Friday, October 6, 2017 is Park(ing) Day, a worldwide event in which parking lots are transformed into temporary green spaces. Premium Parking and SOUL (Sustaining Our Urban Landscape) are joining forces to create a pop-up urban forest exhibit. The urban forest will encompass five parking spots of Premium Parking’s Lot P169 located at 1000 Perdido St in the Central Business District. The exhibit is free and open to the public on Friday, October 6 between 11am-7pm.
The event will create awareness about New Orleans’ deforestation crisis and SOUL’s strategy behind reforesting it; it also marks the launch of Premium Parking’s Love Your City Campaign, a text-to-donate fundraising mechanism that reaches the businesses’ 80,000+ parkers. A food truck will be on site and donation-based beer will be served from lunch through happy hour.
Premium Parking is the largest parking operator in New Orleans with 90 locations and more than 500 associates. It is excited to support local nonprofits and charities through its new Love Your City Campaign. Premium intends to keep the exhibit open for one month to raise awareness about New Orleans’ lack of tree canopy and SOUL’s strategy to reforest it.
SOUL is planting 600 large native trees between November and March in its partner communities of Broadmoor, Mid-City, and Algiers/Algiers Point through its Ya Dig? reforestation program. Trees will be planted on neutral grounds and public right-of-ways by volunteers during community planting events that take place on select Saturdays from 10am-1pm. Strategically planted trees are crucial to absorbing large volumes of stormwater and reducing street flooding.
After New Orleans lost 100,000 trees during Katrina, the U.S. Forest Service declared the city the most deforested in the country. “We’re so excited to be partnering with Premium Parking on this event. They own a lot of real estate in New Orleans and the fact that they’re interested in promoting the urban forest is huge. To have a partner as visible as Premium is key to spreading the gospel of trees.”
The concept of clustering is clearly demonstrated on SOUL’s reforestation map. The organization maps all of its trees and their attributes onto Google Maps and GIS, and is available to the public at www.soulnola.org/mapping-reforestation.
“New Orleanians are hungry for ways to keep stormwater of out the drainage system, especially in light of the recent flooding and pump failures. Ya Dig? offers a truly grassroots opportunity for digging in, changing the landscape of your community, and controlling where some of our stormwater goes,” says Emily Leitzinger, President of the Mid City Neighborhood Organization. “Neighborhood organizations like ours are instrumental in connecting volunteers to this critical resource, while also assisting with funding of crucial projects like this.”