October 21, 2020 New Orleans, La.
The Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative got the first irises in the ground for the 2020-2021 fall/winter planting season on Tuesday, October 21, 2020. Thanks to volunteers from Common Ground Relief being available, the LICI was able to organize this planting of 300 I. giganticaerulea species Louisiana irises at the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans east. The irises were planted near the first viewing platform on the refuge boardwalk.
These are the first irises of the season that have been taken out of the 6,000 growing at the LICI iris holding area in New Orleans. The irises were rescued from properties this summer where they were threatened with destruction from development.
Photo: A volunteer digs up the first iris from the 6,000 growing at the LICI iris holding area on the morning of the 21st. The iris is to be used for the project that day.
The event used only seven volunteers as a test before larger groups of volunteers are invited to participate in the future. It went well.
Photo: The volunteers begin work planting the irises at the refuge.
The ground conditions were great for planting the irises in areas that are usually under 6" - 8" of water. The group was able to get into these areas and plant while the water was down from our recent dry spell.
Photo: This was the first opportunity that Gary Salathe, board of directors member of the Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative, and Refuge Manager, Shelley Stiaes, had a chance to meet the new Executive Director of Common Ground Relief, Charlotte Clark.
(Left to right): LICI board of directors member, Britt Aliperti, Charlotte Clark, Gary Salathe and Shelley Stiaes.
Photo: Some of the 300 irises planted during the workday.