November 14, 2021 New Orleans, La.
The Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative (LICI) completed a Louisiana iris planting at the Sankofa Nature Park and Wetlands in the Lower Ninth Ward neighbor of New Orleans today.
LICI has a multi-year iris restoration project at the park.
Volunteers planting Louisiana irises at Sankofa Nature Park and Wetlands on November 13th.
I. giganticaerulea species of the Louisiana irises from LICI's iris rescue program were planted.
One of the key sites that LICI has been rescuing irises over the last two years is permitted for commercial development and is for sale. The owner has said he would give them thirty days to remove all of the irises if the property sells, but there are too many to take out in that short of a time period, so they have been working on getting them out over the last two years. The plan is to relocate some of these irises to locations where they can safely grow for years and still be available to LICI to thin out for future projects.
Sankofa Nature Park is one of six locations where LICI plants rescued irises as a place for them to multiply on their own without any maintenance being needed by anyone. The blooming irises will be in view to the public at the park, which furthers their goal of raising awareness of this native Louisiana plant.
An irises from LICI's iris rescue program is planted in its new protected permanent home at Sankofa Nature Park and Wetlands.
Tricia LeBlanc, Sankofa Wetland Park & Nature Trail Program Director, organized the work morning. The group planted irises on the last stretch of pond shoreline that did not have irises planted from LICI's volunteer event last year. Information on our iris planting last year at Sankofa can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/licisaveirises/posts/211836650509374
Sankofa is expecting to start construction in January 2022 to significantly expand the number of ponds at the nature park. They have offered to use these new shorelines for growing more of LICI's rescued irises.
The volunteers for the November 13th iris planting are shown after the last iris was planted.
Sankofa Nature Park and Wetlands is located on Florida Ave. in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood of New Orleans. Throughout its history the residents of the neighborhood there predominately African American that owned their homes. It was the largest African American neighborhood in New Orleans with owner-occupied homes. Hurricane Katrina floodwaters destroyed the Lower Ninth Ward when one of the largest levee breaches took place along the edge of the neighborhood at the Industrial Canal. Various non-profits have worked in there since 2006 to help bring the neighborhood back. The Sankofa Nature Park and Wetlands is another step in accomplishing this.