In the span of a few short months, and with the help of hundreds of volunteers, generous grant funding and enthusiasm from the community, we were able to plant over 450 young trees in a little more than a 10 square block footprint.
These trees are going to change the neighborhood. Already they brought people together, brought smiles to faces, and brought beauty to the streets they line. As they continue to grow they will be an essential part of the infrastructure of the community, absorbing stormwater, providing shade, cooling street temperatures, and providing food and habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Our work here is far from done! We are planning to return this fall to plant another 500 trees, and we want your input!
We want to know:
Where would you like to see more trees?
Are there species you’d prefer to see planted there?
Do you have any questions, comments or suggestions for SOUL?
On October 9th 2019 SOUL welcomed members of the Algiers/Riverview community for a meeting to discuss reforesting the neighborhood. We talked about the problems facing Algiers, problems which face all communities in New Orleans: flooding, subsidence, blight. Some of these issues are especially pressing in Algiers, and through a partnership with the City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways, and through a generous grant from Preserving Historic Algiers Community Corporation, funding from the Entergy Corporation, and with invaluable encouragement from Cm. Palmer, SOUL took action.
Our first step at the meeting was to determine areas in the community that residents would like to see more trees. On a large map of Algiers, we welcomed people to stick pins onto streets where they know trees are absent. SOUL took that information and went out into the streets to mark where trees could be planted. We then notified the homeowners of these locations to inform them of our intention to plant trees in their right-of-ways, both by mail, and through flyers left on doorsteps. Anyone who did not wish trees planted at their homes was given the opportunity to turn down our offer to plant. The responses were overwhelmingly positive, and we couldn’t be happier for it.
With the help of our solid crew of wonderful volunteers, we planted nearly 300 trees over the course of two weekends. Immediately, the trees start to do “work”: improving air quality, drinking stormwater, and beautifying the neighborhood. As they grow their branches and leaves will provide shade, cool the surrounding air, lower surface temperatures, create food and habitat for native animals, and help with subsidence. Algiers is currently sinking at a rate of over 0.78″ per year. By holding soil in place with their roots the new trees will help slow this process.
Every neighborhood deserves to be as green and forested as the Garden District. Algiers is now on its way! As with every community, SOUL is committed to keeping a presence in Algiers until a thriving urban canopy is established. If you live in Algiers and would like trees in your right-of-way or front yard, please fill out this online permit or contact Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-264-2443. If you have ideas for the neighborhood you’d like to share with SOUL, you can use this easy online form.
Thank you WVUE FOX 8 News for the story about our Algiers planting! Many thanks to the Entergy Corporation and Preserving Historic Algiers Community Corporation for funding this work. And thank you to our incredible volunteers for doing the hard work of getting these trees planted!