January 22, 2022 New Orleans, La.
Two New Orleans TV stations did interviews with partners and volunteers of Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative's (LICI) project rehabilitating one of only two ridge forest remaining in south Louisiana. LICI's multi-year project is at the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans East. The group is organizing volunteers to eradicate the invasive Chinese Tallow tree species, uncover native trees that other groups planted during the last few years from competing vegetation and then replant any areas needed with Live Oak, American Elm and Bald Cypress trees.
Common Ground Relief, a local non-profit involved in marsh restoration projects and inner-city COVID pandemic relief initiatives, has partnered with LICI to supply the trees and some of the volunteers for the project.
The project began with its Chinese Tallow tree eradication in February of 2021 with a small number of volunteers spending one morning each week working at the refuge. In November other volunteers joined in as the tree planting phase of the project began for the winter months.
Charlotte Clarke (on right), executive Director of Common Ground Relief, is seen being interviewed by Lee Southwick of WDSU at the Bayou Sauvage refuge on January 12, 2022.
The visual effect of the volunteers' work killing the tallow trees at the Bayou Sauvage Wildlife Refuge began being seen over the last few months by refuge visitors, so word started spreading about the project. Two local TV stations, WDSU and Fox 8 News, each became interested in the story and asked to do an interview with those involved.
WDSU's January 12th on-site interview of Charlotte Clarke, executive Director of Common Ground Relief, and be found here: https://www.wdsu.com/article/volunteers-plant-tree-seedlings-at-the-bayou-sauvage-national-wildlife-refuge/38749858
Fox 8's January 17th interview with three of the volunteers can be found here: https://youtu.be/bL1H689eMzg