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LICI adds Irises to the Town of Jean Lafitte Boardwalk

November 10, 2021 Jean Lafitte, La.

The Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative (LICI) organized volunteers to do the final clean-up of Hurricane Ida debris at the Jean Lafitte Wetlands Trace Boardwalk today. The group also planted more Louisiana irises.

A Common Ground Relief volunteer works with the organization's Executive Director, Charlotte Clarke (on right), to remove dried mud from the Wetlands Trace Boardwalk during the work-morning on November 10th.

Common Ground Relief volunteers joined with those from LICI to do this second clean-up work-morning at the boardwalk since the hurricane. Branches, logs, trash, marsh grasses and mud that had been pushed up onto the boardwalk by the hurricane's storm surge were cleaned off. The boardwalk is now cleaned off from end to another.

The sections of the boardwalk that were raised up from Hurricane Ida's storm surge, which covered the boardwalk, will be repaired in January by the Tierra Foundation using Louisiana Green Corps workers.

The irises that were planted on November 10th as a test to make sure the soil hasn't been too greatly impacted by Hurricane Ida's saltwater storm-surge. LICI had a soil test done and a soil expert recommended to them by the Tierra Foundation reviewed the test results. His report was that the salt and PH "are on the bubble of what is doable for irises."

The I. giganticaerulea species of the Louisiana iris is what was planted at the boardwalk on November 10th. This species of irises is native to the Jean Lafitte area. The irises were donated in July by Cindy Baucum, of nearby Barataria, La., in July and have been growing at the LICI iris holding area in New Orleans since then.

There were also indications in the swamp by the boardwalk that the area was overpopulated with nutria and swamp rabbits. Both of these animals will eat Louisiana iris leaves if they are very hungry. The irises are usually mildly toxic to wildlife, but they will eat the leaves if there are no other plants available during the dead of winter.

LICI decided the best way to find out if irises can flourish again at the boardwalk is to plant some in at different spots and see how they do.

The volunteers begin work on November 10th planting Louisiana irises after they finished cleaning off the boardwalk.



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