Woodlands Holds Open House to Celebrate National Public Lands Day
On Saturday, September 29, friends and core supporters of Woodlands Conservancy attended an Open House celebration on National Public Lands Day at Woodlands Trail in Belle Chasse, LA. In spite of the rain, more than forty gathered to take a look at the improvements made to Woodlands Trail over the past several months and acknowledge the contributors that made them possible. After a guided hike, the celebration began with the presentation of colors by the Honor Guard from the NASJRB. Woodlands Board President Heidi Poche, acknowledged the long ties the military has had to the Woodlands site beginning with its use as a Naval Ammunition Deport during World War II. The Woodlands group has maintained a relationship with various branches of the military during park construction and during the Open House, the Seabees assistance with construction of the entrance pavilion was acknowledged. Before the corporate contributors were recognized, Katie Brasted, Executive Director, expressed the group’s gratitude to the Plaquemines Parish Government stating that “without the government’s recognition of the value of this great wilderness area to the public, none of the day’s celebrations would be possible”. The group chose National Public Lands Day for the celebration as it was founded to recognize those who volunteer to help conserve public lands. This year’s theme of helping hands for America’s lands seemed a fitting recognition for those who contributed to the recent park improvements. Corporate champions honored for their contributions included: AEP River Operation, BP, Chevron Oronite, ConocoPhillips, Daybrook Fisheries and, McMoRan Exploration.
BP Funds Ecosystem Restoration and Education
BP Director of Community Relations, Lisa Burns and Community Relations Manager, Naomi Williams visited Woodlands Trail in Belle Chasse, Louisiana on Friday, February 3 to talk about the work being funded by a grant from BP America. A $60,000 grant from BP will be used over the next several months to fund habitat enhancements and increased directional and interpretive signage throughout the site. “I am so glad that you came to see the site now so that when the improvements are finished, you will clearly see how your funding has helped us improve the site for the public”, said Katie Brasted, Executive Director. Trees funded by the BP grant and provided by the Chevron Tree Farm will be planted along the trail sections that are parallel to canals and open areas to establish a canopy of trees. The larger trees will help depress the introduction and spreading of invasive trees, provide enhanced habitat for wildlife and migratory birds and provide a shady buffer between the trail and developed areas. Woodlands Conservancy will be working with graphic designers to complete interpretive maps and tree identification materials to be located throughout the 12 miles of trails. The Woodlands group has picked September 29, National Public Lands Day as an “Open House” day at Woodlands Trail to show off the improvements funded by BP and other major contributors.
Woodlands Conservancy Celebrates a Decade of Conservation Work
Woodlands Conservancy’s 10th Anniversary Gala was a grand success. The event was organized by the nonprofit organization to celebrate a decade of conservation. The event held at English Turn Golf and Country Club on Friday October 14, focused on honoring the top organization and individual contributors since the organization was formed in 2001. The award given to each honoree was a Giclee of an original art piece of an egret painted by local artist Glen Weber. Thanks to the immense generosity of Weber, the collection of original art and a limited edition of Giclees will be available for sale on November 01 with a percent of the proceeds going to Woodlands Conservancy’s endowment fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
The event was a multi-grand success.”, says board president Heidi Poche, “With the generosity of our sponsors, Chevron Oronite, ConocoPhillips, Daybrook Fisheries, Power System Specialists, Trinchero Family Estates’, Private Contributors and silent auction donors, we made over $25,000 to help further our mission.” The nonprofit organization has been working for the past ten years to connect low lying greenways and trails in the peninsula formed by Orleans and Plaquemines parish. “We have a lot to celebrate.” says Board Member Lynda Banta, “We have come a long way. We have over thirteen miles of greenways and trails established in Plaquemines Parish that are being used by thousands of people a year”.
Woodlands Conservancy Holds Retreat at Southern Yacht Club
Working with the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Woodlands Conservancy launched their first Capacity Building workshop retreat on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at the Southern Yacht Club. Woodlands Conservancy was a recent recipient of the Every Day Grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) to work with the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations to strengthen their capacity. The National Environmental Education Foundation, with generous support from Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., provides funds to strengthen organizations and unleash their potential to serve their public lands. With the support of a letter from Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, Woodlands Conservancy met the requirements of demonstrating a positive, collaborative partnership with the local public lands site.
Support for Woodlands Conservancy’s NRDA Projects Keeps Growing
At a recent meeting of the board of directors of Orleans Audubon Society, a resolution was unanimously passed supporting Woodlands Conservancy’s projects that were submitted to expand, restore and enhance vital habitat for neotropical migratory birds within the peninsula formed by Orleans and Plaquemines Parish. OAS further acknowledged their support by providing a generous donation to further the mission of Woodlands Conservancy. Read Full Resolution. On July 14, 2011, the New Orleans Group of the Sierra Club passed a supporting resolution that additionally asked the Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club to make a financial contribution to Woodlands Conservancy’s efforts. The Crescent Bird Club and Louisiana Ornthilogical Society expressed their support by providing a generous contribution to the Woodlands Conservancy Greenway Corridor project.
Woodlands Conservancy Receives Richard West Freeman Endowment Challenge
Katie Brasted and Heidi Poche of Woodlands Conservancy attended a recent kick-off meeting for Woodlands Conservancy’s Richard West Freeman Endowment Challenge at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Program Assistant, Roy Williams congratulated the organization for being the receiver of one of the top awards from the Richard West Freeman Endowment Challenge. Woodlands Conservancy will have until May 31, 2012 to raise $30,000 for an endowment fund that will be housed at GNOF and if successful, will receive a match of $15,000 from the Richard West Freeman Foundation. No more than $7500 can come from one individual donor for the required match. See Full Press Release.
Resolutions Support Woodlands Conservancy’s NRDA Projects
The Orleans Parish Council unanimously passed Resolution 11-132 on March 17th introduced by Councilwoman Kristen Palmer, supporting Woodlands Conservancy’s project submitted for Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) funding. On March 20th, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation passed Resolution 3B and Resolution 4B supporting Woodlands Conservancy’s Greenway Corridor Projects submitted for NRDA funds to ensure migratory bird habitat and recreational opportunities in perpetuity in both Orleans and Plaquemines Parish. Letters of support for funding have also been received from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program and Mayor’s Office of Environmental and Coastal Affairs and the New Orleans Group of the Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club.