May 10, 2022 New Orleans, La.
A partnership between Common Ground Relief, Inc. and the Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative (LICI) has received a New Orleans-based Ella West Freeman Foundation grant to do a significant tree planting this winter at the Bayou Sauvage National Urban Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans. The grant will be used to purchase 1,000 tree seedlings with supplies for the refuge.
Photo: The funds from the Ella West Freeman Foundation will cover the expense of tree seedlings and nutria guards for 1,000 trees. Volunteers from the two groups will plant the live oak and bald cypress tree seedlings.
This year's tree planting project will continue a multi-year partnership between Common Ground Relief, Inc. and LICI at the refuge for tree plantings and Louisiana iris plantings. This past fall and winter they worked together to plant over 1,900 potted trees and tree seedlings at the refuge.
Photo: Volunteers are seen planting trees at the Bayou Sauvage refuge in December 2021 among dead Chinese tallow. Other volunteers working during the summer killed the tallow trees using the hack and squirt method of applying a herbicide.
LICI board of directors member, Gary Salathe, said, "This tree planting, like last year's, will be a community-wide effort to reforest areas of the refuge that are still struggling to come back from Hurricane Katrina damage. We appreciate this investment in our city's future by the Ella West Freeman Foundation. Our partnership will effectively use the money entrusted to us for this project."
A few thousand Chinese tallow trees will need to be killed to prepare this year's tree-planting sites, as was done last year.
LICI is starting back up a weekly Monday morning work day on May 23, 2022. Small groups of volunteers will work from 7:30 AM until 11:30 AM at the refuge each Monday morning to work on tallow tree eradication using the hack and squirt method of applying a herbicide. If you would like to volunteer for this or have any questions about volunteering, you can send LICI an email with your contact information at: firstname.lastname@example.org.