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LICI Completes 2022 Iris Planting at St. Bernard State Park

December 9, 2022 Braithwaite, LA

The Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative (LICI) completed its Louisiana iris planting for the 2022 winter planting season at St. Bernard State Park on December 9, 2022. A small group of volunteers from LICI and Common Ground Relief dug up 500 irises from LICI's iris holding area in the morning and planted all 500 at the state park in the afternoon. "On yet another unseasonably warm day for December, the group worked hard to get the job done," says LICI's president, Gary Salathe, who was the project leader.

Some of the volunteers from Common Ground Relief are seen digging the irises from their containers at the LICI iris holding area in New Orleans on the morning of the iris planting at St. Bernard State Park.

The I. giganticaerulea species of the Louisiana iris from the LICI's iris rescue program was used for the planting. Many of the irises were rescued from sites where they were threatened with destruction this past spring and summer.

This iris planting continues LICI's multi-year iris restoration project, which began at the state park with its first planting in 2020. There are some I. giganticaerulea irises naturally growing in the park, but they are not in locations where they can be easily seen by visitors to the park.

The drainage area is shown in the photo where the irises were planted.

The irises on December 9th were planted in a drainage area that passes through the park's picnic area directly behind a large pavilion. The picnic area is heavily used during the spring when the irises will be in bloom. " We hope that the iris plantings we are doing at the park will help attract more visitors to the park when the irises are in bloom, which will help to achieve the goals of the park and our goals to increase the public's awareness of this special native plant. A true win/win deal", Salathe says.

Josh Benitez, Co-director of Common Ground Relief, is in the foreground of the photo planting some of the 500 Louisiana irises a group of volunteers planted at St. Bernard State Park on December 9, 2022.

The irises planted in 2020 are shown blooming in April of 2022 at LICI's iris restoration project at St. Bernard State Park.



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