fifteen years later, things have come full circle. Another disaster, the coronavirus pandemic, prompted a shift back to the driving tour and eliminated the pedestrian portion.

“In the age of COVID, where social distancing and mask wearing is necessary and there are capacity limits, we thought the safe way to do Celebration in the Oaks would be to bring back the driving tour,” said City Park CEO Bob Becker. “That way, people can enjoy Christmas lights from the safety and security of their car.”

A 2.25-mile driving loop through City Park’s live oaks and lagoons means attendees can view more than 1 million lights while staying in their cars. Live entertainment, parties and amusement park rides are a no-go this year, but people who fondly remember the driving tour from the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s appreciate Celebration in the Oaks’ return to its vehicular roots.

“Some people say, ‘This is fantastic — I loved the driving tour before Katrina ruined it, and we’re glad you’re bringing it back,’” Becker said.

Attendees can expect to see familiar light displays from years past. Monstro, the 24-foot whale from "Pinocchio," returns for the first time since 2004, as does a 15-foot waving Santa. Unlike the light displays in other parts of the country, City Park’s installations are made in-house. Since August, builders Rusty Van Velsen, Steve Birney and Joey Donnelly and electrician Richard Martinez have worked seven-day weeks installing the park’s infrastructure and displays. Many displays are handmade and place uniquely New Orleans imagery, such as beer-swilling crawfish, alongside more traditional holiday motifs and whimsical displays of dinosaurs, bugs and flamingos.

Although Hurricane Zeta’s 110 mph winds crumpled the pirate ship last month, it is back on the route.

“The Celebration crew had (the pirate ship) repaired in one day,” said Julie LaCour, City Park's director of special events and director of Celebration in the Oaks. “Adapting to disasters is what we do best. Everyone that works here kind of rolls with the punches.”

New this year are light-up tributes to health care workers and acrylic dividers in the miniature train. A train ride ticket includes hot chocolate and entry to Storyland, where marshmallow roasting stations, more than 25 holiday trees decorated by local schoolchildren, and Mr. Bingle photo opportunities await.

“This whole event is a labor of love for us,” LaCour said. “We have the largest grove of ancient live oaks in the world, and the lights enhance the trees. When it comes together, it’s really just magical.”

Ticket sales have been “fairly robust,” LaCour said, but because the park can handle 400 cars an hour, plenty of prime-time slots are still available. Celebration in the Oaks takes place nightly Thanksgiving through Jan. 3, except for Christmas and New Year's eves. Ticket prices range from $18.99 to $175 per vehicle. All ticket sales are contactless, and attendees must prebook a time and date using the park’s online reservation system. The driving tour takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

Organizers hope a successful event will bring New Orleanians a welcome sense of normalcy during a traumatic, chaotic time. They’re also hoping it will shore up funding for the 1,300-acre urban public park, which is 90% self-funded and has taken a major hit. City Park workers have been laid off and taken salary cuts in the wake of a pandemic that canceled the major events, weddings and galas that raise funds for City Park. Although Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill directing $2.5 million from the state budget to City Park in 2021, it’s not enough to staunch the park’s losses.

“Celebration in the Oaks has accounted in the past for about 10% of all the money the park would make in the entire year,” Becker said. “It’s extremely important, from a financial point of view, for the park. … Like many institutions, City Park is having a difficult time, and one direct way people can help the park is by enjoying themselves at Celebration in the Oaks.”

Vandalism at City Park Antique Carousel and Storyland Exceeds $10,000

Photo by Chris Granger

See the bottom of this post for the latest information and statement from City Park.

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Vandalism at City Park Antique Carousel and Storyland Exceeds $10,000
City Park Asks the Public for Help Finding Assailants

Criminals broke into City Park’s Storyland and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park twice this past week. The vandals engaged in a rampage of destruction breaking doors, windows, and pieces of the 100-year-old Carousel and also drawing racially charged and sexually profane messages and images on pieces of the carousel and pieces of Storyland. The antique band organ and a priceless carousel horse were damaged with what appears to be antique broken glass. Other carousel horses had their tails ripped from the body of the horse. Items are also missing from the carousel and the security system was deactivated. 

The Park had a similar incident earlier in the week and subsequently the Park placed cameras in the Amusement Park. From the security images captured, City Park believes the perpetrators are young people. The names Alex and Justin A. were written on items. There are shoeprints on the carousel doors where they were kicked-in.

City Park believes the most recent crime to have been committed the early morning of Sunday, October 4th.

City Park is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact City Park immediately.

“This hurts my heart. The Carousel and Storyland are such traditional iconic parts of the Park. The Carousel is over 100 years old. To have them survive Katrina only to then be disrespected in this way is a true travesty. The people of New Orleans love City Park and we’re so grateful to them. It’s sad to see a few people destroy so much,” says Bob Becker, City Park CEO.

City Park is working hard to remain operational, safe, and clean during this COVID-19 time. Seeing record numbers of visitors and having a third of its staff laid off, this is a particularly difficult time for something like this to happen in City Park. “It feels like a punch to the stomach,” says Waymon Morris, Director of Recreational Services for City Park, whose team found the vandalism early Sunday morning as preparation began for Storyland to open Sunday.

“We are deeply saddened and are taking this personally. This is a gut punch in a time where we are having financial difficulties to remain operational during this pandemic. The carousel is one of the treasures not just of City Park but of New Orleans as a city. The vandalism is bad but the addition of racial slurs and inappropriate drawing in a child’s playground is disgusting. We are working hard and this hurts,” Rob DeViney, City Park COO.

Storyland received a revitalization in 2019 including new exhibits added. The Carousel is from 1906, and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.

See below for some photos. We did not include images of hate speech or vulgarity. 

Stories:

Latest Information:

WDSU: 1 arrested, 1 sought in City Park Storyland vandalism

NOLA.com1 arrested, 1 sought in City Park carousel vandalism spree, New Orleans police say

Statement from City Park: “We appreciate everyone who has helped with this case including the staff of City Park and NOPD. We further appreciate all the tips phoned-in, kind words, and donations sent from the community. We know this is a troubling time for so many, and many are having a difficult time coping. We’d like to take this opportunity to remind people while sometimes bad things happen, New Orleans City Park will always be there for you. We hope the people responsible for this crime can one day come to know and appreciate City Park like we know so many of you do.” -Rob DeViney, COO

Should you wish to make a donation, please visit this link. 

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NOLA.com

WWL TV

WDSU

WVUE

New Orleans City Park Celebration in the Oaks 2020 Fundraiser Announcement

New Orleans City Park celebrates the 34th year of Celebration in the Oaks with the announcement of a change for the 2020 holiday season. The Celebration in the Oaks fundraiser will operate as a driving tour for the season.
The Park decision was made to offer a safe opportunity for the people of the region to celebrate this holiday season. Staff has been working tirelessly to adapt the fundraiser to make it safe and operate within COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. The Park intends to add to the event, if possible, as restrictions may loosen closer to the event dates.
The Park has become a vital outlet for many New Orleanians during the pandemic as a place of respite. Whether it’s a place to get fresh air, exercise, or a place to safely recreate as a family, City Park is here for the people of New Orleans.
“We know our guests need something to look forward to during this troubling time. We’re thrilled to be able to turn the New Orleans tradition of Celebration in the Oaks into an activity people of all ages can attend safely during the holiday season. We’ve been working hard to keep the Park moving forward and we know the people of the region are working hard during this time as well. We can’t wait to see the smiles from the kids ages one to one hundred,” says Bob Becker, City Park CEO.
 

Changes Made for Iconic Ghosts in the Oaks Event in City Park

Click Image For More Details

Friends of City Park is proud to announce its popular Ghosts in the Oaks fundraiser will happen with support from the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust. The initiative will be different from previous years but the revenue created by this fundraiser will continue to give much needed support to New Orleans City Park.

Friends of City Park is thrilled to bring the families of New Orleans, Ghosts in the Oaks: A Haunting at Home presented by Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust. Annually, Friends of City Park hosts the Ghosts in the Oaks event, a multi-night event filled with the non-scary elements of Halloween, but this year with the many COVID-19 related restrictions we have adapted the event and will bring the party to you at home. The Party Pack experience is complete with activities, games, sweet treats, party tip tutorials by local New Orleans personalities, and fun surprises at the party pack pick up. Each purchase includes activities for up to four people.

When and Where: Party packs go on sale Friday, September 18, 2020 on FriendsOfCityPark.com

Prices:
General Price: $99 per Party Pack (party for 4 people) Friends of City Park Members receive $10 off
Add-ons at the time of purchase: Ghosts in the Oaks t-shirt and a professional photo taken during pick-up

Pick Up Dates: Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25: Anytime between 1pm to 5pm
Pick Up Location: Reunion Shelter: 4 Frederichs Ave, New Orleans, LA

Dress in costume and bring the kids to pick up your party pack. Friends of City Park staff and volunteers will greet guests in costumes to fulfill their orders. In addition, participants will be encouraged to participate in the Creepy Costume Crawl around Big Lake. Following the Creepy Costume Crawl, families can enjoy their party pack from home with a video series to help them create the ultimate Halloween party. 

When to Party: You decide! Some families may be so excited they’ll want to tear open the party-packs in the car just after pick up and others may want to wait until Halloween – it’s up to you!

What’s in the Box: For up to 4 people: Halloween Candy, Halloween Sugar Cookie Baking Kit, Pumpkin Decorating Kit, Mask Decorating Kit, Balloon Art Kit, and more! Plus look for a Spotify playlist, Mummy Toilet Paper Game Instructions, and cocktail recipes for the adults.

This year’s event will be different than years before, but we are sure our party pack, put together with partners like Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust, Hahn Enterprises, Dickie Brennan & Co., NOLA Craft Culture, and Badass Balloon Company, will be sure to excite participants at home.

“With 90% of the Park’s operating income coming from self-generated funds, City Park has suffered considerably with the closing of attractions, weddings, and events due to the unprecedented global pandemic. Friends of City Park has supported the Park through fundraisers for over 40 years and our Ghosts in the Oaks fundraiser is a way that we can provide some relief this Fall,” says Stephanie Bell, Executive Director of Friends of City Park.

Friends of City Park is a regional, non-profit organization whose mission is to maintain and increase the value and importance of City Park as a place of natural beauty, culture, recreation and education for the public and is an invaluable support organization for City Park.

Outdoor Dinners in the Botanical Garden

Miss restaurant quality food? Want to have an amazing experience while outdoors in the fresh air? The New Orleans Botanical Garden has answered the call with two outdoor dinners scheduled in September. Guests enter through the Oscar J. Tolmas Center, greeted with a welcome cocktail, and directed to their table. At each dinner, guests will enjoy a three -course alfresco dining experience including wine and a specialty cocktail while in the magical Botanical Garden location.

Event One:
When: September 10, 2020 from 6pm to 9pm
"Dinner with Class in the Garden" featuring Chef Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen's Restaurant

Chef Brigtsen, a Cajun/Creole Cooking superstar chef, shares his talents and culinary instructions in this "Dinner with Class" event.
Guests will enjoy a three-course meal including wine while receiving culinary instructions on how to prepare Frank's dishes. Relax in the garden with no need to take notes, guests will leave with a packet with recipe details from the dinner.
Tickets are available for tables of 2 or 4 people. To reserve a table for 6 or 8 people please contact Melissa at mnewell@nocp.org.

Location: New Orleans Botanical Garden: 5 Victory Avenue, New Orleans LA 70124

Tickets: $250/couple

Ticket link: click here

Menu:
Hors d'Oeuvre: smoked salmon on rye with horseradish whipped cream and pickled sweet pepper
First Course: crab and corn soup
Second Course: shrimp etouffee with rice and corn macque choux
Third Course: banana bread pudding with pecan praline sauce and whipped cream
Wine will be served with dinner.
Vegetarian options are available upon request.

Event Two:
When: September 17 from 6pm to 9pm
"Dinner in Your Secret Garden" featuring Chef Patrick White of Karibu Kitchen

Dine in your choice of gardens in the New Orleans Botanical Garden. Dinner experiences are available in the Southern Shade Garden, Japanese Garden or, be the first to dine in our new "Chapel of the Rain" while listening to the steady flow of the "Visitation" fountain. No matter which location you choose for your secret garden dining adventure, diners will be treated to a unique dining experience. Enjoy a three course meal prepared by Executive Chef White in the beauty and serenity of the Botanical Garden.
Tickets are available for tables of 2 or 4 people. To reserve a table for 6 or 8 people please contact Melissa at mnewell@nocp.org.

Location: New Orleans Botanical Garden: 5 Victory Avenue, New Orleans LA 70124

Tickets: $220/couple

Ticket link: click here

Menu:
Hors d'Oeuvre - garden bruschetta
First Course - gulf shrimp salad with garden greens
Second Course - "Lomo AL Trapo"- beef tenderloin wrapped in a wine soaked cotton cloth and cooked directly in the coals, mashed plantains and drizzled  garden chimichurri
Third Course - Bete Noir - flourless chocolate cake
Wine will be served with dinner.
Vegetarian options are available upon request.

Volunteers Needed for The Friends of City Park Clean-Up Krewe

The Friends of City Park Clean-Up Krewe works to eliminate litter from New Orleans’ most popular family recreational locations in City Park and also inspires the next generation in public servants on the importance of keeping our Park clean. As stewards to City Park, the responsibility of sustaining our Park’s health belongs to each of us.

The Friends of City Park Clean-Up Krewe is dedicated to hosting on-going volunteer days in the Park, focused on reducing litter and continued beautification. Each Saturday, through October, volunteers meet and participate alongside other community leaders collecting debris from some of the Park’s most trafficked areas like Big Lake and City Putt.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Park has furloughed the majority of its staff and has been unable to open many of its revenue-generating attractions that contribute to the Park’s operations budget. The Park has seen record numbers of people using the Park and with fewer staff members we hope people who use the Park will consider volunteering some of their time to help us keep the Park looking its best. We truly appreciate everyone who helps the Park during this unprecedented time whether it’s through a monetary donation or with sweat equity. 

“Friends of City Park members are engaged and ready to serve the Park. It has been reenergizing throughout the last few months to hear from Members about how much City Park has meant to them during this time. Our Clean-up Krewes are a result of this positive engagement and a way for the community to give back,” says Stephanie Bell, Executive Director, Friends of City Park.

Sign up to Participate: click here

Volunteer Dates: Saturdays through October: September 5 – October 31

Shift Hours: 8am to 10am

Location: Areas around City Park: Based on which date volunteers sign up

Who Can Volunteer: Volunteers should be 15 years old unless accompanied by a parent. We’d love to host Mardi Gras krewes, high schoolers who need service hours, individuals who love the Park, families who want to spend time together outdoors while doing good - you name it, we want your help.

Safety: Groups will be no larger than 10 people and volunteers must sign up ahead of time. All supplies for volunteers will be clean and available upon check-in. Everyone will be required to wear masks while participating. Physical distancing will be required for those volunteering who don’t live together. Volunteers should wear closed toe shoes, wear sunscreen, and bring water to drink.

The Friends of City Park Clean-Up Krewe

The Friends of City Park Clean-Up Krewe works to eliminate litter from New Orleans’ most popular family recreational locations in City Park and also inspires the next generation in public servants on the importance of keeping our Park clean. As stewards to City Park, the responsibility of sustaining our Park’s health belongs to each of us.

The Friends of City Park Clean-Up Krewe is dedicated to hosting on-going volunteer days in the Park, focused on reducing litter and continued beautification. Each Saturday, now through October, volunteers meet and participate alongside other community leaders collecting debris from some of the Park’s most trafficked areas like Big Lake and City Putt.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Park has furloughed the majority of its staff and has been unable to open many of its revenue-generating attractions that contribute to the Park’s operations budget. The Park has seen record numbers of people using the Park and with fewer staff members we hope people who use the Park will consider volunteering some of their time to help us keep the Park looking its best. We truly appreciate everyone who helps the Park during this unprecedented time whether it’s through a monetary donation or with sweat equity. 

“Friends of City Park members are engaged and ready to serve the Park. It has been reenergizing throughout the last few months to hear from Members about how much City Park has meant to them during this time.  Our Clean-up Krewes are a result of this positive engagement and a way for the community to give back,” says Stephanie Bell, Executive Director, Friends of City Park. 

Sign up to Participate here

Shift Hours: 8am to 10am

Location: Areas around City Park: Based on which date volunteers sign up

Who Can Volunteer: Volunteers should be 15 years old unless accompanied by a parent. We’d love to host Mardi Gras krewes, high schoolers who need service hours, individuals who love the Park, families who want to spend time together outdoors while doing good - you name it, we want your help.

Safety: Groups will be no larger than 10 people and volunteers must sign up ahead of time. All supplies for volunteers will be clean and available upon check-in. Everyone will be required to wear masks while participating. Physical distancing will be required for those volunteering who don’t live together. Volunteers should wear closed toe shoes, wear sunscreen, and bring water to drink.

Extended Dates: Brews and Boos Movie Series

Click Image for Tickets

New Orleans City Park is excited to announce extended dates for the Brews and Boos: Movie Series: four more outdoor movie nights showcasing scary films under the oaks with an open beer bar. Located in the large grassy area around Popp Fountain, there is ample space to participate in physical distancing while still being social. This is a 21+ party and no exceptions will be made.

Each ticket includes: Scary movie, access to an open beer bar, Tito’s Handmade Vodka Jell-O shots, and bags of salted peanuts. Each guest will also receive a free raffle ticket to possibly win Modelo themed and Brews and Boos merchandise.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets or chairs and are allowed to bring their own food and/or beverages. We ask guests to ‘Leave No Trace’ and take their trash home with them after the event.

Horror films are films movies that seek to elicit fear for entertainment purposes. These films often aim to evoke viewers' nightmares, fears, and terror of the unknown and this lineup will not disappoint:
Schedule of Brews and Boos Movie Series:
September 5, 7:30pm to 10pm: “Shaun of the Dead”
September 12, 7pm to 9:30pm: “It Follows”
September 18, 7pm to 9:30pm: “Hereditary”
September 19, 7pm to 9:30pm:  “Hereditary”

Beers: Michelob Ultra, Paradise Park, Bud Light, and Modelo

Time: Please note times above

Admission: $35.00 per person

Tickets: Purchase ahead of time on: tix.wrstbnd.com/e/event/brewsboos
Only 50 guests are allowed at each event. Purchase tickets ahead of time.

Location: Arbor Room at Popp Fountain: 10 Diagonal Dr., New Orleans, La 70124: visit NewOrleansCityPark.com for Park map.

Should it rain, movies will be shown indoors at the Arbor Room (just next to Popp Fountain). No refunds will be issued.

Safety: There is a max capacity of 50 guests. All guests must adhere to physical distancing rules. Guests are encouraged to wear a face mask, but are not required to do so. Hand sanitizer will be available to all guests in restrooms and at beer station. All staff will undergo a temperature check prior to event shift. All staff will wear masks at all times. Equipment will be sanitized before, during, and after the event. Restrooms will also be sanitized before, during, and after the event. Staff maintaining the beer station will wear gloves at all times, and sanitize beer taps throughout the event. Physical distancing among guests will be supervised by Park event staff. Contracted security staff will monitor the parking lot.
All guests are encouraged to use ride share.

BOO! Outdoor Horror Movie Series in City Park

New Orleans City Park is excited to announce Brews and Boos: Movie Series: four outdoor movie nights showcasing scary films under the oaks with an open beer bar. Located in the large grassy area around Popp Fountain, there is ample space to participate in physical distancing while still being social. This is a 21+ party and no exceptions will be made.

Each ticket includes: Scary movie, access to an open beer bar, Tito’s Handmade Vodka Jell-O shots, and bags of salted peanuts. Each guest will also receive a free raffle ticket to possibly win beer themed merchandise.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets or chairs. Guests are allowed to bring their own food and/or beverages. We ask guests to ‘Leave No Trace’ and take their trash home with them after the event.

Horror films are films movies that seek to elicit fear for entertainment purposes. These films often aim to evoke viewers' nightmares, fears, and terror of the unknown and this lineup will not disappoint:
Schedule of Brews and Boos Movie Series:
August 21st  “Us”
August 28th  “A Quiet Place”
September 4th “Shaun of the Dead”
September 11th “It Follows”

Beers: Michelob Ultra, Paradise Park, Bud Light, and Modelo Especial

Time: Gates open at 7:30pm; movie begins at 8pm, gates closed at 10pm

Admission:  $35.00 per person

Tickets: Purchase ahead of time on: Click here
Only 50 guests are allowed at each event. Purchase tickets ahead of time.

Location: Arbor Room at Popp Fountain: 10 Diagonal Dr., New Orleans, La 70124: visit NewOrleansCityPark.com for Park map.

Should it rain, movies will be shown indoors at the Arbor Room (just next to Popp Fountain). No refunds will be issued.

Safety: There is a max capacity of 50 guests. All guests must adhere to physical distancing rules. Guests are encouraged to wear a face mask, but are not required to do so. Hand sanitizer will be available to all guests in restrooms and at beer station.  All staff will undergo a temperature check prior to event shift.  All staff will wear masks at all times. Equipment will be sanitized before, during, and after the event.  Restrooms will also be sanitized before, during, and after the event. Staff maintaining the beer station will wear gloves at all times, and sanitize beer taps throughout the event. Physical distancing among guests will be supervised by Park event staff. Contracted security staff will monitor the parking lot.
All guests are encouraged to use ride share.

HOW TO HELP NEW ORLEANS CITY PARK NOW

HOW TO HELP NEW ORLEANS CITY PARK NOW

-Donate today by clicking here.

City Park generates 90% of its operating income through self-generated revenues, which are all currently closed. Our local parks, trails, and open spaces have always served as places where people can find respite and seek peace and restoration. During this time of uncertainty, these places are needed now more than ever.

Please consider a donation to help offset lost revenue during this time and sustain New Orleans City Park as a community resource. Our ability to care for City Park’s 1,300 acres is dependent on individuals just like you.

-Pick up your trash and bring it home with you. Practice "Leave No Trace" while in the Park.

Our team is on the ground ensuring that we still continue to maintain grounds, trash, and horticulture, to the best of our ability. If you are utilizing the Park, please be sure to pick up your trash or any trash that you may see. Help us keep the Park clean!

-Volunteer donate your time to City Park. Shoot Tyler Havens, Volunteers Manager, and email at thavens@nocp.org. We love our volunteers and can't keep the Park looking as great as it does without them!

Thank you to Shell and Batture LLC for the help!

Water Hyacinth

Donor Highlight: Thank you to Shell and Batture LLC for helping us keep our waterways healthy during the pandemic. Their support has allowed the Park to keep up with the removal of water hyacinth, an invasive plant, from our lagoon systems. 

These efforts intended to complement and advance the goals of City Park's comprehensive water management plan by targeting and inhibiting invasive water hyacinth growth. This will greatly improve the health of the Park’s lagoon system and enable community access to thewaterway.


Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is a free-floating aquatic plant, native to the Amazon basin of South America. In its native habitat, the fast-growing water hyacinth is kept in check by natural predators that feed on its leaves. Outside of the Amazon basin, without any natural population controls, the water hyacinth quickly becomes a noxious weed, forming thick mats all across waterways and causing severe damage to native ecosystems. As the water hyacinth covers waterways, it shades out native plants and animals, depriving plants of sunlight and animals of oxygen. When the hyacinth dies (which, in the Southeast, only happens after a long freeze), the decay process further depletes oxygen in the water, often causing die-offs of native fish or turtles. Due to mild winters, water hyacinths and other nuisance aquatic weeds can clog
the Parks waterways without proper mitigation.


In 2018, City Park was awarded funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) as part of the Five Star and Urban Waters program to focus on the Park’s lagoon system and riparian areas. Shell employee volunteers were featured prominently in this video (click here) which further demonstrates Shell’s commitment to conservation and City Park. This project included removal of water hyacinth. To maintain this work and removal of nuisance aquatic plant growth within the lagoon system, Shell and Batture LLC contributed to continue these treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


If you are interested in how you can help City Park during the pandemic, please contact Casie
Duplechain, Chief Development Officer, at cdupelchain@nocp.org.

 

Submitted by

Casie Duplechain, Chief Development Officer

cdupelchain@nocp.org.

National Pollinator Week is June 22-28

The 2020

This week is dedicated as a time to celebrate all that pollinators do for us and to be reminded of all the things we can do for them!

“Thirteen years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.” See this link to learn more!


In addition, World Bee Day was celebrated on May 20, 2020, and the celebration continues into National Pollinator Week! Here is a list of some activities you can do to help the 20,000 incredible bee species worldwide!

Learn how to identify different types of bees in our Bee ID blog by Amber Barnes, Pollinator Partnership’s Wildlife and Conservation Ecologist.

Watch the Protecting Our Pollinators webinar hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and learn about the importance of pollinators to our food system, the threats they face, and best practices to safeguard them.

Watch the Exploring the World of Pollinators webinar by Anthony Colangelo, Pollinator Partnership’s Communications Coordinator and learn about native bees and a few of the fantastic programs Pollinator Partnership has to offer for parents and kids that are fun, educational, and beneficial to pollinators!

Download the Insight Citizen Science App and spend some time outside monitoring and recording observations of the bees visiting your garden!

Check out this article on how to protect bees in your garden or balcony!


New Orleans City Park, especially areas with flowers and native plants, is a great place to visit to watch pollinators in action. Take a walk through The New Orleans Botanical Garden, along the Native Plant Trail at Big Lake, or through Couturie Forest and see how many different pollinators you can spot! If you see a bee hive in the Park in an unsafe spot, or if the bees are being aggressive please contact our Safety Coordinator Carrie Ann Ducote at 504-483-9358. We will contact Bee Guyz to relocate the bees safely to a safe habitat. Remember to always observe from a safe distance so as not to disturb their important work!

- Lindsay Kirsch

Environmental Program Manager, New Orleans City Park

“This World Environment Day, it’s Time #forNature”

The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.

Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message: To care for ourselves we must care for nature.

It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices.

It’s time to build back better for People and Planet.

This World Environment Day, it’s Time for Nature.

#FORNATURE

June 5, 2020 was World Environment Day. The website for this celebration shares the fact that we are on the verge of mass extinction as one million plant and animal species risk extinction, largely as a result of human activities. “If we continue on this path, biodiversity loss will have severe implications for humanity, including the collapse of food and health systems… If current trends continue, by 2050 the global urban population is estimated to be 6.3 billion, nearly doubling the 3.5 billion urban dwellers worldwide in 2010," writes the Convention on Biological Diversity in its report Cities and Biodiversity Outlook. "More than 60 percent of the area projected to be urban in 2030 has yet to be built. Most of this growth is expected to happen in small and medium-sized cities, not in megacities." As we humans take over more of the Earth, biodiversity suffers.
“Reversing biodiversity loss is the only way to restore and sustain a healthy planet.  This will only be possible when we understand the web of life in which we live and appreciate that it functions as a whole system.  It is time to reimagine our relationship with nature and put nature at the heart of our decision-making.”

New Orleans is no exception to what is happening in cities around the world, and so City Park has recently been working on increasing the biodiversity of one area of the Park!
Have you noticed any changes at Big Lake?! The garden beds on what was called ‘The Louisiana Trail’ have been getting attention thanks to a new partnership between City Park, The Native Plant Initiative and The New Orleans Town Gardeners. The goal of the new ‘Big Lake Native Plant Trail’ is to demonstrate the benefits and beauty of native plants, and to increase biodiversity in the Park! Local native plants such as American beautyberry, coral bean, blue mistflower, purple coneflower, cardinal flower, and yaupon holly, among many others, have been added to provide habitat and food for native wildlife.

The world’s food web is built on the presence of native plants since insects depend on native plants as food sources and cannot thrive without them. Currently, 80-90% of our landscapes are composed of non-native plants which insects are unable to use, and since insects are a major food source for many other forms of wildlife including birds and many mammals, without a robust insect population, the food web deteriorates.

The monoculture created by turf grass and the foreign plants that make up most of our gardens takes the place of the native plant species that would naturally be there. Native plants evolved here in our climate and soils, so they are adapted to our weather extremes and perform better than plants from somewhere else. Many native plants can handle the wet soils, heavy rainfall and hot temperatures that are common here. They also have developed defenses against disease and insect pressures that exotic plants do not, therefore, they tend to require less herbicide, pesticide, fertilizers and less fussing over in general in comparison to non native plants.

There are many beautiful native plants that can provide greater interest and diversity in our gardens and landscapes, while also enhancing the biodiversity of our area. So, on this World Environment Day, take a moment to think about what you can do #fornature and biodiversity in our city. If you decide to add some natives to your yard, be sure to watch for plant sales at the Pelican Greenhouse at City Park- it’s a great source for local natives! Also, check out the schedule of what’s happening all over the world for World Environment Day (even if it's a few days late to celebrate on the actual day). 

Written by:

Lindsay Kirsch

Environmental Program Manager

City Park Dog Park to Reopen

NOLA City Bark to Reopen with Restrictions in Place for Phase I

With guidance from appropriate governmental authorities New Orleans City Park will open NOLA City Bark dog park to permit holders at 1pm on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions are in place to keep both guests and staff safe. No more than 30 people are allowed in the large dog park at a time and only 10 people at a time in the small dog park area. Guests must stay fewer than 60 minutes at a time. Guests are allowed to bring their own chairs and must take them with them as they leave the dog park. Water fountains for humans will be nonoperational. Guests must maintain at least 6 feet from one another and though not required, we ask guests to wear face shields or masks, and all permit holders must scan their permit pass before entering the dog park. Permits holders may not allow non-permit holders inside the facility.

Guests should check neworleanscitypark.com for the latest information.

How to buy a dog park permit: Visit nolacitybark.org for details.

About NOLA City Bark: NOLA City Bark dog park is a 4.6 acre plot of land located in beautiful City Park. An afternoon in NOLA City Bark dog park offers fun and a place to exercise the canine members of a family. 
Entrance to the dog park requires a permit to insure that all dogs have been properly vaccinated and spayed/neutered. Annual permits as well as temporary/tourist permits for visitors are available. The permit fee provides operating funds to maintain the dog park.

OPENING INFO: 1pm Tuesday, May 26, 2020
REGULAR HOURS: Open 5:30am - 9pm*
*Exception: Dog Park is closed on Tuesdays until 1pm for weekly maintenance.

New Orleans City Park will begin Phase I opening

With guidance from appropriate governmental authorities New Orleans City Park will begin Phase I opening some of its facilities on Saturday, May 16, 2020.

City Park staff will follow appropriate protocols to ensure cleanliness and safety. Guests are asked to follow CDC, state, and city recommended social distance measures and to stay home if they are sick or have been exposed to Covid-19. Capacity at each attraction will be limited. For the safety of our staff, tickets will be sold online at NewOrleansCityPark.com. Bathrooms outside open attractions will remain closed.

Guests should check neworleanscitypark.com for the latest information.

“City Park will reopen some attractions such as non-contact sports and the Botanical Garden with limited admission. We invite guests to use the attractions responsibly and continue to maintain the guidelines set by the CDC. We are so grateful to the people who love City Park and to those who have donated money during this time. We strenuously remind people to continue to follow the rules in place so the Park can continue to move forward in phase one,” said Bob Becker, CEO for New Orleans City Park.

Attractions and Facilities:

- Oscar J. Tolmas Visitor Center: Wed. 10am to 8pm and Thurs. – Sun. 10am to 4:30pm; 5 Victory Avenue

Non-Contact Sports:

- City Park/Pepsi Tennis Complex: Open Mon.– Thurs. 8am to 7pm and Fri.– Sun. 8am to 6pm; reservations made over the phone at (504) 483-9383; limited admission
- City Putt Mini Golf: Open Wed.- Fri. 3pm to 10pm and Sat. & Sun. noon to 10pm; last rental is 1 hour before close; purchase tickets on this link; limited admission
- Bayou Oaks: Open Mon.– Fri. 7am to dark and Sat. & Sun. 6am to dark; clubhouse will close each day at 7pm; reservations made on CityParkGolf.com; limited admission
- Sport Fields: Fields are available for rent for non-contact sports only; to rent a field contact Denise at djoubert@nocp.org
- Wheel Fun boat and bike rentals on Big Lake: Open Mon.-Fri. 10am to sunset and Sat. & Sun. 9am to sunset; details on this link.

Playgrounds:
- Storyland: Open Wed. – Sun. 10am to 4:30pm (last entry at 4pm); limited admission; tickets on this link
- Other Park playgrounds will open over time and will be announced on Park website and social media.

New Orleans Botanical Garden:
- Open Wed. 10am to 8pm and Thurs.- Sun. 10am to 4:30pm; Wednesday is free entry for LA residents courtesy of The Helis Foundation; purchase tickets on this link; limited admission

Food:
- Snoballs: Located on the plaza between the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn and City Putt; open Wed. – Sun. noon to 7pm
- Filmore in the Oaks: Located inside Bayou Oaks clubhouse; Open Mon. – Fri. 10am to 7pm and Sat. & Sun. 8am to 7pm, take-away only
- Café Du Monde: Open 7 days week, 10am to 5pm, take-away only
- Acorn: Open Thurs. & Fri 11:30am and Sat. & Sun. 11am to 8pm; take-away and outdoor seating; order by phone or online: 504-218-5213 or acornnola.com

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

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

Spring Walk in City Park by Catherine Abel

Walking in City Park is one of my favorite activities. Whatever the season there’s always breathtaking sights and new discoveries. One of my favorite times to stroll through the park is in the Spring especially before the humidity comes rolling in covering the city in a blanket of constant, almost smothering heat. The transformation that takes place as Winter dissolves away is refreshing and almost shocking.

The oak trees in the Park are majestic. A signature feature of the Park, they stand out in all seasons but the spring is when they’re truly breathtaking, literally and figuratively depending on your allergies. In the spring the tree branches transform from nearly bare to exploding with small bright green leaves. It seems to happen all at once. One day, there is nothing noticeable about them, other than size, and then the next there are bits of bordering neon leaflets breaking through the brown gray that once covered the limbs. The trees not only brighten things up with their leaves, they also help break the winter blues with the songs of birds that find shelter in them. There are many days when the air is full of the songs of birds that are hopping from limb to limb in the trees and dancing along the ground. 
The trees aren’t the only thing that changes from winter to spring. The grass in the Park becomes like a plush carpet, begging bare feet to come and take a stroll and enjoy the warm sunlight on the lively blades. Flowers blooms help break up the shades of green that cover the Park. The tulips that pop up beside Big Lake provide a welcome breath of freshness to the eyes. Their colors are a sure sign that the seasons are changing. Though their time in bloom is brief, these flowers provide an opportunity to appreciate the change in seasons. Another welcomed and popular sight in the spring, are the fields of wildflowers. Their bright colors serve as a fantastic photo opportunity, just please remember to stay on the designated path so you don’t crush the flowers and everyone can enjoy them. This spring feature is my favorite place to walk. Strolling through these vibrant blooms always makes me slow down and take deep breaths. Stopping to smell the roses is important but taking a stroll through the wildflowers is just as important.
Everything brightens in the spring and the Park is no exception. Though it is a source of beautiful natural sights throughout the year, I believe no one can deny how special City Park is in Spring. So please, take a moment to walk and soak in the sights of Spring in New Orleans City Park.

-Written by Catherine Abel

cabel@nocp.org

Earth Hour

It's almost April, and in April City Park usually celebrates Earth Day! We all know this year's a little different. Though we are all apart right now we can still do something together in honor of the earth. This Saturday, March 28, 2020, join others from around the world for "Earth Hour" by turning out your lights for an hour from 8:30pm to 9:30pm.

Check out this link for more information.

Help Place the Spotlight on Nature - The World is Watching
Started by WWF and partners as a symbolic lights-out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now one of the world's largest grassroots movements for the environment, engaging millions of people in more than 180 countries and territories. It has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact, driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the people.
See the Earth Hour 2020 official video here

Learn more here
 

-Lindsay Kirsch

Environmental Program Manager

lkirsch@nocp.org

COVID-19 UPDATES: CITY PARK

Updates: 

Please visit this link for updates on City Park events and attractions. 

_______________

New Orleans City Park statement on COVID-19:
As more cases of the coronavirus disease are being identified in the Greater New Orleans area, New Orleans City Park is closely following the CDC recommended actions regarding the coronavirus and are implementing those appropriate to our situation. We ask New Orleans City Park guests to follow the guidance of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individual precautionary measures such as:
1. Stay home if you are sick. If you have flu- or cold-like symptoms, stay home to lower the chances of spreading the illness to others.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or face. Mucous membranes of the face-eyes, nose and mouth-are entry portals for many microbes, including coronavirus and the viruses that cause the common cold.
3. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your elbow. Throw used tissues away. Do not cough or sneeze directly into your hands, because you will spread the microbes from your hands to anything you touch.
4. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It is especially important to wash your hands before and after touching your eyes, nose or mouth, after using the bathroom and before eating.
5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Use a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Frequently touched objects include keyboards, doorknobs and desks.

Friends of City Park event Lark in the Park rescheduled

Friends of City Park event Lark in the Park rescheduled from Friday, March 13th to June 2020

As more cases of the coronavirus disease are being identified in the Greater New Orleans area, Friends of City Park is rescheduling Lark in the Park, which will now be held in conjunction with our June event, Toast in the Oaks.

The Friends of City Park decision was made out of an abundance of caution as we take great pride in being good stewards to City Park and to our supporters. The Toast in the Oaks date and event details will be communicated in the coming week.

All Lark in the Park donors and ticket holders will be transferred to this event.

Thank you again for your support and proceeds raised through Lark in the Park will benefit new technology and enhancements for Celebration in the Oaks.

In a continued effort to support this cause, you may bid on our amazing auction items by visiting this link. We are extending the auction close out and it will end on Sunday, March 15 at 8PM.

New Orleans City Park is closely following the CDC recommended actions regarding the coronavirus and are implementing those appropriate to our situation. We ask New Orleans City Park guests to follow the guidance of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individual precautionary measures such as:
1. Stay home if you are sick. If you have flu- or cold-like symptoms, stay home to lower the chances of spreading the illness to others.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or face. Mucous membranes of the face-eyes, nose and mouth-are entry portals for many microbes, including coronavirus and the viruses that cause the common cold.
3. Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your elbow. Throw used tissues away. Do not cough or sneeze directly into your hands, because you will spread the microbes from your hands to anything you touch.
4. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It is especially important to wash your hands before and after touching your eyes, nose or mouth, after using the bathroom and before eating.
5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Use a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Frequently touched objects include keyboards, doorknobs and desks.

About Friends of City Park: Established in 1979,  Friends of City Park  is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to maintain and increase the value and importance of City Park as a place of natural beauty, culture, and education for the public. Over the past 35 years, Friends of C ity Park has raised money to assist in new projects and refurbish many beloved Park attractions including the Historic Wooden Carousel, Botanical Garden, Peristyle, Storyland, and Popp Fountain. Friends of City Park sustains its efforts from its robust membership program that offers perks to Friends' members.
 

New Orleans (March 11, 2020)

New Orleans City Park Named One of the Top Reasons to Visit New Orleans in 2020

Storyland

New Orleans City Park Named One of the Top Reasons to Visit New Orleans in 2020
2020 marks the 170th anniversary for New Orleans City Park

This week Travel Pulse compiled the Top 10 Reasons to Visit New Orleans in 2020.  New Orleans City Park is proud to be named in the list. With its many attractions, events, and open green spaces, City Park’s 1300 acres is a dream destination for anyone year-round.

“It’s not difficult to convince clients to take a trip to New Orleans, a city with world-renowned restaurants, a vibrant music scene, major festivals and events (hello, Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest) and an atmosphere that’s truly unlike anywhere else in the world. But just in case your clients need that extra motivation, here are the top 10 reasons to plan a trip to New Orleans this year,” says Travel Pulse.

The website singled out: the Louisiana Children’s Museum, Café Du Monde, and the recently renovated Storyland. Travel Pulse say City Park is a ‘can’t miss’ for families both local and those traveling to the crescent city.

New Orleans City Park is in great company with other New Orleans gems such as kayaking in Bayou St. John, the new airport, and the 50th anniversary of Essence Festival. To visit the online post and see the other 9 points of interest for 2020, please visit this link: https://www.travelpulse.com/opinions/blog/top-10-reasons-to-visit-new-orleans-in-2020.html.

“We’re excited to be include on this elite list. The year 2020 is very special to City Park, as it marks our 170th anniversary. Last year was quite a year for the Park and thus 2020 is off to an amazing start. We invite everyone to visit and see this well-loved world class Park,” said Bob Becker, CEO for New Orleans City Park.

In its 170th year, City Park continues to push forward with thoughtful progress. Last year was a banner year for City Park. A 6 acre expansion of the New Orleans Museum of Art Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden was opened. Café Du Monde opened in City Park in July of 2019. In September, the Louisiana Children’s Museum opened its doors to the children of the nation. A new swing-ride joined the other 17 amusement rides in Carousel Gardens Amusement Park and Storyland was revitalized for the first time in 30 years. A large outdoor kitchen in the New Orleans Botanical Garden opened and The City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center received the national 2019 USTA Facility Award.

600 New Cast Iron Plants on Victory Avenue

We LOVE our volunteers! Check ou tthis group from Florida State!

The groups spent time this week planting over 600 cast iron plants around the oak trees on Victory Avenue near the Amusement Park. 

 The area around the oak trees is air spaded beforehand, a process in which compressed air is shot into the soil, breaking up heavily compacted dirt and allowing more oxygen to get to the root structure of trees.  Then, once the soil is broken up, we are able to plant the cast iron plants around the base of the tree to protect the root system of the tree. This also helps to discourage foot traffic around the large roots.  We also spread mulch and soil around the plants to help the plants retain more moisture and discourage weeds from growing.

City Park is always looking for volunteers. We couldn't keep the Park looking as great as it does without our wonderful volunteers. If you would like to volunteer or would like to learn more, please email Tyler Havens, Volunteer Manger, at thavens@nocp.org.

Tennis Award!

This week the Tennis Industry Association presented the Industry Champions of Tennis 2019...Congratulations to the City Park/Pepsi Tennis Complex!

The national award is issued annually to honor those who are making a difference in the Tennis Industry.

City Park / Pepsi Tennis Center was named Public Park of the Year.

Arguably one of the best tennis complexes in the state, the facility offers 26 lighted courts (16 hard courts, 10 clay courts), a practice court with two backboards, showers and lockers for players. The City Park / Pepsi Tennis Center also hosts the annual Sugar Bowl Tournament and summer tennis clinics for kids. USPTA/PTR Certified Pros are available for lessons. Call the Clubhouse for more information, to reserve a court, or to book a lesson.

This award comes on the heals of the City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center winning the National Award: 2019 Outstanding Facility Award: click here for more information on that! 

Golf Advisor Names Bayou Oaks at City Park a Top Course in Louisiana

Online golf magazine Golf Advisor has announced the 2019 Golfers’ Choice: Best Louisiana Golf Courses.  New Orleans City Park is proud to announce Bayou Oaks at City Park has been named one of fifteen top golf courses in Louisiana.

The annual Golf Advisor state Golfers' Choice lists are compiled by analyzing the ratings and reviews submitted by members of the review community throughout the year. Golf Advisor uses their Golf Advisor Index logic that weights newer reviews and combine it with a course's weighted subcategory averages. Reviews from trusted and active reviewers are weighted heavier than inactive members. Courses must offer public access and have received at least one review in 2019 to be eligible for this year's list.

Bayou Oaks at City Park is in great company with other Louisiana courses such as Koasati Pines at Coushatta and Atchafalaya at Idlewild Golf Course.  To visit the online post and see the other winners, please visit this link.

“We’re honored to be included in the annual Golf Advisor Golfers’ Choice list for Louisiana in 2019. We love being able to provide a great golf experience in such a beautiful setting as New Orleans City Park. Golfer's Choice rankings are determined by a community of reviewers – so this is a particularly wonderful list to be a part of as it comes from the golfers themselves. We’re looking forward to a great 2020 and to showing off the links to more and more national and regional traveling golfers and locals alike,” said Brian Long General manager, Bayou Oaks at City Park.

Golf Advisor:
Golf Advisor is the ultimate destination for traveling golfers, who love to play, travel and learn more about how the sport of golf can be experienced around the world. Featuring more than 825,000 reviews of 14,000-plus golf courses, Golf Advisor serves as a one-stop, customized experience for golfers of all levels to find honest recommendations from their peers – and to offer feedback of their own – about any golf course they play, anywhere, anytime. A veteran staff of award-winning writers provides complementary, expert editorial content about golf travel, architecture and history

Pollinator-Friendly Resolutions for 2020

Our Sustainability department would like to share this informaiton with you so you can BEE friendly. 

Happy New Year! As we start the New Year, we are taking the time to think about everything we are grateful for. At the top of our list are pollinators - the bees, butterflies, flies, wasps, moths, beetles, bats, birds and other creatures that play a crucial role in pollinating majority of the flowering plants on Earth and many of the crops we rely on for food. And of course, with the New Year comes resolutions! If you are wondering how you can help pollinators in 2020, we've got the perfect list of resolutions for you!

My 2020 New Year's Resolutions for Pollinators:

1) I will plant native flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees in my garden.

2) I will promote the use of native plants to other gardeners in my area, and collect native seed from my garden to share with neighbors.

3) I will leave leaf litter, stems, twigs and logs in my garden for nesting bees and for butterflies to lay their eggs and overwinter.

4) I will provide food for pollinators all year by having spring, summer, and fall blooming plants in my garden and yard.

5) I will make environmentally-friendly decisions to reduce my carbon footprint in order to help improve pollinator health and habitat quality.

6) I will write to local, state or federal authorities to express my support for pollinator-friendly practices and initiatives.

7) I will support pollinator-friendly farmers by buying local organic or low-spray produce.

8) I will support my local beekeepers by buying local bee products like raw honey.

9) I will volunteer with a group of friends to plant a pollinator garden in my community, and take part in local citizen science initiatives.

The original article can be found here

Bob Becker named a Top Executive of the Year

Business People of the Year: Biz New Orleans Magazine: Introducing the transformative thirteen of 2019

Dr. Robert W. Becker: CEO, CITY PARK IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION

New Orleans City Park’s live oaks and lagoons have witnessed incredible change throughout the park’s 166-year history, but the park is about to close out one of its most challenging and successful eras as Dr. Robert W. Becker — CEO of City Park for almost 20 years — has announced he will retire upon the hiring of his successor, anticipated in the first quarter of 2020.

Becker has served as CEO of the City Park Improvement Association, the entity that runs New Orleans City Park, since 2001. Under his leadership, the park created and began to implement a comprehensive master plan that included land use strategy, projects and programs. That master plan was adopted mere months before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The levee failure resulted in flooding during which the park lost more than 2,000 trees and Becker and his reduced staff worked from trailers for more than five years before they were able to move back into offices. Becker counts the recovery from Katrina as the most meaningful accomplishment during his tenure at the park.

“It was total devastation…the master plan provided a blueprint for our recovery,” said Becker. “Using the plan and rallying volunteers, corporate donors, nonprofit organizations and state and local government, we worked together to get things back up and running.”

The same year as Hurricane Katrina, the park received its first public operating funds from the state; it wasn’t until 2019 that New Orleanians voted for the first time to include City Park in the distribution of funding from city taxes. These two sources of public funding amount to almost $4 million out of the park’s $22 million operating budget.

“City Park is the principal urban recreation resource in the entire state,” said Becker. “Most U.S. parks are funded 60 to 70% with public dollars. We were successful by telling that story so it resonated with state and local officials and citizens.”

The board of the City Park Improvement Association has engaged a national search firm to find a new CEO, and Becker has offered to overlap with the person to help with onboarding.

“He or she will be able to write their own story. They will be able to get the park to another level of success,” said Becker.

Meanwhile, Becker said he plans to travel with his wife to visit their children and grandchildren and write a book.

“I want to write a history of what we’ve been though in the park for the last 20 years,” he said. “There are a lot of really important lessons about what we learned here about being hit by a disaster. Other parks can benefit from what we learned.” ­

— By Jennifer Gibson Schecter 

Original post may be found here.

New Orleans City Park Named One of the Gorgeous Spaces in Some of the World’s Biggest Cities

Online review site Trip Advisor has announced the 7 Gorgeous Green Spaces in Some of the World’s Biggest Cities.  New Orleans City Park is proud to be named one of seven ‘gorgeous spaces’ and the only in New Orleans mentioned. With its many attractions, events, and open green spaces, City Park’s 1300 acres is a dream destination for anyone year-round.

“Parks are critically important components of our cities and towns, offering places to relax, meet up, and escape the business of urban life. These 7 parks are among some of the most beautiful and beloved in the world, located in marquee cities across the globe. Whether you’re a local or a traveler, you can appreciate the depth of what these gorgeous green spaces add to their respective urban areas,” says Trip Advisor.

“If you think you have seen everything NOLA has to offer, then visit City Park. Been there? Go again! The landscape changes with the seasons offering a new experience. I took advantage of the Blue Bike, starting in the French Quarter and it felt easy and safe (using common sense of course). Recommend going early morning or late evening. Put this on your list of things to do on a romantic getaway on a budget.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer

New Orleans City Park is in great company with other international spaces such as Luxembourg Gardens in Paris France and the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria in Melbourne Australia.  To visit the online post and see the other winners, please visit this link.

“We’re thrilled to get this recognition and to be listed on an international list. We love being able to bring such an A-list space to our guests. As a world class Park, we know City Park is a true jewel of recreation space and we’re always thrilled to hear it when others tout their agreement. What a great way to ring in 2020!,” said Bob Becker, CEO for New Orleans City Park.

Top Six highlights of 2019

We believe a clean, safe and active public Park is essential to a healthy, thriving community, and we need your support to keep City Park growing!

The Park receives minimal public funds to maintain its 1,300 acres. Our ability to care for the Park’s historic oaks, beautiful gardens, family-friendly playgrounds, nature trails, golf courses, tennis courts, fountains, festival grounds, and pavilions is dependent on individuals just like you.

There are many ways to help City Park.

Join us as a financial supporter or volunteer and you can be a part of a community space that New Orleanians will appreciate for generations to come.

Please reach out to Casie Duplechain, Cheif Development Officer, at cduplechain@nocp.org, for questions about giving to New Orleans City Park.

Celebration in the Oaks 2019

With more than a million dazzling lights and breathtaking displays, Celebration in the Oaks in New Orleans City Park is an annual holiday tradition for families in the Crescent City and across the country. Friends and families can kick off the 33rd annual opening with an early glimpse of the stunning holiday displays at one of three Celebration in the Oaks preview parties. Tickets for all events are on sale now at CelebrationInTheOaks.com.

“Celebration in the Oaks is a wonderful holiday display that people come from all over the world to enjoy. We’ve had visitors from 48 states and as far away as Australia,” says Julie LaCour, Special Events Director. “Coupled with our many traditional items visitors see each year, the new exhibits are an example of our team’s creativity with lights and engineering. We’re also excited to be building out the light exhibits this year along the train route and continue to bring programs to the event like Storyland Story Time and Yoga under the Lights.”

City Park’s famous oaks are swathed in over a million twinkling lights, with breathtaking light exhibits that are displayed throughout 25 acres of the Park. While there are many traditional displays like the Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, Mr. Bingle, and the Cajun Night before Christmas, there are many new wonders this year including “Fountains of Joy” and a “Swooning Swamp”. Carriage rides will also be back this year!

The 2019 Season:

-Mutt Mondays: A special partnership with SPCA of Louisiana:  12/2, 12/9, 12/16 – Bring dogs with you to the Botanical Garden and use the SPCA photo booth to take fun holiday photos with your friends – human and canine.
-Yoga classes: 12/4, 12/11, 12/18 – Yoga under the Lights
-Storytime in Storyland: 12/ 2-5, 12/9-12, 12/16-19 18 from 6 pm to 7 pm kids can hear local authors read stories under the Storyland Castle in the newly revitalized Storyland.
- The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show Meet and Greet – 12/12 from 5pm to 9pm
- Toys for Tots – 12/17
- Carriage rides in City Park: 12/2-5, 12/9-12, 12/16-19
- “Fountains of Joy” and a “Swooning Swamp” – new with RGB lighting
- S’mores making over the fire in Campfire Village

- A special partnership with Hiltons of New Orleans: This year all Hilton guests receive an unforgettable experience that includes free admission, unlimited rides, hot chocolate, train rides, and more. Every attendee will also be given a chance to participate in the “Hilton Scavenger Hunt” for a chance to win a special holiday prize. General Managers from area Hilton branded properties will judge the 2nd annual Christmas Tree decorating contest on Santa Claus Lane; awarding $3000 to the local school participant with the best dressed tree. Hilton is the official hotel partner for Celebration in the Oaks. For a VIP Celebration in the Oaks experience, book the Papa Noel package at Travel.Hilton.Com/PapaNoel.

- A special partnership with WVUE FOX 8: A live FOX 8 morning show from Celebration in the Oaks: 12/6 from 5 am to 10 am. WVUE FOX 8 is the official media partner for Celebration in the Oaks.

Favorites back again for the 2019 Season:
-Campfire Village in Carousel Gardens Amusement Park:
- ‘Snow Show’ each night of the event
- Marshmallow roasting over an open fire
- Colossal Cotton Candy
- Mister Bingle
- Train Garden
- Rides on the holiday train and antique carousel (unlimited rides with the Straight to the Gate ticket option)
- Christmas Trees on  Hilton Santa Claus Lane – sidewalks in Carousel Gardens are lined with Christmas trees decorated by local schools and nonprofits.
- Tree of poinsettias in the Conservatory in the New Orleans Botanical Garden
- And more and more and more!

WHERE:    New Orleans Botanical Garden, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, Storyland, Train Route

ADDRESS: 5 Victory Avenue, New Orleans 70124 (the Park is large, always use this address to find Celebration in the Oaks).

HOURS:  The 2019 season: November 29 - January 1
Closed: December 24, 31
Hours: Sunday through Thursday: 6 pm to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday: 5 pm to 11 pm
Open: Christmas night 6pm to 9pm with last entry at 8:30pm

COST:  *Tickets: $10/person (Children under 3 and Friends of City Park members: Free)
*Best Idea: Straight to the Gate tickets: $28: Celebration in the Oaks admission, an unlimited amusement ride band, and a dedicated entrance through the Storyland gate behind Humpty Dumpty and Little Bo Peep.
*Train Ride: $5; Amusement Park Rides: $4/single ride ticket (excludes train); $18/unlimited ride band (includes train)

For more event details or to purchase Celebration the Oaks or Preview Party tickets, visit CelebrationInTheOaks.com.

CONTACT:  Amanda Frentz, Director of Public Relations: afrentz@nocp.org

New Orleans City Park Named One of the Best Urban Parks in America

This month Travel Trivia compiled The 6 Best Urban Parks in the U.S. New Orleans City Park is proud to be named one of six ‘best urban parks’. With its many attractions, events, and open green spaces, City Park’s 1300 acres is a dream destination for anyone year-round and is listed as number one on the list.

“Cities offer a number of perks, but access to great natural spaces isn't always one of them. Fortunately, urban parks offer a great way to experience nature without ever leaving the city. While most of us may think of New York's Central Park as the quintessential urban park, the truth is that these incredible outdoor spaces can be found in cities all across the country. Here are just six of the best urban parks in the United States,” says Travel Trivia.

Among other attractions, the website singled out: City Park’s collection of mature live oaks (the largest collection on the planet!), the New Orleans Botanical Garden, and the treasured Carousel. Friends of City Park fundraisers, Ghosts in the Oaks and Martini Madness, get a well-deserved shout out, too.

New Orleans City Park is in great company with other parks such as Forest Park and Falls Park.  To visit the online post and see the other 5 winners, please visit this link.

“We’re so happy to be named one of America’s Best Urban Parks. We truly love seeing people in the Park recreating and enjoying being in New Orleans. As a world class Park, we know City Park is a true jewel of the nation and we’re always thrilled to hear it when others tout their agreement,” said Bob Becker, CEO for New Orleans City Park.

In its 169th year, City Park continues to push forward with thoughtful progress. This year a 6 acre expansion of the New Orleans Museum of Art Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden was opened. Café Du Monde opened in City Park in July of 2019. In September, the Louisiana Children’s Museum opened its doors to the children of the nation and Storyland, a true gem of City Park, was revitalized to its full splendor as new generations of New Orleanians play on its fairy-tale sculptures. A large outdoor kitchen in the New Orleans Botanical Garden will opened in October. The City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center received the national honor of 2019 USTA Facility Award.

New Orleans City Park is distinguished by its large menu of sports and recreational activities, attractions for children, and its natural beauty. City Park is a 90/10 Park. Self-generated revenue makes up 90% of the $22 million annual operating budget; City Park receives no general fund operating dollars from the city or the state. The Park receives approximately $2 million each year from the state for operations. City Park has a special place in the hearts of generations of New Orleanians and is a must visit for visitors to the city. The 1,300 acres of parkland provide enjoyment for people no matter their age. City Park is home to the world’s largest collection of mature Live Oak trees. 

Bob Becker, City Park CEO, Announces His Retirement in 2020

New Orleans City Park Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Robert W. Becker, 72, announced today he will be stepping down from his position upon the selection of his successor, which is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of next year.

Becker, who has served as the head of the Park for nearly two decades, recommended the planning process and the selection of the nationally recognized firm of Ralph Anderson & Associates. The firm will develop a succession plan and screen potential candidates for the board’s consideration.

Becker’s tenure began in 2001. He is credited with dramatically improving the Park’s financial condition, securing its first public financing to address operating expenses from both the City and the State, and successfully leading the effort to develop a new vision for the Park’s future. Under his leadership, the City Park Improvement Association adopted City Park 2018, a comprehensive master plan for the Park that detailed the land use strategy and the projects and programs needed for implementation. By the end of 2018, over $200 million in capital improvements were invested in the Park’s 1,300 acres.

Board Chair, Lawrence Katz, said that replacing Becker will be a huge task. “Bob has given his heart and soul to City Park and will be dearly missed by all of us who understand his contribution over the years. He has led us through our darkest and now our brightest times. He deserves all of the accolades that will be coming his way.” Becker has agreed to stay on in his position during the search and for a transition period. Prior to his work in City Park, Becker was the Senior Vice President for the Audubon Nature Institute and was the Executive Director of the New Orleans City Planning Commission. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Certified City Planners and an Adjunct Professor at the University of New Orleans. He has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the 2010 National Planning Award honoring City Park’s recovery effort, being selected as the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus from the University of New Orleans College of Liberal Arts, and being honored as a “Hero of Recovery” by New Orleans Magazine on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The entire Park wishes to extend our gratitude to Bob. He's been our leader and brought vision to City Park. He is a true champion to all those who love City Park. We'll miss you and congratulations on this next step, Bob!

Becker has a B.A. in History from the University of Buffalo, an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans in Urban Studies.

New Kitchen in the Garden

The New Orleans Botanical Garden unveils its Kitchen in the Garden during the 22nd annual Fall Garden Festival Oct. 5-6. The outdoor kitchen space will be used for classes, culinary demonstrations and special events highlighting garden produce and featuring visiting chefs and instructors.

“The main reason we built this was to increase our educational programming,” Botanical Garden director Paul Soniat says. “There’s so much emphasis now on farm-to-table and healthy eating that we think it’s a natural fit.”

Soniat hopes to design programs in partnership with other organizations, including City Park neighbor Grow Dat Youth Farm and Delgado Community College’s culinary program.

“Our main focus is to provide a space where people can interact with plants,” Soniat says. “We do a lot of educational programming now – talking about trees, shrubs and herbs – but this gives us demonstration ability to bring in chefs.”

On Wednesdays during October, the New Orleans unit of the Herb Society of America will present free cooking demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A chefs’ dinner series features Michael Gulotta of MoPho and Maypop on Oct. 8 and Joaquin Rodas of Bacchanal and Alex Harrell of Elysian Bar Oct. 22. Tickets for each dinner are $95.

Culinary workshops will include a class in preparing whole lamb and flatbread by Black Pearl Kitchen Oct. 15 and appearances by chef Wilfredo Avelar of Mawi Tortillas Oct. 24 and chef Ericka Lasairr of Diva Dawg/Cut Up Catering Oct. 29. Workshop tickets are $40.

The Kitchen in the Garden features concrete flooring, industrial-grade appliances, a wood-burning stove, pizza oven, protective covering and seating for 50 guests.

More information about Kitchen in the Garden is available on its website.

This is a repost from this link.

Scout Island Scream Park

New Orleans City Park and The Mortuary Haunted Mansion are proud to announce a new fright festival: Scout Island Scream Park. For select days in fall 2019, Scout Island, a wooded area located in City Park North of I-610, will be transformed into a land of terror!

Attendees enjoy music, food, entertainment, carnival rides, a Kid Zone, and horror haunts filled with thrills and chills.

Knowing every age will enjoy Scout Island Scream Park, including those maybe too young for the horror haunts, a daytime festival has been added this year.

DAYTIME: Bring the whole family to celebrate at The Kid Zone for Halloween themed festive fun. Guests can board old fashioned tractor-pulled wagons for an adventure through the wooded swamp perimeter. Kids will love a large bounce house, kid-sized carnival rides, and kid focused magical entertainment featuring The Boogie Spookatular, a cartoon based animated musical adventure. Plus enjoy live music on special event days. These activities will also be open during the night time hours.

NIGHT TIME: And as night falls, Scout Island Scream Park evolves into a dark carnival of unusual monsters, amazing illusions, stunning special FX, unique and original costumes, makeup, animations and frightening detail created by the artists of The Mortuary Haunted Mansion. Only the courageous will survive the intense encounters with these infamous creatures of the night. Plus enjoy live music on special event nights.
Night attractions include:
-The Kraken Pirate Pub and Music Hall: food, spirits, and music
-Fright Zones: Areas where creatures lurk around every turn, Fright Zones are outdoor haunted houses set up in open areas with themed actors
-Haunted attractions: Pharaoh’s Fury haunted house, Stitch’s Body Emporium, The Devil’s Swamp, Zombie Outbreak Battlefield

WHAT’S NEW FOR YEAR TWO:
-Our expanded daytime fun: visit the website to see a video preview of the fun The Boogie Spookatular, a cartoon based animated musical adventure

-Fright zones: My Bloody Homecoming, The Coven, The Balderdash Boutique Puppet Theater, Temple of Medusa

-Pharaoh’s Fury haunted house: On September 15, 1977, the City Park hosted his royal majesty of Ancient Egypt, King Tutankhamen. Almost a million people had glimpsed his treasures defying the ancient warnings. The curse of the pharaoh is cast upon any person who disturbs the mummy of any pharaoh of ancient Egypt. Over forty years later, the curse of the pharaoh has descended upon City Park’s Scout Island to seek revenge. The ancient Egyptian Temple of Anubis, the God of Death, has risen from the swampy depths of City Park’s lagoons to extract justice for disturbing Tut’s tomb. Explore the lost temple while avoiding traps and snares… Come Face-to-face with snakes, crocodiles, and the-living-dead…Defy the curse of the pharaoh if you dare.

- Stitch’s Body Emporium: This doctor is not a servant of the people. He is a Picasso of blood. Known as Stitch, this dog-faced mad-man fancies himself an artist with a never-ending thirst for blood. His greed of perfection drives him to remake flesh.

-New additions/changes to The Devil’s Swamp and Zombie Outbreak Battlefield

Purchase tickets here.

The festival will have activities for all ages. Families with small children are invited to attend early and take part in the hay ride and Scare Free Kid Zone. Click here for more information on the Kid Zone.

Live music, food, and beverages will be available for purchase. Sets are built by The Mortuary Haunted Mansion craftsmen.

This is a seasonal event in City Park. Visit ScoutIslandScreamPark.com for details and tickets.

Event ADDRESS is: 1034 Harrison Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70124

DATE:  Select Dates in September, October, and November 2019

PRICE: 

Click here for additional ticketing and attraction information.

+Buy any ticket to Scout Island Scream Park and get a free VIP upgrade to The Mortuary Haunted Mansion.

Click here for Kid Zone (non scary activities including a hay ride)

Problems purchasing tickets?  Please let us know here.

Photography policy

Media Contact: Amanda Frentz, New Orleans City Park, Director of Public Relations, afrentz@nocp.org.

The New Orleans Museum of Art announces the addition of a large-scale sculpture

The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) announces the addition of a large-scale sculpture by contemporary Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion. The 6.5-acre expansion, which opened to the public in May of 2019, builds on the success of the museum’s original five-acre Besthoff Sculpture Garden, widely regarded as one of the top sculpture gardens in the world. The comprehensive garden is now home to more than 90 sculptures representing the 19th century to the present. The sculpture garden is free and open to the public, seven days a week.

Entitled The Sun, Ugo Rondinone’s monumental gilded bronze sculpture evokes the artist’s ongoing practice of marrying organic forms such as trees, branches and foliage with neo-romantic themes. The celestial sculpture finds itself at home in the midst of the Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion, which emphasizes environmental impact and the natural features of the land and water.

“This towering, significant work by Ugo Rondinone takes its place within the garden landscape as yet another focal point for visitors to the garden,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Director.

Born in 1964, Rondinone’s work has been exhibited at institutions such as Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Place Vendôme, Paris; MACRO and Mercati di Traiano, Rome; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Museum Anahuacalli, Mexico City; Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai; Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna; and Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium.

 

Sculpture Garden Hours

The Sculpture Garden is open 7 days a week with free admission.

Summer Hours | April 1 – September 30 | 10 am – 6 pm

Winter Hours | October 1 – March 31 | 10 am – 5 pm

Revitalized Storyland Grand Re-Opening Date Announced

Grand Opening:  Saturday September 28th at noon

Nearly 35 years after the last major renovation, the revitalization will bring in four new exhibits and will update the existing beloved exhibits New Orleanians know so well. City Park temporarily closed the Storyland gates in July 2019 and worked through the summer months to have Storyland ready for Ghosts in the Oaks and Celebration in the Oaks.

City Park’s focus for the revitalization include: incorporating STEM and interactive-play for the whole family, increasing ADA accessibility for more exhibits, and increasing inclusion.

“We’re thrilled to announce the grand re-opening date for the revitalized Storyland. We’re excited to be able to present to the children of New Orleans and the region a chance to live inside of the stories they read,” said Bob Becker, City Park CEO.

New exhibits include: Humpty Dumpty, Tortoise and the Hare, and Boudreaux the Zydeco Gator. The fourth new exhibit, Jack and the Beanstalk, will open later this fall.

Existing renovated exhibits include: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan’s Pirate Adventure, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and Jill, Pinocchio and the Whale, Cinderella’s Pumpkin, Puff the Magic Dragon slide, Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Old King Cole, and the Storyland Castle. Large enhancements have been made to Alice in Wonderland, Hey Diddle Diddle, the Gingerbread Man's Candy Lane, and the Little Mermaid, where children and parents alike will be able to drive motorized pirate ships around the pond. There will also be photo opportunities to become an astronaut or a mermaid and children can sit on Anansi the Spider’s back.
          
The enhanced Hey Diddle Diddle exhibit will now be ADA accessible and will display educational information within the space ship featuring the history and diversity of NASA.

“We’re also excited to announce City Park as the new home for the Charles Bolden, Jr. LES Space Suit acquired on loan from NASA. Bolden was the first African-American to permanently hold the title of NASA Administrator. He also served as a NASA astronaut for 14 years and has logged nearly 700 hours during four space flights,” Bob Becker explains.

The suit will be in City Park for five years housed inside the Oscar J. Tolmas Visitor Center, the main entrance to Storyland. The suit connects to the Hey Diddle Diddle exhibit, which celebrates the diversity of NASA. In addition to featuring Bolden, the exhibit highlights the first African-American female and male astronauts into space, Mae Jemison and Guion Bluford, Jr, the first American female into space, Sally Ride, and the African-American females who blazed new trails for NASA, known as human computers, Dorothy Vaughn, Katherine Johnson, and Mary Jackson. The exhibit also touches on other historical events within NASA with a nod to the future possibilities for the next chapter of Mars discovery.

This incredible renovation and revitalization was made possible through private funding from individuals and local foundations, with lead support from Friends of City Park and Boysie & Joy Bollinger. Please visit this link to donate and to see a list of donors. 

This blog post features Storyland, which does not include the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park (rides). Click here for information and hours for Carousel Gardens. 

WHEN:   Grand Opening:  Saturday September 28th at noon

LOCATION: 5 Victory Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70124

PRICE: $5/person
Children 36” tall and under receive free admission with paid adult
Friends of City Park members receive free admission

PURCHASE: tickets on this link

2019 Voodoo Experience Schedule

City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center Wins National Award

Pictured: Patti Todd, Director of Tennis for the City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has announced that City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center is one of 25 winners in the 38th annual USTA Facility Awards program, which recognizes excellence in the construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities throughout the country. City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center was honored at the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on August 29, 2019.

City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center was the original home of the Sugar Bowl Tennis Tournament, established in 1948. The venue prides itself as the center of tennis in New Orleans, having been in existence for 118 years.

To be considered for an award, facilities must be under the jurisdiction of a park and recreation department, an educational institution, a nonprofit corporation or be a private or commercially owned and operated facility that offers both USTA and public programming designed to help grow tennis.

“Great tennis facilities like City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center help us to grow the game at the grass-roots level, and we are proud to recognize them for their ongoing impact on the sport of tennis,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, USTA National Campus. “City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center has embraced many of our tennis initiatives and kept the sport at the forefront of its community each year.”

ABOUT THE CITY PARK/PEPSI TENNIS CENTER:

The best tennis complex in the state, the facility offers 26 lighted courts (16 hard courts, 10 clay courts), a practice court with two backboards, showers and lockers for players. The City Park / Pepsi Tennis Center also hosts the annual Sugar Bowl Tournament and summer tennis clinics for kids. USPTA/PTR Certified Pros are available for lessons. Call the Clubhouse for more information, to reserve a court, or to book a lesson.

Address: City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center: 5900 Marconi Drive, New Orleans, LA 70124

For further information: Patti Todd, Director of Tennis, New Orleans City Park: 504-483-9383 and neworleanscitypark.com/in-the-park/pepsi-tennis-center

A New Citizen Science Opportunity in Couturie Forest!

Help City Park make observations about our trees! In conjunction with the USA National Phenology Network, City Park has created a way for Park users to collect data that will help track regional patterns and changes in our tree phenology!

"Phenology is the study of recurring plant and animal life cycle states and their timing and relationships with climate and other abiotic factors…Phenology is nature’s calendar – when cherry trees bloom, when a robin builds its nest and when leaves turn color in the fall” (www.usanpn.org). Phenology…is perhaps the simplest process in which to track changes in the ecology of species in response to climate change” (IPCC 2007).

All observations collected by Nature’s Notebook users are sent to a national organization used to evaluate the effects of climate change. Bring your family, your class, your colleagues and spend some time learning about some of Louisiana’s native trees!

Check out this video to see how Nature’s Notebook is connecting volunteers and being used at a park in CA!
Want to help?!

1. Set up an account and join the Couturie Forest Phenology Trail through naturesnotebook.org.
2. Download the free Nature’s Notebook app.
3. Head out to the forest to find the12 trees we have marked on our phenology trail. The app will ask you certain yes or no questions about each tree.

Interested in learning more? Want to be part of our Nature’s Notebook volunteer team? Contact Lindsay Kirsch, Sustainability Coordinator at lkirsch@nocp.org

Helpful Links:
Become an Observer

Nature’s Notebook Education Program

Nature’s Notebook Activities
 

City Park Sweeps the Gambit ‘Best Of’’ 2019 Awards

Thanks to the readers of Gambit, New Orleans City Park has taken first place in the FIVE categories nominated in the 2019 Best Of Awards.
Each year Gambit Weekly runs a digital poll asking readers to vote for their favorites around the city. Categories are often 'switched up each year' and usually City Park is among the winners.
Check out the categories City Park won this year, and click each for the corresponding link on the City Park website.

See all the winners at this link.

BEST GOLF COURSE: Bayou Oaks at City Park (Congrats Bayou Oaks!!!!)

BEST MUSEUM: New Orleans Museum of Art (Congrats NOMA, we love having such a great museum in the Park!) 

BEST PLACE TO GET MARRIED: New Orleans City Park (We love this title! We love love!)

BEST PLACE FOR A BIRTHDAY PARTY: New Orleans City Park (Birthday are always a great idea to celebrate, and with the new website it's even easier to book!) 

BEST PLACE TO MEET PEOPLE IRL: New Orleans City Park (BTW (by the way) IRL means 'in real life' - so awesome!)

Congratulations to all of the winners but really to everyone in New Orleans. We're so lucky to live in such a great city! 

Cafe Du Monde Grand Opening

New Orleans City Park is proud to announce the opening of the newest Café Du Monde in the Park’s Casino Building. We invite the public to join us for the grand opening and ribbon cutting.

Café Du Monde serves their beignets three to an order and café au lait among other treats including other coffee drinks like frozen mocha au lait, milk, and soft drinks. Café Du Monde will host birthday parties, small events, and is available for catering.

Also inside the Casino Building, the City Park gift shop additionally received a makeover and will sell souvenir items and healthy bird and turtle food for guests to feed to the animals in nearby Bayou Metairie. Newly restored public restrooms inside the Casino Building will be open during the hours of operation of Café Du Monde.

Since early 2019, the Park has been home to the Café Du Monde food truck next to the building while the building was under renovation. The interior of the Casino Building was completely refurbished including the studs being rebuilt and the exterior painted. The kitchen floor was removed and replaced along with the underground plumbing. City Park and Café Du Monde could tell, by the many happy faces covered in powdered sugar from the food truck, the people visiting City Park were happy and excited for the restaurant to eventually open.

WHEN:       Grand opening and ribbon cutting: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 10:30am

WHERE:    56 Dreyfous Drive (Casino Building)


WHAT CITY PARK IS SAYING: “Café du Monde beignet restaurant will open its doors providing both locals and tourists alike a sugar experience that’s a true part of the New Orleans experience. We’re proud to be the home to the latest Café Du Monde. The Café Du Monde company, founded in 1862, is nearly as old as the Park. We’re thrilled to invite such an historic company to join the 169 year old City Park family,” says Bob Becker, New Orleans City Park CEO.

HOURS OF OPERATION: Sunday - Thursday 6am to midnight and Friday & Saturday 6am to 1am

Storyland Revitalization Begins July 8th

 A jewel of New Orleans City Park, Storyland is an enchanted playground that has been in New Orleanians’ backyards since the 1950s. In Storyland, children can climb aboard Captain Hook’s pirate ship, adventure into the mouth of Pinocchio’s whale or scamper up Jack & Jill’s hill.

This outdoor, fairy-tale playground is a child’s dream come true filled with 18 larger-than-life storybook sculptures, featuring classic characters from Grimm and Mother Goose nursery rhymes and Trickster character induced folk-tales from around the world. Children can have fun, play, and learn, all while running under the shade of City Park’s majestic oak tree canopies.

But wait…Storyland is getting even better! Nearly 35 years after its last major renovation and after 60 years of play, the revitalization will include four new exhibits and upgrades to the existing site, creating an environment that will allow participants to enjoy deeper interaction with the stories through outdoor play, education, and entertainment by using educational methods such as STEM and Inclusive Play. In addition, ADA accessibility will be ensured for more exhibits.

Not only will all of Storyland be revitalized – including the beloved 18 exhibits such as: Pinocchio and the Whale, Hey Diddle Diddle, the Storyland Castle, and the Puff the Magic Dragon slide, but the renovation will breathe new life into the popular spot for children’s birthday parties.

New exhibits include Jack and the Beanstalk, Humpty Dumpty, Tortoise and the Hare, and Boudreaux the Zydeco Gator.

This announcement comes on the heels of Storyland being named this month by Forbes ‘among best family-travel activities in New Orleans’. 

Storyland will close starting July 8, 2019 and the grand reopening date will be announced at a later date.

Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is open with normal summer hours. 

“Storyland is a treasured part of New Orleans. Generations of children have memories of the dragon slide and three little pigs. This true gem in City Park will be revitalized this year, restoring the existing site and adding new additions creating an environment that will bring deeper interaction with the fairytales through fun, play, and education,” said Bob Becker, CEO for New Orleans City Park.

New Orleans Park Partners Help Collect Swimsuits for Residents in Need

Audubon Nature Institute and New Orleans City Park are partnering to collect new swimsuits for residents in need in support of Mayor Cantrell and the New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission’s swimsuit drive. New unused swimsuits with tags can be dropped off at all Audubon attractions, City Park, City Hall, and NORD facilities.

“We are pleased to partner with Audubon Nature Institute and New Orleans City Park in our efforts to collect new swimsuits for residents of all ages,” said NORD CEO, Larry Barabino, Jr. “Through these donations, we will ensure everyone who wants to utilize the City’s pools during the hot summer months has the proper swimwear, and that all residents can participate in NORD’s free, year-round water safety, and swim lessons.”
With outdoor temperatures rising and children out of school for summer, pool time is a great way to beat the heat and expel some energy. The call for swimsuit donations underscores the City’s effort to make sure all New Orleans residents have access to the City’s 17 free public pools and the free swim lessons offered year-round.
Swimsuits can be donated at Guest Services windows at Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, and Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. Community members will receive one complimentary admission ticket to the Audubon attraction of their choice when they donate one new swimsuit at one of these Audubon attractions. Limit four tickets per person.
“When we learned about the swimsuit drive, we thought it was only natural that we participate in some way to give children the opportunity to swim at the city’s community- based pools. Part of our mission is to connect children and families with nature and the great outdoors. We are proud that our employees will be making donations as well,” said Audubon Vice President of Community Affairs Chimene Grant Saloy.
New Orleans City Park is offering one Carousel Gardens Amusement Park admission ticket and unlimited ride band for each swimsuit donated at the City Park drop-off location. Swimsuit donations can be dropped off at City Park’s Administration Building located at 1 Palm Drive, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Limit four tickets per person.
“As a regional Park recreation is always at the forefront of our thinking. We’re thrilled to help the children and families of New Orleans beat-the-heat a little by enjoying pool time this summer at the NORD facilities,” New Orleans City Park CEO Bob Becker.
        
NORD is collecting new swimsuits at all recreation centers, pools, and the NORD Administration Building, located on Franklin Avenue, during regular operating hours.
Swimsuit donations will be collected through August 30 at all drop-off locations. 

Pollinator Week 2019 is June 17th-23rd!

What exactly, you might ask, is pollination? Pollination is a vital stage in the life cycle of all flowering plants. When pollen is moved within a flower or carried from one flower to another of the same species it leads to fertilization. This transfer of pollen is necessary for healthy and productive native and agricultural ecosystems.  About 75% of all flowering plant species need the help of animals to move their heavy pollen grains from plant to plant for fertilization. Most pollinators (about 200,000 species) are beneficial insects such as flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths, and bees. The work of pollinators ensures full harvests of crops and contributes to healthy plants everywhere.  In the U.S., pollination produces nearly $20 billion worth of products annually.
Honeybees are the most beneficial and needed insect on our planet as they perform about 80 percent of all pollination worldwide. One bee colony can pollinate up to 300 million flowers a day, and 70 out of the top 100 food crops are pollinated by bees! As a result of their continuous hard work, we have healthier plants, food and of course - HONEY! Often honeybees live high in the hollowed-out cavities of trees minding their own business, but sometimes they build their hives in less than ideal spots that can be very dangerous such as your home or place of business. Here are the park we have been lucky enough to develop a partnership with Bee Guyz, a local business that will remove bees from unsafe areas and relocate them to areas of natural habitat.
Unfortunately the world is losing bee colonies at an alarming rate and deaths from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) since 2006 have brought much needed attention to the issue. Bees are dying from a variety of factors including pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, parasites/viruses/diseases, nutrition deficit, air pollution, global warming. We as humans largely contribute to two of the most prominent causes of bee death: pesticides and habitat loss.
What can you do to help protect our pollinators?
If you see a bee hive in the Park in an unsafe spot, or if the bees are being aggressive please contact our Safety Coordinator Carrie Ann Ducote at 504-483-9358. We will contact the Bee Guyz to relocate the bees safely and make sure that they are able to survive.
If you find a beehive on your own property that presents a threat, PLEASE don’t kill the bees! You can call the Bee Guyz directly at 504-231-2205 and they will be safely relocated them so they can continue their  jobs pollinating plants! Check out their facebook page - Bee Guyz LLC!!!!
At your own home, you can help support our bee population by  reducing  your impact - reduce or eliminate your pesticide use, increase green spaces, and minimize urbanization. Pollution and climate change affect pollinators, too! 
You can also plant for pollinators. Create pollinator-friendly habitat with native flowering plants that supply pollinators with nectar, pollen, and homes. City Park sells a variety of native plants which pollinators like at their monthly plant sales at the Pelican Greenhouse – the next one is July 20th.
Tell a friend. Educate your neighbors, schools, and community groups about the importance of pollinators. Host a dinner, a pollinated food cook-off or other event and invite your friends.
Join the Pollinator Partnership  - Go to www.pollinator.org and click on “Get Involved.” Be part of a growing community of pollinator supporters.

-Meg Adams, Director of Sustainability and Enviornment Stewardship

MAdams@nocp.org


Sources:
https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/sustainable-agriculture/save-the-bees/
https://www.pollinator.org/
http://www.beeguyz.com/

Sign up for Plastic Free July!

New Orleans City Park and Audubon Nature Institute encourage you to participate in Plastic Free July, a 31-day global challenge to reduce and refuse single-use plastics. Let's all team up from across the country to be a part of the challenge and and also invite the New Orleans community to join!

The challenge takes place through an easy-to-use online platform. Click here for the link. Track your individual progress, share successes and challenges with your teammates, and earn points for your completed actions.

Join the Plastic Free New Orleans team and invite your friends and family to get involved. At the end of the month, Audubon will recognize top participants with eco-friendly prizes!

With recent news of reduced plastic recycling in our city, this is a timely opportunity to get involved, educate others, and decrease the amount of plastic going into our waste stream. We hope you’ll join us in spreading the word. Together, our everyday actions can make a big impact.

How to Sign Up:

Visit plasticfree.ecochallenge.org
Create an account by entering your name and contact information.
Under “Create or Join a Team,” select “Join an Existing Team.”
Search “Plastic Free New Orleans.”
Join our team!
Select your challenges. You can edit these any time. The challenge begins July 1st!

Storyland Named Among Best Family-Travel Activities in New Orleans by Forbes

This month Forbes named New Orleans one of the “Top 10 American Cities for Family-Friendly Travel” and Storyland in New Orleans City Park among the Best Family-Travel Activities in New Orleans. With its many attractions, events, and open green spaces, City Park’s 1300 acres is a dream destination for anyone year-round and Storyland is a at the heart of the Park.

“Storyland is a treasured part of New Orleans. Generations of children have memories of the dragon slide and three little pigs. This true gem in City Park will be revitalized this year, restoring the existing site and adding new additions creating an environment that will bring deeper interaction with the fairytales through fun, play, and education,” said Bob Becker, CEO for New Orleans City Park.

In Storyland children can climb aboard Captain Hook’s pirate ship, follow Pinocchio into the mouth of a whale or scamper up Jack & Jill’s hill. Delighting children since the 1950s, this charming theme playground is a child’s dream filled with 20 larger-than-life storybook sculptures featuring classic fairytale characters. Children can have fun, play, and learn all while running under the shade of City Park oak trees.

Besides Storyland, the website singled out the Louisiana Children’s Museum’s big move to City Park in September of this year. 

New Orleans City Park is in great company with other attractions such as the Audubon Zoo and rides on the streetcars. To visit the post and see the other winners, please visit this link: forbes.com/sites/sandramacgregor/2019/06/06/top-nine-not-to-be-missed-american-cites-for-family-friendly-travel/#5af6c0ec1c55.

In its 169th year, City Park continues to push forward with thoughtful progress. Last month a 6 acre expansion of the New Orleans Museum of Art Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden was opened. Café du Monde beignet restaurant will open its doors this summer providing both locals and tourists alike a sugar experience that’s a true part of the New Orleans experience. A new ‘swing-ride’ will join the other 17 amusement rides in Carousel Gardens Amusement Park this fall. In the fall a large outdoor kitchen will open inside the New Orleans Botanical Garden. Scout Island Scream Park, a Halloween festival throughout October, will delight children with family friendly activities during the day and offer frightful haunts at night. This November and December Celebration in the Oaks will host its 33rd year bringing over 1 million lights over 25-acres.

New Orleans City Park Named Among Best Things to Do with the Kids in New Orleans

This month USA Today 10 Best named New Orleans City Park among the ‘Ten Best Things to Do with the Kids in New Orleans’. With its many attractions, events, and open green spaces, City Park’s 1300 acres is a dream destination for anyone year-round.

The website singled out: the New Orleans Botanical Garden, the New Orleans Museum of Art, Storyland, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, and pointed out the 1300 acres for picnicking, boating, and biking.

New Orleans City Park is in great company with other attractions such as the Louisiana Children’s Museum, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and rides on the streetcars. To visit the post and see the other winners, please visit this link.

“We love being able to bring the people of New Orleans and tourists a place to gather with their families. City Park is the unofficial ‘official Park of families’ and we strive daily to offer activities across the gamut to have something for everyone to enjoy,” said Bob Becker, CEO for New Orleans City Park.

In its 169th year, City Park continues to push forward with thoughtful progress. This month a 6 acre expansion of the New Orleans Museum of Art Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden was opened. In September, the Louisiana Children’s Museum will open its doors to the children of the nation. Storyland, a true gem of City Park, will get a full renovation this year, restoring it to its full splendor as new generations of New Orleanians play on its fairy-tale sculptures. A new ‘swing-ride’ will join the other 17 amusement rides in Carousel Gardens Amusement Park this fall. Café du Monde beignet restaurant will open its doors this summer providing both locals and tourists alike a sugar experience that’s a true part of the New Orleans experience.

New Orleans City Park Named one of the Best City Parks in America

This month Thrillist compiled The 18 Best City Parks in America. New Orleans City Park is proud to be named one of 18 ‘best city parks’. With its many attractions, events, and open green spaces, City Park’s 1300 acres is a dream destination for anyone year-round.

The website singled out: Storyland, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, the New Orleans Botanical Garden, Couturie Forest, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, the Louisiana Children’s Museum, and City Park’s collection of mature live oaks (the largest collection on the planet!).

“Once a spot for dueling Creole gentlemen to settle the score…City Park offers … compelling reasons to actually put down your Sazerac and leave the French Quarter,” says Thrillist.

New Orleans City Park is in great company with other parks such as Forest Park, Balboa Park, Griffith Park, and Fairmount Park. To visit the post and see the other 17 winners, please visit this link: Thrillist.com/travel/nation/the-15-best-city-parks-in-america.

In its 169th year, City Park continues to push forward with thoughtful progress. This month a 6 acre expansion of the New Orleans Museum of Art Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden was opened. In September, the Louisiana Children’s Museum will open its doors to the children of the region.

“We’re ‘thrilled’ to be named one of America’s Best City Parks. We truly love seeing people in the Park at our attractions, events, and recreating. We know City Park is a true jewel of the nation and we’re all so lucky the Park is in the heart of the city of New Orleans,” said Bob Becker, CEO for New Orleans City Park.

Earth Day and Swing in the Oaks

Join us for a big celebration with two free events in the Park: Earth Day and Swing in the Oaks.

Celebrate the earth and learn how we can build a healthier relationship with our natural spaces. The event will have exhibitors, activities for children, live music, crafts, cooking demonstrations, and of course delicious food. The event will take place in the New Orleans Botanical Garden.
This celebration promises:
-Guidance on leading a more environmentally responsible lifestyle.
Local businesses and non-profit organizations dedicated to environmental protection, improvement, and education.
-Activities and crafts for kids and adults
-Live acoustic music by The Necessary Gentlemen
-Cooking demonstrations using local, healthy ingredients
-Free meditation classes
-Food, wine, and beer available for purchase.

Visit Earth Day then walk over to listen to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at Swing in the Oaks on the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn. This is another free event and there is no bad seat to listen to the live music.
Past musical selections have included traditional classics and modern favorites: “Light Cavalry Overture”, music from Carmen Suite, selections from Phantom of the Opera, “Strike Up the Band”, “Muppet Medley”, a traditional New Orleans Medley, “Big Band Fantasy”, Irving Berlin - A Symphonic Portrait, and “Stars and Stripes Forever”.
While the sounds of LPO can be heard throughout the Park and there are no bad seats, plan to arrive early if you want a spot near the orchestra.

City Park will serve food in compostable dishes. The public may bring their own refreshments. They are encouraged to bring food and drinks in reusable and/or recyclable containers to reduce landfill waste. Look for the Green Station on the Great Lawn to recycle paper goods and glass, to compost, and to place your trash.

WHEN:       Tuesday, April 16, 2019: Earth Day: 4 pm to 7 pm and Swing in the Oaks: 7pm to 9pm.

WHERE:   Earth Day:  New Orleans Botanical Garden (enter through the garden gate on Victory Avenue: use 3 Victory Drive, New Orleans, LA 70124 for GPS)
Swing in the Oaks: Just across Victory Avenue on the Great Lawn.


There is free parking available on Park streets and in the parking lot across from the entrance to the New Orleans Botanical Garden/next to the Great Lawn. We encourage visitors to ride their bike. Victory and Dreyfous will be closed before and during the event.

14,000 tulips have bloomed at Big Lake in New Orleans City Park.

They're blooming!

14,000 tulips have bloomed at Big Lake in New Orleans City Park.
Planted in mid-January 2019, the flowers started blooming last week and are in full bloom now. The City Park Horticulture Department plants each bulb by hand with great care and it takes the team of six over 20 hours from start to finish.

New this year: We redesigned the ropes between the blooms and the public. Now you can get even closer to the tulips to get just the right Instagram shot. (But we're still asking people to not pick the flowers or cross the ropes).

Some tulips have interesting names including: Apricot Parrot, World's Favorite, Happy Family, Purple Dream, and Blushing Lady.

Great Backyard Bird Count

We want to see how many birds the public can find this weekend for the Great Backyard Bird Count!

Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. Now, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life worldwide join the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.

February Super Saturday: catch basin clean up

We LOVE our volunteers! On Saturday, February 2, 2019, nine UNO students, eight folks from St. Peter's Presbyterian Church, one Holy Cross student, one Sewage and Water Board representative, and five City Park staff worked to clear drains in the Park! Even two boys who were at the Park for a birthday party joined to help! What a group! The more storm water the Park can take from neighborhoods, the better for the neighborhoods! The group cleaned 17 catch basins and 30 additional catch basins were tagged with SWB markers along Lelong Ave. and Drefous Dr.

We cannot keep the Park looking as good as it does without the help from the community. If you or your group would like to volunteer at the Park, email Tyler Havens at thavens@nocp.org.  Always wear closed-toe shoes and sunscreen and bring a water bottle. 

Volunteers Give Back to New Orleans City Park on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Day of Service

Click the photo to get details on volunteering in City Park.

New Orleans City Park is grateful to the many people who volunteered on Monday, January 21, 2019, between 9:30 am and noon in City Park for this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. day of service. Volunteers and students from Tulane University, Dillard University, Loyola University, and The University of New Orleans  honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by working with one another to give back to New Orleans City Park, our community, and our city.  Fifty volunteers from a combination of the New Orleans area schools worked together on a large volunteer project at the Festival Grounds area (off of Henry Thomas Drive). Main tasks for this day include: planting 300 three gallon sized agapanthus plants, mulching, weeding, pruning, and general beautification.

Want to know more about volunteering? Email Tyler at thavens@nocp.org. 

Storyand

Where stories come to life!

Featuring larger-than-life storybook sculptures:

Welcome to Storyland!

Climb aboard Captain Hook’s pirate ship, follow Pinocchio into the mouth of a whale or scamper up Jack & Jill’s Hill! Fairytales and fantasy come to life before your eyes in City Park’s Storyland. This charming theme playground is a child’s dream (come true!) filled with 20 larger-than-life storybook sculptures featuring classic fairytale characters.

Storyland is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm with last entry at 4:30pm. 

Enter through The Tolmas Visitor Center at 5 Victory Avenue. 

$4/person
Kids 36” tall and under get free admission
Friends of City Park receive free admission
Paid admission to Storyland also includes admission to Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. Purchase ride tickets at the ticket booth inside Carousel Gardens.

Please note: Storyland visitors may also enter Carousel Gardens Amusement Park through the back gate whenever the amusement park is open.

* No pets allowed inside Storyland or Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.
* No outside food or drink allowed.

Storyland is about to undergo a large renovation. To get information or make a donation, email development@nocp.org and someone will email you back asap. 

New Orleans City Park Awarded Accolades:  Labor Day Weekend Discounts for the Public

New Orleans City Park was awarded two awards this week. City Park is excited to announce these accolades and pass on the joy to the public with discounts at three attractions for the Labor Day weekend.

City Park’s City Putt miniature golf course was voted Best Golf Course in New Orleans by the readers of Gambit Weekly. We thank the public for your votes and look forward to seeing even more smiling faces on the mini links. City Putt is open Tuesday through Sunday and especially late on weekends closing at midnight. Gambit readers also voted City Park the Best Place to Have a First Date. We see many date nights at City Putt for New Orleanians in the future. See this link for details.

City Park was named, by Goodful on BuzzFeed, one of 16 parks worldwide that are, “worth taking a detour” to see. We are in great company with parks from all over the world including parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai. We are thrilled Buzzfeed is helping us in our push to make New Orleans City Park a world class park. See this link for details.

Hot off the heels of these awards the public will be able to take advantage of discounts at these three City Park attractions to help us celebrate: City Putt, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, and Storyland.

WHEN:     

Friday, August 31st through Monday, September, 3rd

11 am to 5 pm

DETAILS:

-$4 off a round of mini golf
-Free admission to Carousel Gardens Amusement Park (a $4 savings)
-Free admission to Storyland (a $4 savings)

WHERE:
  City Putt: 33 Dreyfous Drive
  Carousel Gardens Amusement Park: 7 Victory Avenue
  Storyland: 5 Victory Avenue

Parking is available on Park streets and the two parking lots adjacent to the attractions. For more information about New Orleans City Park and these attractions, please visit NewOrleansCityPark.com. The Oscar J. Tolmas Visitor Center, at 5 Victory Avenue, is open seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm with staff ready to answer questions. A Park map is also available at the Visitor Center.


WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: "Buzzfeed has identified 16 parks worldwide that are worth making a special trip to see.  We are thrilled to be considered among only 16 parks throughout the world that merit a special trip," said Bob Becker, New Orleans City Park CEO.

Oh, to be a fish in City Park!

Oh, to be a fish in New Orleans City Park! Thanks to our friends at Atmos Energy, who supplied scrap pieces of natural gas pipes, and our wonderful partners at Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, who designed the underwater fishing sculptures, City Park’s fish will be more cultured and more plentiful than ever this spring. 

With the help of volunteers from Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, twenty three “spider block” sculptures were built and deployed in City Park’s lagoons in late-April. These sculptures will act as fishing reefs (similar to the Christmas tree reefs installed last winter), providing needed refuge for small fish, structure for algae and insect growth, and an attractive feeding spot for larger angler fish – a boost to the entire fish population in City Park’s lagoons!

The sculptures are exclusively for our fishy friends and are not visible above water, but if you are looking for a good fishing spot this summer, check out the following areas and let us know what you catch (jgundlach@nocp.org).
• Marconi Fishing Pier
• Bayou Metairie near NOMA
• Lagoon near Grow Dat Youth Farm
• Little Lake on the Palm Drive side

 

Written by:

Jo Gundlach, Sustainability Coordinator

jGundlach@nocp.org

What happens to the Tennis Balls? Funny you should ask!

Reblogged from this page.

City Park / Pepsi Tennis Center is one of our largest partners, and another great example of a public facility focused on offering premiere tennis courts while staying committed to sustainability! Johanna Gundlach, the Sustainabilty Coordinator for City Park tells us that the public reaction to seeing Recycleballs bins on their courts is one of enthusiasm and curiosity. “People actually get excited about recycling their tennis balls, rather than throwing them in the trash can. They want to know more about what they will be used for, and even stop by and drop off bags of used balls!”

Many consider Pepsi Tennis Center to be the Premiere Tennis Facility in New Orleans. It’s the biggest facility in Louisiana with 26 courts (16 hard / 10 clay), and home to hundreds of tennis players - from collegiate athletes (Loyola and Tulane both play there), to USTA players, to recreational players of all ages.  But size isn’t the only thing that sets City Park apart, players are drawn to City Park’s commitment to protecting the environment.

Johanna tells us, “New Orleans City Park is continuously working towards becoming a leader in sustainability in the New Orleans region by greening Park operations at every level and in every department. Example green efforts in New Orleans City Park include increasing access to recycling in all public use areas of the Park, identifying opportunities for energy savings through lighting and HVAC upgrades, sustainability education programs for City Park employees, and community-wide citizen science programs to inventory and better understand the Park's flora and fauna.”

Last year, Johanna and her colleagues went on a mission to find a way to recycle and reuse tennis balls and prevent them from ending up in a landfill, and when she learned about Recycleballs, she jumped on the opportunity to partner with another organization dedicated to making tennis a greener sport. Thanks, Johanna and City Park for your partnership and your outstanding green efforts!

 

[Pictured:  Martin Alexander, Tennis Maintenance Attendant for the City Park / Pepsi Tennis Center. Martin plays a huge roll in the success of the tennis ball recycling program, and educates and encourages visitors to recycle their used tennis balls.]

 

To find ot more information on tennis at New Orleans City Park, please click here

Record Broken! A BIG Bass!

Broc Corcoran caught a record bass, 9.3lbs

The location’s a secret! Record breaking!

Broc Corcoran caught a record bass, 9 lbs 3oz, in New Orleans City Park on Monday, March 5, 2018.

He was using a soft plastic minnow on a bait caster. Where did he make the catch in City Park? Well, that’s a secret! Congrats Broc!

Don’t forget the 71st annual Big Bass Fishing Rodeo is Saturday, March 24th.

Louisiana is a sportsman’s paradise and City Park is no exception. Bass, catfish, perch and other fish can be found in the park’s 11+ miles of lagoons. Every spring, City Park hosts the Big Bass Fishing Rodeo and Fishtival, a one-day event featuring music, exhibits, a silent auction, a casting contest and demonstration, and of course, plenty of fishing.

To fish in City Park, you need a valid freshwater fishing license from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. No fishing is allowed on golf courses or in areas with active contruction. No person may place their own boat in the park waterways. The park encourages anglers to catch and release fish.

There are many great fishing spots in the Park. Most people who fish won't share their great secret places to fish! But we've seen many people fishing behind the Casino Building, up and down Bayou Metairie, in Big Lake, off the Fishing Pier on Marconi Avenue, and in the water ways in Couturie Forest. If conditions are right and you're patient, you could catch a fish and have a great fish tale to tell.

*Fishing is not allowed from boats (only from the shoreline).

The previous record breaking catch:

Occurred: August 15, 2013

Tim Zissis loves to fish in City Park because it brings back memories of his childhood – fishing with his father and younger brother starting more than 35 years ago.  Zissis’s father passed when he was only 16.  The now 44 year-old spends time at the park because he says it’s quality time with his dad.  While Zissis enjoys making friends with other fishermen enjoying the park’s waterways, the New Orleanian has also used fishing as a way to rehab, exercise and gain strength after a life-threatening infection almost caused his leg to be amputated last year.

On August 14th, around 3:30 p.m., Zissis, an avid City Park angler, cast his homemade plastic frog along the bank when a monster bass hit it.  Zissis fought the bass for about five minutes but the large fish spit the bait loose.  Zissis knew this was his dream bass – one of the biggest he ever sparred with.  When the fish got away, he literally fell to his knees, convinced his trophy was gone.  He regained his composure and made another cast.  All of a sudden, Zissis felt his line jerk.  A bass smashed his bait, again, four inches off the bank.  This time, success!  He knew it was the record when the fish jumped three feet out of the water.  He was amazed to see the size of the bass!  Zissis rushed over to City Park administration to show it off with hopes he broke the 9 pound City Park record.  He did – by .05 pounds.

After 35 years, Zissis has accomplished one of his life’s goals – catching a record-breaking bass in honor of his father.


Think you've broken the current record?

Fishing in the Park and think you've broken the current record? Here are the details you need to know:

-Must be a live fish

-Must be caught at New Orleans City Park

-Photographs are needed

-A photograph is needed of the weight displayed on a state-calibrated scale (fish markets near the Park have these, but make sure the photo shows the weight in decimal amount and includes the state ID tag that is located on all state inspected scales).

-Witness statements to the catch are preferred

Bring the photos and catch over to the Park Administration building if during normal business hours. Email story, witness statements, and photos to JLacour@nocp.org.

Above all, remember there is honor among fish and men. Please be honorable and follow all directions.

Christmas Tree Fishing Reefs in City Park

There will be stiff competition in this year’s Big Bass Fishing Rodeo – Brother Martin and Rummel students have already staked out their fishing spots and hope to be reeling in the biggest fish in the lagoons!
On February 15, 2018, New Orleans City Park, in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), welcomed fishing clubs to the Park, from Brother Martin High School and Archbishop Rummel High School, to build fishing reefs using Celebration in the Oaks Christmas trees.
The fishing reefs will provide critical fish habitats and a boost to the aquatic food chain. Shortly after the Christmas tree reefs are installed, they will sink and create structure within the water. In water bodies lacking structure, baitfish tend to be scattered. As new hiding places, the Christmas tree reefs will attract smaller baitfish and the desired sportfish will soon follow.
As the trees decompose, the released nutrients spur a bloom in new aquatic vegetation, phytoplankton, and algae. This vegetation is the base of the aquatic food chain. Zooplankton forage on the new vegetation, and attract aquatic insects, snails, and crawfish. The abundance of life continues to multiply, as these species attract smaller fish that then bring the larger fish.
We don’t want to give away any secret fishing hot spots, but if you see a fisherman/woman sporting a Brother Martin or Rummel t-shirt, you might want to follow them to the lagoon!
We love our volunteers and the Park wouldn’t be what it is today without their help.
If you or your group would like to volunteer at New Orleans City Park, please email Tyler Havens, Volunteer Manager, at thavens@nocp.org.  
For more information about the upcoming 71st annual Big Bass Fishing Rodeo on Saturday, March 24th, please visit BigBassFishingRodeo.com.

- Johanna Gundlach, Sustainability Coordinator

jgundlach@nocp.org

City Park Presented the Achievement Award in Employee Wellness

On January 26th, 2018, New Orleans City Park won the Achievement Award in Employee Wellness at LifeCity’s annual “Love Your City Awards Ceremony”.
The event is held each year to recognize the efforts and impact of sustainable business leaders in the New Orleans area. City Park has been a premium member with LifeCity for three years and is excited about the progress made toward becoming a more sustainable organization and member of the New Orleans community.  The Achievement Award in Employee Wellness recognized City Park’s improvements in employee engagement through all-staff events, increased opportunities for training and education, and a health and wellness fair.
Some of the proudest achievements in this area include the many events that bring our employees together, including a bowling party, crawfish boil, health and wellness fair, holiday luncheon, and a breakfast. These organization-wide events are a great opportunity for individuals from different departments to share updates and progress, hear new ideas and suggestions for improvements, play games, have fun, and get to know one another. A huge thanks to City Park’s human resources team for their hard work organizing the events. 
We are also proud of our new monthly lunch and learn program, called Food for Thought Lunches, hosted by City Park’s Green Team. The goal of the program is to provide sustainability education to Park employees and to foster a culture of environmental stewardship within City Park. Each lunch features organizations or individuals in the community that are contributing to a greener New Orleans. So far, we have learned from Compost N.O.W., Bike Easy, Energy Smart and Energy Wise, New Orleans Botanical Garden, and The Green Project. 
City Park is very grateful for all of the support and guidance provided by the LifeCity team. They have played a huge role in helping us achieve our sustainability goals. For more information about what we have accomplished this year, check out our 2017 Sustainability Highlights below this paragraph.

An Especially Green Holiday Celebration

Were you at the Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party? If so, you probably enjoyed savory sides, delectable desserts, and a few holiday spirits! With over 1,500 attendees, that equals a lot of trash!

But not to worry, if the spirits didn’t get in the way of your keen observation skills, you may have noticed one of the large signs that read “ZERO WASTE CITY PARK,” cluing you in to our exciting efforts to make this a sustainable celebration by minimizing event waste sent to the landfill.

And we think it was a smashing success!

With all numbers in, we are proud to announce that, in our first year of going Zero Waste at the Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party, we achieved a diversion rate of 81%. That means that we kept 3138 pounds of the event waste out of a landfill and, instead, gave it a new life!

I know what you’re thinking: But what about all of the plates, forks, cups, napkins, and food that I threw into the garbage cans?

Surprise! Almost all of the trash cans around the event were lined with biodegradable bags. Food was served on biodegradable plates and bowls made from sugarcane bagasse, alongside biodegradable forks and spoons made from fermented corn starch. And although your beverage cups looked plastic, they, too, are made from renewable plant starches.

So at the end of the beautiful evening, 1632 pounds of event waste was sent to The Composting Network to be turned into soil and reused in gardens and landscapes across the City – maybe even making its way back to our garden beds in the New Orleans Botanical Garden. A pretty cool, sustainable cycle, if you ask us.

And while the food and beverage represented a significant portion of the event’s waste, we also had to consider other waste streams, including materials exiting the bars – plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and lots of glass – to ensure the greatest waste diversion rate. By working closely with our bartenders, we were able to collect 324 pounds of mixed plastic and aluminum and 1,182 pounds of glass for recycling!

There were, of course, a few odd items that ended up in the trash, but overall we are very pleased with the results. So thank you to everyone who attended this year’s Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party and contributed to a very sustainable holiday celebration. We look forward to seeing you next year, as we attempt to keep even more waste out of the landfill!

Happy 70th Birthday Bingle Party in City Putt

It's Mister Bingle's 70th birthday this year! Visit City Putt for a holiday themed party on December 1st, 2nd, or 3rd from 3pm to 7pm. The party is $10/person and tickets can be purchased the day-of from City Putt located between Victory and Dreyfous. Each person will get to play one course, enjoy 1 cocktail (or soft drink), taste sweet treats, get a free raffle ticket, and receive giveaways, too. Bring a date or bring the family – everyone will have a great time! For more information call 483-9385.

*And don’t forget just across the street, Celebration in the Oaks will be open, too!
*City Putt is open regular hours with regular fees outside the time of the party.

Celebration in the Oaks

The 2017 season is Celebration in the Oaks' 31st anniversary!

Celebration in the Oaks in City Park is one of the most spectacular holiday lights festivals in the country, with more than 165,000 visitors pouring into the Park to see the magical winter spectacle. City Park’s famous oaks are swathed in hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights and breathtaking light displays are scattered throughout 25 acres of the Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.

Click the logo for more information!

Hours
2017 dates:
November 24, 2017 through January 1, 2018
Closed November 27, 28, 29, 30
Closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

Monday - Thursday : 6pm -10pm
Friday: 6pm -11pm
Saturday: 5pm - 11pm
Sunday: 5pm - 10pm
Last entry to event is 30 minutes prior to closing.

Your tickets are good for any night of the event that we are open in the current season. There is no refund due to rain, power outages, and other unforeseen conditions.

Train tickets sales on-site will stop one hour before closing. At one hour before closing, you will not be able to get in the train line (only before that time). This also may happen with other amusement rides. Individual train tickets may be used in place of any single ride tickets for any other ride in Carousel Gardens.

-Admission Tickets: $9/person
-Children under 3 and Friends of City Park members: Free
Rides:
-Train Ride: $5/person
-Amusement Park Rides: $4/single ride ticket (excludes train)
-$18/unlimited ride band (includes train, must be purchased at the event)
Your tickets are good for any night of the event that we are open in the current season. There is no refund rain, power outages, and other unforeseen conditions.

The ribbon has been cut! The Multi Use Path is OPEN!

New Orleans City Park is proud to announce the opening of the highly anticipated Marconi Path on the west side of the Park. The new bike path will complete the fourth side of the Park's bike path project: Robert E Lee, Wisner, Harrison, and now, Marconi.

The New Orleans City Park Carousel

The Carousel ride is often called the ‘Flying Horses’ by New Orleans locals. The Carousel is the oldest ride in the William B. Hines Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. It dates to 1906 but some of the animal figures date back to 1885. The Carousel was originally located on a track of land along City Park Avenue. The Carousel was moved to its current location in 1928, creating what would eventually be City Park’s Amusement Park. Staff took one full year to roll the Carousel building on wooden logs to the new location.

The Carousel has had a few owners in its history including Harry Batt, Sr. Locals may remember Mr. Batt from another local landmark, Pontchartrain Beach. In the late 1980's, William B. Hines loaned Friends of City Park $300,000 to purchase the Carousel from Harry Batt and an additional $50,000 to renovate the Carousel. (Eventually, Mr. Hines forgave all loans. The William B. Hines Carousel Gardens Amusement Park is named for him).


The animals were carved and hand painted by Charles Looff and Charles Carmel.

-The Looff animal figures contain faux gem/glass stones and are the older of the two types of animals (older than the Carmel animals).

-The animals are loved so much by visitors they need repainting every year to 2 years. They are still hand painted.

-The Carousel contains fifty-four animals. 53 are horses plus a lion, giraffe, and camel. There are also 2 chariots for a more stationary ride.

-The horses have real horse-hair tails.

-Thirty of the horses move up and down and are called ‘flyers’ (thus the Flying Horses nickname).

-The Carousel still uses the original motor.

-The circular platform on which the animals ‘ride’ is suspended off the ground by 40 metal rods.

-The lion weighs 500 lbs.

-A few movies have been shot in the Carousel.

-The Carousel is only one of 100 hand-carved carousels remaining in the United States and the only one in Louisiana.

-The animals are a type of 'time capsule' - carvers and workers have placed items in the wooden bodies like coins, notes, and photos. 

-The carousel has been taken care of by the same family company for over 40 years. 

Post originally posted 8/9/17 and updated on 7/24/20

Why did the turtle cross the road?

Why did the turtle cross the road?
A few days ago, while driving around the Park, I slowed down for what I thought was just another bump in the oh-so-bumpy New Orleans roads. But unlike most bumps and potholes, this one slowly moved as I approached.  I pulled to the side and stepped out of the car to find a small turtle, moseying across the street, seemingly unaware of the oncoming car.
Afraid she might not make it to the other side of the street before another car came along, I carefully picked up the turtle, helped her to the side of the road, and then went on my way. But as the day continued, I found myself questioning: Why did the turtle cross the road? Where was she trying to go? Had I put her on the right side of the street, closer to her final destination? Or had I accidentally undone hours of arduous trekking, leaving her back at the starting line?

With a little research, I found that turtles, unlike the subject of many “chicken crossing the road” jokes, aren’t just trying to get to the other side. They have a destination and know the way.

Even City Park’s turtles, who spend most of their time in the water, begin over land travel in late spring and early summer, as the females search for suitable nesting sites. While reproductive behavior for each turtle species varies slightly, courtship and mating usually takes place between March and July. Females of some species will mate with several males during this time and store the sperm to fertilize a later clutch of eggs. After mating, the female spends extra time basking in the sun, keeping her eggs warm. Females may wait days or even weeks before egg-laying. When she is ready, the female wanders away from the water to find her nesting site. Although each species may have specific requirements for nesting (distance from water, type of soil, obstacles, or good coverage), all females take the time to ensure the best protection for their young, even if it means crossing a highly trafficked road. Once she has found her spot, the female digs a hole using her hind legs, lays the eggs, and then makes her way back to the water.

So what exactly is Zero Waste?

New Orleans City Park loves its employees and the Earth! It would not be possible to maintain the 1,300 acres of green space that make up New Orleans City Park without the passion and hard work of the Park’s employees. To show that commitment to our people and our environment, New Orleans City Park hosted its annual Employee Appreciation Crawfish Boil recently, and, for the first time ever, it was a nearly Zero Waste event.
With close to 100 attendees, several hundred pounds of crawfish, trays of jambalaya, vegetables, snowballs, cake, and refreshments, the potential for creating waste was huge. But instead of just accepting that trash as the result of a good party, we turned to composting and recycling to give our trash another life!
Eco-friendly; environmentally responsible; sustainable and biodegradable—no matter how you say it, reducing our environmental impact is essential to maintaining the health of our planet. One way we can do this is by incorporating Zero Waste practices into Park events, in our work, and as a daily habit.
So what exactly is Zero Waste? The goal of Zero Waste is to divert as much waste as possible from entering a landfill. As a result of the massive amounts of trash dumped in landfills each day, these sites contain very little oxygen. Trash is buried in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment, and decomposition can only occur with the help of slow-working bacteria. As these bacteria break down trash, they release methane, a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere and contributes to global climate change. According to the EPA, in 2015, landfills were responsible for 15.4% of methane emissions in the atmosphere.  By reducing the amount of waste that we send to landfills, we can also reduce the amount of methane that enters the atmosphere.
It may sound difficult, but with some extra planning, responsible buying, education, and group participation, it is surprisingly easy to move towards Zero Waste! This year at the Employee Appreciation Crawfish Boil, all food and drinks were served in compostable trays, plates, and cups, with compostable forks, spoons, and napkins. As employees finished their meals, they simply dumped food scraps and food containers into a compost bin, to be picked up by The Composting Network and turned into nutrient-rich soil! Employees recycled plastic water bottles and aluminum soda cans, giving them a second life as a beverage container or the possibility of becoming something completely new!  And all that was left to throw in the trash cans were plastic straws, hand-sanitizing towelettes, and disposable tablecloths.
So…how close to Zero Waste did we get? We composted 510 pounds of food waste, collected close to 12 pounds of recycling, and only sent about 18 pounds of trash to the landfill. That means we achieved a 96.7% waste diversion rate, and only sent 3.3% of all event waste to the landfill.
With the help of New Orleans City Park employees, our Park is becoming greener every day. We encourage our visitors to participate in these sustainability efforts by picking up litter in the park and recycling or composting when possible. 
Written by:
Johanna Gundlach
Sustainability Coordinator
jgundlach@nocp.org

How Often Do The Budweiser Clydesdale Horses Shave?

Question: How Often Do The Budweiser Clydesdale Horses Shave?

Answer: Once a week!

The horses spend their downtime in New Orleans City Park during Carnival each year. Merlin, the horse pictured here, weighs in at 2000 lbs, and will walk in many of the parades during Mardi Gras.

First introduced in 1933, after the repeal of Prohibition, the Clydesdales have served as living symbols of not just Budweiser, but also the unconquerable American spirit. Famous worldwide for their appearances in parades, television broadcasts, and even Presidential inaugurations, they're now set to make their most important appearance yet - the one with you!

Meet the Budweiser Clydesdales! The annual Horses, Hops and Cops fundraiser is a wonderful, family-friendly event featuring live music, food and beverages, arts & crafts, face painting, and horses! 

Hang out with the hitch and get your picture taken with these living legends!

-Monday, February 20th

-5pm to 9pm

-Free to the public

-Where: NOPD Mounted Division Stables in New Orleans City Park - Harrison and Marconi Avenues, New Orleans, Louisiana 70124

-Insider tip: Park in the Lakeview neighborhood, and walk over to the stables 

New Bass Record

A new record has been set for bass caught in New Orleans City Park.

On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, Anthony Mike caught a 9.1 lbs beauty bass using a 7" June Bug plastic worm. Fishing near the pier located off Scout Island, it was a banner day for him!

 Anthony, who currently lives in Lafitte, LA,  has been fishing in City Park for over fifteen years.  We will be giving Anthony special recognition at this year's annual Big Bass Fishing Rodeo on Saturday, March 25, 2017.  (The previous record for bass was 9.01 lbs.)

Click here to find out more about the annual Big Bass Fishing Rodeo!

Undine! Chances are you recognize this sculpture but didn’t know her name!

Undine! Chances are you recognize this sculpture but didn’t know her name.

Lily Pond and Conservatory Rose Beds with Undine:

At the entrance to the Conservatory of the Two Sisters in the New Orleans Botanical Garden is the garden’s collection of aquatics. This pond holds a variety of tropical and hardy water lilies and other aquatics from late March to Fall. 

The pool is unfiltered. Submerged plants help to keep the water clean while fish eat any mosquito larvae. Each of the plants in the pond is planted in plastic pots raised off the pond’s floor to six to eight inches below the water surface. In the keyhole of the pond is Undine, (1935) a sculpture by Rose Marie Huth.

The pond is flanked by four formal rose beds holding several varieties of modern roses.

Today’s a great day to visit the New Orleans Botanical Garden! Well, any day is a great day! 
Regular Hours: Open 7 days a week 10am to 5pm Last entry is at 4pm

Gift Shop Open 10am to 5pm

Enter through the Oscar J. Tolmas Building at 5 Victory Avenue.

*Adults: $6

*Children ages 3 to 12: $3

*Children under age 3: Free

*Free admission for Louisiana residents on Wednesday. Please show your ID to the cashier.

Something big is coming soon!

They are coming back! We’re talking about the tulips at Big Lake, of course!

New Orleans City Park staff spent January 12th planting 1000s of tulips bulbs around Big Lake. Their hard work is appreciated by all as it will take about a month and a half for the bulbs to bloom and then we’ll have a massive colorful flower bed.  What a way to welcome spring to New Orleans!
Over 40 types of tulips have been planted. Some of the names of the tulips are pretty interesting: Exotic Emperor, Happy Family, Pinocchio, Blushing Lady, Temple of Beauty, Early Glory, and more!
The tulips will only be in bloom for about 2 weeks. Visit them to brighten your day but be sure to not walk in the flower beds or pick any of the flowers.
New Orleans City Park is proud to be able to bring the simple joy of fresh colorful flowers to the patrons of the Park. We look forward to seeing all of your tulip themed photos posted to social media.

Break Ground!

Construction Begins on a New Stretch of Bike/Walking Path in New Orleans City Park

New Orleans (January 10, 2017)

New Orleans City Park is proud to announce the groundbreaking of the highly anticipated Marconi Bike Path on the west side of the Park. When completed, the new bike path will complete the fourth side of the Park’s bike path project: Robert E Lee, Wisner, Harrison, and now, Marconi.

The Marconi Path is a 10 feet wide concrete pathway stretching over one mile, connecting the existing asphalt along Robert E. Lee to the existing bike route along Harrison Avenue. The path is located on the east side of Marconi, passing along the lagoon edge between oak and cypress trees. There will also be a marked bike crossing point added at Filmore.

The project is a Transportation Enhancement Project, funded in part by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Friends of City Park, and the Federal Highway Administration. The path was designed by Burk Kleinpeter, Inc and the contract, competitively bid, was awarded to Command Construction Industries. The cost of the project is $698,888.00. The project’s anticipated completion date is summer 2017.

Groundbreaking: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 10 am

Location:  Corner of Robert E. Lee and Marconi

What they are saying: “For some time Park users have enjoyed designated bike and walking paths off Wisner and Robert E. Lee and on Harrison,” said Park CEO Robert Becker. “The Marconi Bike Path fills in the missing link and will provide a safe and scenic path between Robert E. Lee and Harrison.”

Biking in New Orleans City Park is easy, even if you don’t have your own bike. Bike (and boat) rentals are available at the Boat House on Big Lake: weekdays10 am to 4 pm and weekends 9 am to 4 pm. For more information about renting bikes or bike paths in the Park, visit: NewOrleansCityPark.com/in-the-park/boating-biking or call Wheel Fun Rentals at 300-1289.

About City Park:
City Park: is distinguished by its large menu of sports and recreational activities, attractions for children, and its natural beauty. City Park has a special place in the hearts of generations of New Orleanians and is a must visit for visitors to the city. As a popular place to picnic, play a favorite sport, wander through its gardens or take a boat ride- the park receives millions of visitors each year. It is located in the heart of the city and is the largest recreation area for the entire metropolitan area. Attractions include: City Putt, New Orleans Botanical Garden, Storyland fairytale playground, the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, and numerous athletic venues. The 1,300 acres of parkland provide enjoyment for young children playing on our playgrounds and walkers, joggers, and bicyclists winding through the park's streets and trails.
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Celebration in the Oaks’ 30th Anniversary!

The 2016 season is Celebration in the Oaks' 30th anniversary!

Celebration in the Oaks in City Park is one of the most spectacular holiday lights festivals in the country, with more than 165,000 visitors pouring into the Park to see the magical winter spectacle. City Park’s famous oaks are swathed in hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights and breathtaking light displays are scattered throughout 25 acres of the Park, including the Botanical Garden, Storyland, and Carousel Gardens. Click here for more information.

Get your tickets here!

Your tickets are good for any night of the event that we are open in the current season. There is no refund due to rain, power outages, and other unforeseen conditions.

*You're so smart to buy your tickets in advance online! You won't have a ticket line to wait in and you'll be in the gates before your friends who didn't buy online.

**Don't forget to bring a print-out of the tickets you buy. You'll need to show them at the gate to get into the event.

***Friends of City Park members please click here for details about your FREE admission!

Tickets for the nightly event, train rides, and individual Amusement Park rides are available for purchase online. Unlimited Ride Bands must be purchased from the Ticket Booth inside Carousel Gardens Amusement Park.

Looking for directions and parking information? We've got you covered! Check out this link.

Don't forget! Santa's here to take photos with the kids or the whole family (through 12/23)! Check out this link for details.

Tickets can also be purchased at The Tomas Center at 5 Victory Avenue.

2016 dates: November 25, 2016 through January 1, 2017

Closed November 28, 29, 30 and December 1

Closed Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

Open Christmas night

Sunday - Thursday : 6pm -10pm

Friday & Saturday: 6pm -11pm

Last entry to event is 30 minutes prior to closing. Your tickets are good for any night of the event that we are open in the current season. There is no refund due to rain, power outages, and other unforeseen conditions. Train tickets sales on-site will stop one hour before closing. At one hour before closing, you will not be able to get in the train line (only before that time). This also may happen with other amusement rides. Individual train tickets may be used in place of any single ride tickets for any other ride in Carousel Gardens.

Additional information:

-No pets allowed 

-Minor Escort Policy: All minors age 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older. Anyone 21 years or younger should be prepared to show a driver license, state ID or passport before purchasing a ticket for entry.

-Should you need a wheelchair, there is one at the front gate (first come, first served). 

PUBLIC MEETINGS

Update: 

 

We would like to extend a very special thank you to the more than 150 people who attended the first workshop held on Saturday, October 15th. Participants shared dozens of ideas related to the use of Park land in the are generally bounded by Scout Island, I-10, Wisner Avenue, and Harrison Avenue.

Our team of landscape architects will now develop concept plans from the first workshop at the 900+ responses received via an online survey. The concept plans will be shared at a second workshop. The second workshop will be held on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016, from 6 pm to 8 pm in the Arbor Room at Popp Fountain (30 Zachary Taylor Drive).

This process could lead to a formal amendment to the Park's Master Plan.

In the coming weeks, we will be posting additional information on this page regarding input received at the first workshop.

City Park Employees at Water Palooza

Our GIS Technician/Construction Manger Assitant Liz and our Volunteer Manager Tyler are spending the day at Water Palooza in New Orleans East. They are promoting education outreach to bring about awareness of the New Orleans City Park lagoon system and native & invasive species in or around the Park lagoons. Great job y'all!

NEW Art in City Park

We're thrilled to announce a new piece of art has joined the New Orleans City Park family.

Jendiva, a welded steel sculpture by Michael Dunbar, was installed at the Park today. 

It is located on Roosevelt Mall near the front of Tad Gormley Stadium.

Jendiva is a gift from Michael and Susie McLoughlin.

The Vietnam Wall in New Orleans City Park

Contact:  The Office of U.S. Marine Corps Communication 


Telephone:   703-614-1034
           

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS BRINGS A SCALED VERSION OF THE VIETNAM WALL TO NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

NEW ORLEANS, LA- Veterans and active duty members of America’s Armed Services travel great distances and make great sacrifices to preserve and protect freedom and liberty, the scaled replica of the Vietnam Wall is just one way we can remember the sacrifices of those that gave all during the Vietnam War. The United States Marine Corps invites you visit the wall when it visits New Orleans in City Park from August 25-28, 2016. The event opens at 2pm on Thursday, August 25th and is open 24/7 through Sunday, August 28th at 6am. A Wreath Laying and Commemoration Ceremony to honor Vietnam Veterans is scheduled for Saturday, August 27th at 10am in City Park on the Goldring/Woldenberg Great Lawn next to the Wall.

The United States Marine Corps brings this wall to you as a part of its Commemorative Plan to honor and remember the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The United States Marine Corps is a Commemorative Partner of the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Vietnam Commemoration Office. One of the objectives of this office is to thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war (POW), or listed as missing in action (MIA), for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these Veterans.

The wall is an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. Across its 360-foot length the wall contains every single name etched on the original. At its apex, the memorial is an impressive eight feet tall.

For more detailed information about this event, please contact the Office of Marine Corps Communications, Community Relations section at 703-614-1034 or visit www.marines.mil