Contact us! 504.433.4000

Feel free to e-mail us at: info@woodlandsconservancy.org, or at our mailing address: P.O. Box 7028, Belle Chasse, Louisiana 70037

News

April 2017

 

Earth Day Nature Hikes

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate Earth Day on the trails.  The morning bird walk and the afternoon family nature hike were both a success.  Everyone had a chance to sample some wild mulberries, and we saw and heard a variety of interesting wildlife including a Blue Grosbeak, lots of Cedar Waxwings,  a variety of fish, frogs and insects, and even an Alligator.

 

 

Breakfast with the Birds

On April 15th a wonderful group of birders and nature enthusiasts enjoyed refreshments at the pavilion and a morning stroll through the forest.  Highlights of the walk included seeing Cedar Waxwings, Indigo Buntings, Eastern Kingbirds and visiting the 1812 cypress tree.

 

 

 

 

March 2017

 Tree Planting

 

master naturalistsThank you to all the volunteers who helped with our spring tree plantings…we couldn’t have done it without you!

Special thanks to the Louisiana Master Naturalists, Plaquemines Parish 4H, Chevron, Girl Scout Troops 4192 and 40962, the Hayes Family, Molloy University, Eastern Kentucky University, Tulane, Patrick Taylor Academy, McGehee School, LSU Costal Roots, NORDC, our Seeds to Saplings Schools and all the other individuals who came out to help!

 

 

 

Native Plant Day / Gardening Workshop

On March 26th, participants in our native plant gardening workshop discussed the benefits of using native plants in their home gardens and learned to identify some of the native wildflowers at Woodlands Trail. Other visitors enjoyed the trails and picked up their free native trees.  We a have a few left so let us know if you would like a tree to take home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 2017

History Tour

 

woodlands-conservancy-1199On Feb 12th Woodlands Conservancy Director Katie Brasted lead a guided tour to learn about the history of Woodlands Trail and Lower Coast Algiers.  It was a beautiful spring-like morning for the 7 mile hike to visit to the World War II ammunition magazines at the back of the property.

 

 

 

 

 

January 2017

Nocturnal Frog Walk

brou19Jan12cropOn Jan 28th James Beck lead the Nocturnal Frog Walk.  While the frogs where somewhat uncooperative due to weather, we did have a good turn out of participants and were able to observe a variety of nocturnal wildlife.  The following are James’ notes from the evening.

 

Tonight (28 January) I led the Winter Frog Walk with Emma DeLeon. After the weeks of warm weather we’ve had coupled with relatively little rain, we weren’t all that surprised that we had next to no frog activity. The frogs we recorded for the evening were:

*Lithobates sphenocephalus (Southern Leopard Frog) 1 – heard only (JWB only)
*Lithobates catesbeiana (American Bullfrog) 1 – seen only by two participants, JWB and EED
*Pseudacris crucifer (Spring Peeper) 1 – heard only by a few participants and JWB

Spiders were the biggest hit of the night, with the following highlights: two species of fishing spiders (Dolomedes triton and Dolomedes tenebrosus), three wolf spider species (Rabidosa rabida, Tigrosa georgicola & Hogna carolinensis), Pisaurina mira (Nursery Web Spider), Leucauge venusta (Orchard Orbweaver) & Gasteracantha cancriformis (Spinyback Orbweaver).

Mammals included: Coyote (Canis latrans) – heard only, Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) 2 [probably heard more] & heard what was most likely Feral Hogs (Sus scrofa).


Perhaps the coolest encounter of the night were three Eastern Screech-Owls (Megascops asio), with one individual putting QUITE a show; landing at or just below eye-level on both sides of the trail, allowing ALL of the group to get great looks!

December 2016

SCREENS FOR GOOD PARTNERS TO SAVE OUR SPONGE

sos-women_1024x1024 sos-men-venetian_1024x1024 sos-bag_1024x1024

 

 

 

 

logo

Woodlands Conservancy partnered with Dirty Coast and Screens for Good on a PRE-ORDER ONLY fundraising campaign. We will receive 100% of the profits and Dirty Coast is handling all of the distribution. The shirts will be printed and shipped in January. BUT, if you’d like to purchase some as gifts, please let us know at info@woodlandsconservancy.org or call us at 504.433.4000 and we will send them a card announcing your gracious gift that gives while promoting the protection of our community.

ORDER NOW

 

 

 

 

 

November 2016

November Nature Hikes

20161008_080339On November 13th, hikers enjoyed the cool fall weather while learning about the plants and animals of Woodlands Trail.  We were especially excited to see armadillos, a big flock of white pelicans soaring overhead, 3 types of spiders and assorted frogs, turtles, lizards, and insects.

 

 

Plant Workshop With Dr Charles Allen

DrCharlesAllenThank you to Dr. Charles Allen and everyone who attended the workshop for a great weekend learning about the plants of southeastern Louisiana!  Participants learned how to identify a huge variety of native and non-native plants as well as stories and uses relating to many of the species.

 

 


 

 

 

October 2016

OCTOBER OWL PROWL

Owl Our owl prowl on October 21st drew an astonishing number of participants from all over the New Orleans area.  It was a beautiful night and we were able to hear and see several owls including Barred Owls and Eastern Screech Owls.  Next year we will do Owl Prowl October all month!

 

 

 


 

 

 

September 2016

FOREST FEST – A DAY FOR FRIEND, FAMILY AND FUN

Thank you to the close to 200 people who came out for first Forest Fest held at Woodlands Trail on Saturday, September 24.  Below are some photos of the many events.

Glenn Oussett, Orleans Audubon Society, led a birding hike
Emma DeLeon demonstrated bird banding while Carly Schwarz and Mary Balyeat worked with children to make bird feeders.
Representatives from Phillips 66 join Director Katie Brasted on stage to present a generous grant to fund our new restroom building.

 

 

August 2016

ZTCC campers plant trees

IMG_0100

The Zion Travelers Cooperative Center’s Summer Enrichment Program, “Connecting Our Children to the Environment”, participated in a 7 week service learning project with Woodlands Conservancy. The program included hands-on learning activities that focus on the surrounding watershed and learning about impacts to the environment from hurricanes, invasive species and human behavior and what they can do to make a difference in their community.

On Wednesday, August 3, the two organizations celebrated the culmination of their summer partnership with the installation of identification signs beside each of the trees and plants that were planted around the Zion Travelers Cooperative Center. Campers were especially excited to learn that these trees would provide much needed shade in the ZTCC yard. Following the installation, summer campers received a certificate of participation from Woodlands Conservancy and enjoyed a picnic lunch. Rev. Michael Jiles, attending the end of summer event to represent the Plaquemines Parish Administration, praised the work of the two organizations and expressed his “pride in the summer campers’ work that is not only leaving a lasting gift to be enjoyed by future campers at ZTCC but is improving the environment for the entire community”.

 

 

March 2016

PHILLIPS 66 EMPLOYEE TURNS VOLUNTEER HOURS INTO GRANT FUNDING

StephenFedeleStephen Fedele, a Phillips 66 employee, has been volunteering at Woodlands Trail since 2010 when he first contacted the organization about planting a cypress tree that he had dug up when it became too large for its location in his yard. Since then, Stephen has continued to call on a regular basis for the past five years to inquire about needed work that he could do at Woodlands Trail on his days off.  Although he is a regular at Woodlands Trail, Stephen also volunteered at Woodlands Conservancy’s Delacroix Preserve during the Bud Light and Keep Louisiana Beautiful sponsored “Do Good.  Have Fun” event that involved a major group clean-up.

Last year Stephen shared his excitement about finding out about the Phillips 66’s Volunteer Grants program that would allow him to turn his volunteer hours into cash for Woodlands Conservancy.  Stephen planted trees, picked up trash, weeded around the entrance sign and a variety of other tasks as the need arose.  Stephen began keeping track of his hours, logging them in with Phillips 66 and recently reached the required 20 hours that resulted in a $500 grant to Woodlands Conservancy.  “At Phillips 66’s Alliance Refinery, we’re proud to support volunteer initiatives in our local community,” said Shannon Vogt, Sr. Advisor, Public Affairs, “and especially of employees like Stephen who volunteer their own time to improve our environment.”

 

PLAQUEMINES PARISH STUDENTS HELP RESTORE THE FOREST

kids

 

Thanks to the generosity of Chevron Oronite and The Brown Foundation’s Service Learning Program, Woodlands Conservancy was able to expand the “Seeds to Saplings” program to six classrooms in Plaquemines Parish schools during the 2015-2016 school year. The program involves seven service learning lesson plans spread over the school year. The lessons include fourth grade benchmarks in Science, English, Language Arts and Social Studies. Woodlands Conservancy work with the fourth grade classes of Mary Beth Newchurch, Lisa Rodriguez, Melissa Andrews and Erin Cossé at Belle Chasse Primary and Liz Tadlock and Rebecca Barnard at Phoenix School.

 

This was the first year that Erin Cossé ‘s Science class participated in the Seeds to Sapling project that she described as giving her students “an opportunity to give back to the community. Fourth graders learn about how an ecosystem must stay balanced for all living things to survive. Going to Woodland Trails was a great hands-on experience. They learned how an invasive species has affected this ecosystem and how we can help protect this ecosystem and the living organisms that live there by planting native trees. Seeing my students so involved in this program and connecting what they have learned in class to a real world problem was one of my favorite and most memorable moments as a teacher.”

 

Lisa Rodriguez noted that in addition to the value of the experience to her as a science teacher, the students “are able to get a taste of how to involve local officials that can help our environment by writing letters to them and inviting them to a planting ceremony. Once there, students can talk to them about what they’ve learned will help, and what hurts our environment.” The students saw the direct effect of their efforts to engage their local elected officials as President Amos Cormier, Councilman Beau Black, Councilman Irvin Juneau and Councilman Benny Rousselle attended the planting event making an extra effort to speak directly to students who had sent an invitation to them.

 

“Once the students are aware of what is happening around them, they can become those citizens that do something and make a difference. The students become the next generation helping preserve our environment. It is a learning opportunity that truly educates our students for the future” said Mrs. Rodriguez.

 

“The Woodlands Conservancy’s Seeds to Saplings project provides Plaquemines Parish students with a fun and interactive way to learn about the environment,” said Greg Abdelnoor, Finance Manager at Chevron Oronite’s Oak Point Plant. “Introducing students to projects like this at early age can help foster an interest in science, as well as technology, engineering and math, which can lead to good paying jobs and a rewarding career.”

 

Due to inclement weather on the date scheduled for the Phoenix classrooms to do their planting, the service learning project was rescheduled from March to May. The students from Phoenix visited the Port Nickel site where they learned about native plants and animals commonly seen there. The Port Nickel site has ongoing restoration activities and is certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council. After a guided hike and lunch provided by Freeport McMoRan, the students planted Willow Oak trees provided by Woodlands Conservancy.

 

CSUCI – 10TH ANNUAL YEAR AT WOODLANDS TRAIL SITE

GroupphotoSMForestRaining

 

When most college students were preparing for sunny days on the beach for their spring break, twenty Students and Faculty from CSU Channel Islands, Oregon State, & UCLA prepared for their ten day trip to the Greater New Orleans area to immerse themselves in the local culture and participate in hands-on projects throughout the region. The annual ten day trip includes the students and professors spending several days at Woodlands Trail and Delacroix Preserve to conduct field assessments of native and non-native vegetation that exists in standard assessment plots. The information is shared with Woodlands Conservancy that uses the annual data to evaluate treatment methods to remove non-native vegetation, make adaptive management decisions and seek funding to conduct further restoration work. During the 2016 trip, abundant and frequent rains restricted the amount of time the assessment team was able to spend in the field and thus they were unable to conduct the sampling at Delacroix Preserve. When the students are not involved in service learning projects such as those for Woodlands Conservancy or building community gardens in lower Plaquemines Parish, they spend their time learning about the local culture by visiting jazz clubs, eating local food, attending cooking classes to learn to make gumbo, meeting with various organizational leaders to learn about the function of levees and other topics that help them get a broad view of the local area.

In the photo above, students are holding the photo of CSUCI President, Richard Rush who has been a huge supporter of service learning trips for students. A #whereberush theme was employed during the student’s trip to honor the retiring founding President who has been at the helm of CSUCI for the past fifteen years. For more information on the annual service learning trip, visit: nola.piratelab.org and woodlandsconservancy.org

Belle Chasse Primary Students Plant seedlings at Woodlands Trail

Group032116 Groupphoto032216

Thanks to a grant from Chevron Oronite and The Brown Foundation to Woodlands Conservancy, fourth graders discovered the value of protecting and preserving their environment through planting trees. Not just any trees though! They have learned that many invasive species have grown in the place where our native plants should be. The invasive trees grow quicker and shadow the trees that should rightly be there. Also, the native trees have the highest nutritional value for the woodland creatures that live there. On Wednesday, March 23 and Thursday, March 24, fourth graders with a little help from their teachers and families, planted about 400 trees that we hope will live and thrive over the next few decades. Parish officials were invited to see that even the youngest in our community can make a difference and can sometimes remind grown-ups of what is important. It was a great learning opportunity and one the students won’t soon forget.

November

WOODLANDS WILD WINE DINNER

 

The third annual Woodlands Wild Wine Dinner was held at English Turn Golf and Country Club on Saturday November 14, 2015. The Patron Party was sponsored by Republic National Distributing Company through a wonder donation of wine originating from the Napa Valley and Central Coast regions of California.
The evening was made possible because of the generous sponsorships from Power Systems Specialists, Inc., Chevron Oronite, Online Optimism, Dr. James A. Crouch, David and Maurer Culpepper, and Carl and Katie Rosenblum. The Wild Wine Dinner was a grand success as the Woodlands Conservancy team was able to raise over $15,000 through the help of donations to the silent auction.

September

NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY

painted bunting out of the bag

 

On Saturday, September 26, visitors gathered at Woodlands Trail to celebrate the annual National Public Lands Day, a day set aside to encourage visits to public lands to help improve the site, hike, explore, picnic or simply relax.  Guest explored the diversity of native wildlife with biologist Deb Visco, who led a special bird banding demonstration, and followed Woodlands Conservancy Executive Director Katie Brasted on an interpretive hike. 

August

FOREST RECOVERY – 10 YEARS POST KATRINA

ForestRecovery4smallGathered at the Woodlands Trail Daybrook Pavilion on Saturday, August 15, Dr. Sean Anderson, Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Resource Management, California State University Channel Islands and Katie Brasted, Executive Director of Woodlands Conservancy, gave an overview of the restoration work resulting  from the two organizations partnerships over the past decade.  The presentation included an overview of the forests’ condition prior to Hurricane Katrina and the core reasons for removing non-native invasive vegetation and reforesting to aide the recovery of the forests canopy. The restored forest will provide habitat for wildlife and migratory birds while improving the hurricane protection qualities of one of the largest forested storm buffers between open water and the city of New Orleans. 

 

May 

FORESTED WETLANDS AT RISK

footprint

On May 28, 2015, the Plaquemines Parish Council passed a resolution supporting the sale or lease of
250 acres of forested property
(on which Woodlands Trail and Park currently exists)
for Champions Park Baseball Complex.

To voice your opinion on
Woodlands Conservancy and Greenspace
vs.
a $22 million dollar for profit Baseball Complex in THIS location,

please send your comments to:
the Plaquemines Parish Councilman in your district
Benny Rousselle, Council Chairman &
Amos Cormier, Plaquemines Parish President:

District 1 jbarthelemy@ppgov.net
District 2 wblack@ppgov.net
District 3 klepine@ppgov.net
District 4 ijuneau@ppgov.net
District 6 cburt@ppgov.net
District 7 asalvant@ppgov.net
District 8 jedgecombe@ppgov.net
District 9 nwilliams@ppgov.net

District 5 & Council Chairman brousselle@ppgov.net
Plaquemines Parish President acormier@ppgov.net

 

 More info.

CHEVRON VOLUNTEER WORK DAY

ChevronWorkDay050815

Chevron Oronite employees spent Friday, May 8th from 8 a.m. until Noon volunteering to do trail clearing and maintenance activities to improve the public nature experience at Woodlands Trail. The volunteers cleared fallen limbs and trees along the Upland Trail and pathways leading to areas along the trail where Woodlands Conservancy conducts Birding research on a monthly basis. Chevron’s Humankind program allows employees to submit 20 hours of volunteer service for a single nonprofit and request a grant for $500.

 

March 2015 

 SEEDS TO SAPLINGS -TREE PLANTINGGroupPhoto

 

4th grade students from Mary Beth Newchurch’s Language & Social Studies class and Lisa Rodriguez’s Science class at Belle Chasse Primary School planted milkweed and seedlings at Woodlands Trail on Friday, March 27.  The students have been caring for the plants as part of a Seeds to Saplings service learning project that  was designed by Woodlands Conservancy and funded by grants from the Brown Foundation and Chevron Oronite.   As part of the Social Studies elements, the students invited their parents and local elected officials to attend the event.  Their effectiveness of their effort was rewarded by the attendance of several parents and  local elected officials including President Amos Cormier, Council Chairman Benny Rousselle, Councilman Beau Black and Councilman Irvin Juneau.  

 

INTERPRETIVE HIKE WITH DR. BOB THOMAS

 

 

IMG_2099

On Saturday, March 21, 2015, Dr. Bob Thomas led an interpretive hike at Woodlands Trail and park. Dr. Thomas is the director of the Center for Environmental Communication at Loyola.  The hike covered a description of what is becoming a fading habitat for wildlife and migratory birds. The hike provided those in attendance with information on what to expect to see in a healthy bottomland hardwood forest, characteristics of a forest in transition as it recovers from hurricane damages and unique stories about the evolution and adaption of plants and trees over centuries. The Interpretive Hike was made possible by a grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation through funding provided by Toyota Motor Sales.  Free educational materials were provided by the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program.

 

NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS

On Saturda11050154_846306148764282_2234487829234594716_ny, March 7, 2015, Woodlands Conservancy hosted a Nature Photography Class led by Ken Redler at Woodlands Trail and Park. The class was free and open to photographers of all skill levels. Mr. Redler covered the basics of capturing great images, and topics including equipment and accessories, lighting and exposure. He has had a lifelong passion for and career in photography and has traveled the world.  Mid-way through the training session, participants experimented with photography exercises by capturing photos of birds and nature scenes along the nature trails.

The class was made possible by a grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation through funding provided by Toyota Motor Sales.

 

November 2014

WOODLANDS WILD WINE DINNER

IMG_2001

IMG_2004

IMG_2006
IMG_2008

Great food, great friends, life was kind of special at the Woodlands Wild Wine Dinner. Thank you to Chevron Oronite, Power Systems Specialists, the Louise H. Moffett Family Foundation for sponsoring the event. A special thank you to Tanner Sneed of Dakota Shy for sharing his story and the fruits of his efforts during the Patron Party to sample his fine wines. Thank you to Republic National Distributing and a very generous anonymous donor for the wonderful wines savored during the cocktail party and dinner. We are especially thankful for Carl & Katie Rosenblum, Chef Redhead, Racheal Apken, English Turn staff and the volunteers who made the evening flawless.

 

DELACROIX PRESERVE PLACED ON NATURAL AREAS REGISTRY

On Monday, November 10, 2014, Woodlands Conservancy announced the placement of Delacroix Preserve onto the Natural Areas Registry. Sairah Javed, a Biologist with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Natural Heritage Program came to Woodlands Conservancy’s Delacroix Preserve, to present the organization with a plaque recognizing the dedication of the “Delacroix Preserve Natural Area”. Dan Dreiling, Board President of Woodlands Conservancy, welcomed visitors to the special occasion at Delaxroix Preserve to “formally recognize Woodlands Conservancy’s efforts to care for and enhance this unique forest that provides a rich habitat for wildlife and migratory birds and protects the community by serving as a natural sponge and wind buffer during storms.”

 

October 2014

 

AT&T MAKES CONTRIBUTION

(Left to right) Leo Marsh, AT&T, State Representative Chris Leopold, Katie Brasted, Woodlands Conservancy

On Friday, October 31, AT&T announced a contribution to Woodlands Conservancy in Belle Chasse to assist in its efforts to preserve and develop an ecosystem dedicated to creating daily public opportunities for recreation, ecotourism and education in a natural and historic setting.

September 2014

NEEF GRANT FUNDS EVENTS AT WOODLANDS TRAILMainNEEFwithTagline

Woodlands Conservancy received funding from the National Environmental  Education Foundation (NEEF) in September 2014 to hold special events at Woodlands Trail to help engage more individuals in activities at the public land site.  The funding made possible by Toyota Motor Sales provides the opportunity to schedule educational, recreational or volunteer activities.  Click on the Calendar of Activities for details about upcoming events.

 

OPEN HOUSE

Susan Norris-Davis (left) begins an interpretive hike held at Woodlands Trail on National Public Lands Day.

Woodlands Conservancy hosted an Open House on Saturday, September 27 at Woodlands Trail in Belle Chasse to celebrate National Public Lands Day, a day set aside annually on the fourth Saturday of September to encourage visits to public lands to help improve the site, hike, explore, picnic or simply relax. The board and members of Woodlands Conservancy, Chevron employees, Tulane University students, local residents and visitors gathered at Woodlands Trail in Belle Chasse for a variety of activities. Plant specialists, Tyrone Forman and Susan Norris-Davis led a hike along the Bottomland Trail.  Matt Smith provided information on “Outdoor Skills & Etiquette”.

March 2014

SEEDS TO SAPLINGS

BROWN FOUNDATION FUNDS SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT

Woodlands Conservancy and Belle Chasse Primary School partnered to apply for funding through the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation Service Learning Program. The effort resulted in Mrs. Mary Beth Newchurch’s 4th grade class participating in a “Seedsto Saplings” Service Learning Project during the 2013-2014 School Year.

BrownFoundationShellphoto
The class attended the Brown Foundation’s kickoff celebration at the Pontchartrain Center to accept the award check with Woodlands Conservancy. The Seeds to Saplings program involved a series of seven lessons that incorporated benchmarks into the service learning activities. Students learned about their local watershed and actions they can take to have clean water and reduce pollution. Lessons also included going to Woodlands Trail where students learned to identify native trees and their seeds. Seeds were gathered, planted and cared for throughout the school year. Students planted trees on February 28 following a picnic at the Daybrook Pavilion.

The students stopped at the entrance for a picture following their hike to Woodlands Trail to plant hundreds of seedlings including ones they had grown from seed as part of their Service Learning partnership with Woodlands Conservancy.

Above, BCP 4th grade students pose for a photo at Woodlands Trail wearing shirts provided by a grant from Shell. The grant funded volunteer efforts and Ecocystem Restoration during the past year.

DISTANCE LEARNING EFFORT GROWS

CSUCI & OSU are joined by TULANE

CSUCI2014

Dr. Sean Anderson, California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) has been bringing his students to work with Woodlands Conservancy for the past eight years. The partnership grew when Dr. John Lambinos, Oregon State University (OSU) joined the effort in 2009. Spring 2014 experienced another expansion of the partnership when Professor Jayur Mehta, Tulane University brought his students to join the effort. The expanded partnership kicked off on March 22 when the group conducted vegetation surveys at the Delacroix Preserve.

 

GRANT FROM ENTERGY FUNDS SITE IMPROVEMENTS & OUTREACH

EntergyLeeCircle072214again

A generous grant of $33,000 from Entergy New Orleans was received by Woodlands Conservancy to conduct community outreach and make site improvements to the Delacroix Preserve. CBS billboards throughout the New Orleans area have been used to raise the visibility of Woodlands Conservancy and engage volunteers. Woodlands has received phone call inquiries, new Facebook friends, newsletter sign-ups and volunteers for the newly launched Bird Observatory as a result of the marketing effort.

Funds for site improvements at Delacroix Preserve allowed Woodlands to begin work on establishing the major entrance to the site as well as address easing access to areas where the Bird Observatory is located within the property. Look for the new entrance sign, designed by Mossop & Michaels Architecture firm, to be going up soon at Delacroix Preserve!

January 2014

BOARD MEMBERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2014-2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Woodlands Conservancy Board Members for 2014-2015 were set at the January Board Meeting.  Board members are:  Dan Dreiling, President, Katie Rosenblum, Vice president, Rebecca Altobelli, Secretary, Gail Serauskas, Treasurer, Andrew Brooks, Brian Butz, Etheldreda Culpepper, Bev Dreiling, Lee Dupont, Bob Lemon, Joanna Leopold, Heidi Poché and Flynn Zaiger.

December 2013

OBSERVATORY TAKES FLIGHT

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In December, 2013, with start-up funding from the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP), the Woodlands Conservancy Bird Observatory was launched.  Working in collaboration with Baton Rouge Audubon Society, Woodlands Conservancy joined the effort of the Louisiana Bird Observatory to better the understanding of birds and their populations to conserve and improve habitats on which birds and human communities depend.  In addition to contributing to state-wide analysis of bird behavior in Louisiana, data collected during monthly banding sessions at both Woodlands Trail and Delacroix Preserve will help evaluate differences in bird behavior in healthy forested wetlands compared to those in  restored areas and those in unrestored areas.  Thus far, the Woodlands Conservancy Bird Observatory has banded 187 birds representing 21 species.

 

 

 

October 2013

BENEFIT HELD AT DOMINIQUE’S

Dominique

Chef Dominique, known for his affinity for finding unique ways to use local food products, joined with Woodlands Conservancy’s efforts to preserve and restore forested wetlands by offering Dominique’s on Magazine as the venue for a Wild Dinner fund raising event for the nonprofit, regional land trust.  The dinner was paired with prosecco and wines during the evening provided by Trinchero Family Estates.  Sponsors for the event included AT&T, Phillips 66, Andrew & Lucie Whitley, Crescent Bank & Trust and Power System Specialists.

The event began with Dominique’s Bar Director, Ian Julian serving up a signature cocktail of Elderflower, Hibiscus and Champagne.  Elderberry trees are currently flowering and are characteristic of the understory in the lands managed by Woodlands Conservancy that were severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina.  The currently abundant Elderberry trees are an indicator of a forest in recovery.

 

In attendance were Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer and State Representative Chris Leopold,  who both spoke of their support for the Woodlands Conservancy organization.  Leopold spoke of the value of the project for Plaquemines Parish and the region, emphasizing the advantages of parishes working together.  Palmer emphasized the value of conserving low-lying forested wetlands as one way to mitigate the impact of future storms.

 

Over $15,000 was raised from the wild game dinner and silent auction to benefit Woodlands Conservancy work that includes management of over 800 acres of forested wetlands in the Greater New Orleans area that provide hurricane protection, over ten miles of public trails and preserve habitat for wildlife that make Louisiana the Sportsman’s Paradise.

September 2013

BROWN FOUNDATION FUNDS SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT AT BCP

BrownFoundationPhoto

Woodlands Conservancy and Belle Chasse Primary School partnered to apply for funding through the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.   The effort resulted in Mrs. Mary Beth Newchurch’s 4th grade class participating in a “Seeds to Saplings” Service Learning Project during the 2013-2014 School Year.

The class attended the Brown Foundation’s kickoff celebration at the Pontchartrain Center to accept the award check with Woodlands Conservancy.   The Seeds to Saplings program involved a series of seven lessons that incorporated benchmarks into the service learning activities.  Students learned about their local watershed and actions they can take to have clean water and reduce pollution.  Lessons also included going to Woodlands Trail where students learned to identify native trees and their seeds.  Seeds were gathered, planted and cared for throughout the school year.  Students planted trees on February 28 following a picnic at the Daybrook Pavilion.

June 2013

TULANE INTERNS – PERFORM ABOVE AND BEYOND EXPECTATIONS

 

InternsIn Spring of 2012, Woodlands Conservancy entered into an agreement with Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund through its Center for Public Service to begin providing internships to Tulane students.  This was one of the best benchmark decisions in Woodlands Conservancy’s efforts to increase our capacity while also expanding our service learning opportunities.

 
 
 
 
Melanie Morgan, a Senior in Public Health and Urban Planning created and ran a Hike for Health program on Saturday mornings and created environmental educational programs for K-12.  She continued volunteering through a second semester and up until she entered the Master’s Program at UNC in Fall 2013.  Lauren Hobson, a Senior in English and Political Science spent the Fall 2012 semester creating a new website look for Woodlands Conservancy and updating and managing our membership program.  Dan Lenger, a Senior in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, completed inventories of plant and animals that led to the creation of a Nature Guide specific to the Woodlands sites.   We are deeply grateful for the contributions of our Tulane Interns and look forward to experiencing the skills and creativity being brought to Woodlands by our future Tulane interns.

 

February 2013

Dr. bob thomas tells some wild stories

BobThomas

Dr. Bob Thomas, Loyola’s Director of Environmental Communications, led a group of eager-to-learn, early morning risers, on Saturday, February 06. The group made several stops along the half mile hike to the LRT bridge as Dr. Bob shared his wealth of information about Louisiana’s natural history.  Did you know that the Honey Locust’s thorns were used by Civil War Soldiers to keep their uniforms together when pins were scarce! 

 

Dr. Bob’s interpretive hike and the upcoming Ceremic event and Bird Watching hike were made possible by a grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation through funds by Toyota Motor Sales.

 

 

 

SHELL FUNDS ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION AT WOODLANDS SITE

Shell011813

Ed Landgraf (far left) and Josh Etkind (far right) of Shell Exploration and Production, present a check for $35,000 in funds to Woodlands Conservancy’s Executive Director, Katie Brasted, for Ecosystem Restoration and Volunteer Programs.

Woodlands Conservancy announced today $35,000 from Shell Exploration and Production for Ecosystem Restoration and Volunteer Programs.  The funds will be used to remove non-native, invasive vegetation from a portion of Woodlands Trail and Park Bird Sanctuary in Plaquemines Parish.  The funds for the Volunteer program will result in sponsored hands-on activities such as tree planting, hand-pulling invasive seedlings and other improvement projects at the Woodlands site.

 

The presentation made by Ed Landgraf and Josh Etkind of Shell followed Woodlands Conservancy’s recent announcement of the acquisition of 190 acres in Orleans Parish in the same general area as the managed property in Plaquemines Parish.  Landgraf said, “Investing in projects such as this is consistent with Shell’s objectives around Sustainable Development, which simply means enhancing and protecting the environment and communities in which we operate is just the right thing to do.  I am proud to work for a company like Shell who supports initiatives like this”.  After viewing a map of the effort to connect low-lying, forested wetlands for habitat for wildlife and protection of the community, Josh Etkind remarked, “This is such a fantastic resource for all the kids and families in the greater metro area. Having the opportunity to get out on such a well-managed, lovely nature trail so close to the city could have a real positive impact on people’s lives.”  FULL PRESS RELEASE

 

 

 

January 2013

 

WOODLANDS CONSERVANCY PROTECTS 190 ACRES

Woodlands Conservancy protects vital migratory lands in Orleans Parish

WoodlandsConservancywordpress

Woodlands Conservancy announced today the purchase of 190 acres of important bottomland hardwood wetlands in Orleans Parish. This acquisition completes a multi-year effort initiated by the Conservancy, and supported by The Conservation Fund, in southeastern Louisiana.

 

The acquisition of the 190 acres will expand the habitat for over 100 species of migratory birds and provide additional hiking, wildlife viewing, and outdoor education opportunities to local citizens.  

 

Due to the continued loss of our coastline and increased rate of relative sea level rise, USFWS estimates that this Woodlands area (now just 6 miles from open waters connected to the Gulf of Mexico) will be one of the largest forested land masses between open water and the city of New Orleans within the next fifty to one hundred years.

 

“There’s no place like Southeast Louisiana, and we’re thrilled to have assisted Woodlands Conservancy with the protection of these important lands for everyone to enjoy,” said Ray Herndon, Lower Mississippi Director for The Conservation Fund. “Even as we celebrate today’s success, we’re rolling up our sleeves to do more together, for all of us and for generations to come.”

 

 “This is a monumental day for our city and the entire region,” stated Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer who represents the district in which the land is located.  “With the acquisition of this land by Woodlands Conservancy, this crucial wetland will remain intact to protect Orleans and Plaquemines parishes for generations to come. The environmental impacts of this cannot be overstated. But this is not just smart land use – the wetlands will also be a nature preserve for all of us to enjoy.”

 

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, “It is vitally important that we work to protect and preserve this wetland area.  It is also another example of Woodlands Conservancy creating a legacy for future generations who will come to this wildlife area for recreation and education.”

 

Funding from the Coypu Foundation, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Martha Gunther, Jackie Leonard, Curtis Sorrells, Orleans Audubon Society, the New Orleans Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Crescent Bird Club and the Louisiana Ornithological Society was used to evaluate and appraise the property over the past couple of years.  The land acquisition by Woodlands Conservancy was made possible through the generous donation from a local businessman and his wife who value the mission of Woodlands Conservancy to preserve contiguous low-lying areas for storm protection and provide educational and recreational access to the public in their community. 

 

FULL PRESS RELEASE