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Renewal in City Park, New Orleans

Many people may not know about the effort to rebuild City Park in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the park — trees and buildings downed, flooding with limited resources left for renewal. Through a privately financed, $2 million effort a facelift is now getting under way.  A story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune describes the effort that:

…will transform a little-used, 50-acre tract near the New Orleans Museum of Art into a premier gathering place. Overseen by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, the project will add a 1-mile pedestrian and bicycle path around the lagoon known as Big Lake and reshape the surrounding topography, adding elaborate landscaping. Designers say marquee features will be a gently sloping, 16-acre meadow at the lagoon’s southeast corner that will provide a pastoral setting for waterfront music performances, and a pair of “entry gardens” along the Wisner Boulevard end of the site.

“Once we’re finished, we think Big Lake will be an oasis where people can congregate and reconnect with our city’s natural environment,” said Larry Schmidt, a New Orleans native who heads the local office of the Trust for Public Land, a conservation group based in San Francisco. “We believe this area can become a prime public gathering spot for our community.”

At 1,300 acres and a pre-Katrina annual level of 11,000,000 yearly visitors, City Park is one of the most signficant parks in the country. Its also one of our country’s oldest, going back to 1854, and the park’s website has a more detailed history.

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