January 9, 2022 Braithwaite, LA
LICI has partnered with Common Ground Relief to help restore areas of the forest in St. Bernard State Park, which is located southeast of New Orleans in Braithwaite, LA. Hurricanes Zeta and Ida opened up many areas of the tree canopy when huge hardwood trees were blown over. A decision was made for Common Ground Relief to work on replanting trees and LICI to bring in more Louisiana irises after representatives of LICI, Common Ground Relief and the Meraux Foundation walked the park's nature trail with park manager, Ginger Theriot, last year.
The Louisiana irises to be planted on January 6, 2022 arrive at St. Bernard State Park.
The first volunteer event to put that plan into effect took place on January 6th, 2022 when volunteers from Common Ground Relief planted 12 water hickory, 14 cypress, 14 water tupelo and 40 live oak trees. Both groups also worked together to plant 160 Louisiana irises. The trees were donated by Common Ground Relief from their wetlands nursery. The I. giganticaerulea species of the Louisiana iris were donated by LICI from their iris rescue program.
Park manager, Ginger Theriot, is seen giving the opening remarks at the start of the January 6th planting event.
Gary Salathe, with LICI, said there are some I. giganticaerulea irises naturally growing in the park, but they are not in locations along the nature trail where they can be easily seen by visitors to the park. This is the second time over the last year that LICI has planted irises at St. Bernard State Park.
Some of the irises are shown being brought out to the planting site on the January 6th planting event.
Common Ground Relief organized the January 6th volunteer event at the park. They hosted a group of student volunteers that week from the University of South Dakota that participated in the event. The group stayed at Common Ground Relief's headquarters as they did service activities in the New Orleans area.
Some of the trees to be planted are shown just before they were brought out to the planting site.
The Meraux Foundation partners with Common Ground Relief on many other projects in St. Bernard parish and have helped to financially support the LICI iris holding area.
Volunteers begin work planting Louisiana irises at St. Bernard State Park during the January 6th planting event.