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NOLA Grows Green Takes Root

By Caroline Pakenham posted 06-14-2017 04:26 PM

Update on NOLA Grows Green: The City Hall Stormwater Project, WEFTEC 2016

The Saturday before WEFTEC begins, WEF’s Students and Young Professionals Committee hosts a water-related service project to give back to the WEFTEC host community. At WEFTEC 2016, nearly 200 volunteers spent their Saturday helping build and plant bioswales at City Hall in New Orleans. The bioswales help manage stormwater onsite and provide community education on the value of water. After more than 8 months, the NOLA Grows Green project has taken root and added beautiful color to the grounds of City Hall.

Danielle Duhe, a landscape architect at Dana Brown & Associates, Inc., spearheaded the design of the 2016 project and caught up with WEF after a recent visit to the site.

“They are both [the bioswales] working wonderfully!” Duhe said. “The plants are looking great! I passed by this morning and took a picture of the spider lilies blooming. The irises have really taken off and started to spread and the muhly had a great showing of pink in the spring.”  

Recent image of the 2016 WEF Community Service Project in downtown New Orleans (left).
Photo of a spider lily in bloom at the NOLA Grows Green site (right). Photos courtesy of Danielle Duhe, Dana Brown & Associates.

Since the construction of the bioswales, Dana Brown & Associates, Inc. has made several visits to the site for routine maintenance activities such as weeding and re-mulching. New Orleans-based landscaping company, Wood Materials, recently donated more soil to the service project site to help replenish areas that were low. The City of New Orleans is also taking an active role in helping the project thrive by ensuring the site is regularly watered while the plants establish. They are also looking to install a low, 2-foot fence along the sidewalk to discourage people from walking on plants.

WEF’s Students and Young Professionals Committee is extremely grateful to the local volunteers who help maintain the 2016 project and to all the volunteers, donors and sponsors who helped make the project a reality!

Meet the newest resident of the NOLA Grows Green rain garden. Proof that rain gardens attract all kinds of wildlife!
Photos courtesy of Danielle Duhe, Dana Brown & Associates.