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2022 Iris and Cypress Tree Planting at Lockport, La. Boardwalk is Completed by LICI

December 8, 2022 Lockport, La.

The Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative (LICI) completed its iris and cypress tree planting for the winter 2022 planting season at the Lockport, La.'s Elevated Wetlands Boardwalk on December 7, 2022. This iris planting continues LICI's multi-year iris restoration project that began in 2020 there. Planting cypress trees were added to the work the group took on last winter at the boardwalk after Hurricane Ida blew down many of the young trees in the swamp.

Two volunteers from LICI start moving irises back along the boardwalk at the start of the planting event.

The group worked hard in the unseasonably warm December weather to get a few hundred Louisiana irises and twenty-two Bald Cypress trees planted in the swamp around the boardwalk. The work had been pushed back into December, hoping that cold weather would keep any snakes and alligators away. Instead, a warm spell had the temperature up to the low 80's on the planting day. Fortunately, neither snakes nor alligators were seen near the volunteers as they worked.

A volunteer from Common Ground Relief is seen getting ready to put on a pair of snake bite-proof chaps, which were offered to all of the volunteers.

Common Ground Relief helped out with the planting event by supplying some of the volunteers and all of the cypress trees. LICI and Common Ground Relief work together on many events and are partnering on a major tree planting project in the Bayou Sauvage National Urban Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans this winter.

The volunteers are seen planting irises in the swamp near the boardwalk.

LICI ranked the Lockport boardwalk as the third best location to see wild Louisiana irises blooming in their native habitat on our 2022 Iris Viewing Locations Interactive Map they released last spring. "The boardwalk will likely hold that position again for 2023's map", LICI's president, Gary Salathe, says.

Co-director of Common Ground Relief, Charlotte Clarke, is seen planting irises.

The volunteers planted I. giganticaerulea species of the Louisiana iris from LICI's iris rescue program. They were dug up two days before from the group's iris-holding area in New Orleans, where they had grown and strengthened up in containers since they were rescued at two different sites.

LICI recently learned that Lafourche Parish is working towards making a decision soon to extend the boardwalk. "We'd like to think the interest by the public we helped create through our marketing of the boardwalk during the last two iris blooms have helped that cause. All of this would not have been possible without the help our volunteers have done in rescuing and then planting the irises there," Salathe sums up.

The volunteers are seen as they finish up work planting irises on December 8, 2022, during an iris and tree planting event at the Lockport, La. boardwalk.



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