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New Iberia's City Park Gets LICI's Irises

November 7, 2021 New Iberia, La.

The Teche Ecology, Culture & History Education Project (T.E.C.H.E. Project) invited the Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative (LICI) to partner with them to do a Bayou Teche shoreline restoration demonstration project in New Iberia's City Park on Saturday, November 6, 2021. T.E.C.H.E. Project and LICI volunteers did the work to get the plants in the ground yesterday.

Patti Holland with the T.E.C.H.E. Project was the lead on the project. She worked with the Acadian Native Plant Project to get other wetland plants and organized getting the volunteers for the day's event.

A few months before the iris planting, New Iberia mayor, Freddie DeCourt, had a section of the Bayou Teche shoreline in City Park cleared of concrete rip-rap so that the planting would be possible.

The mayor of New Iberia, Freddie DeCourt, not only encouraged the groups to do the demonstration project, but cleared off the concrete rip-rap from a 160' section of the bayou shoreline to make the planting possible.

Peter Patout is a Louisiana iris enthusiast, art and antiques appraiser, historic property realtor and a civic booster of the Bayou Teche area. He was instrumental in pulling all of the groups together to make the demonstration project happen.

Local civic activist, Peter Patout, is shown near the end of the iris planting on November 6th with a very satisfied look on his face. He is on a mission to have wild, native Louisiana irises growing along the length of Bayou Teche as they were back in the area's not too distance past.

T.E.C.H.E. Project is a non-profit, volunteer organization whose members are passionate about making Bayou Teche a healthier waterway through action and education. A video explaining their Reviving Resilient Landscapes - Bankline Restoration Program can be found here:

The Bayou Teche shoreline just before planting began on November 6, 2021.

During the planning stage for the City Park bank stabilization demonstration project those involved thought that having irises being a prominent part of this effort was a good idea since the Louisiana iris has been part of the culture of the Bayou Teche region all through its history. LICI agreed.

This is the third planting LICI has done with the T.E.C.H.E. Project to show how landowners along the bayou can use native plants to stabilize their shoreline instead of the traditional method of using concrete rip-rap. The planting yesterday was the largest.

Work begins planting irises and other native plants along the Bayou Teche shoreline in New Iberia's City park.

LICI donated 130 I. giganticaerulea species of the Louisiana iris from their iris rescue program for the project yesterday. The mayor has agreed that these irises can be thinned out in the future for other LICI projects to promote the use of irises along the bayou. The planting also achieves one of LICI's goals of having this species of native iris in view to the public as an educational tool on why the irises, and their habitat, need to be preserved.

There is also some discussion of increasing the number of irises growing in the area and along Bayou Teche so that the town can hold an iris festival in a few years. "We are very supportive of this idea and look forward to working on other projects in the region to promote the Louisiana iris," sums up LICI's Gary Salathe.

The volunteers are shown after the planting was completed.



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