NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Community leaders gather to plant the 500th tree along the Lafitte Greenway.

On Saturday (April 1st), Sustaining Our Urban Landscape (SOUL) and Friends of Lafitte Greenway celebrated their hard work of increasing the city of New Orleans’ tree canopy. The project, Greenway Grow, started back in April of 2022 with a plan to have 1,000 Cypress planted along this 2.6 mile liner park.

The project works to establish an increase in stormwater infrastructure, reduce long-term maintenance of the Greenway, increase shade, and provide a habitat for birds and wildlife, all while beautifying the Greenway.

Jason Neville, Executive Director of Friends of Lafitte Greenway spoke about the halfway mark of the milestone saying, “We are thrilled to achieve this milestone for the Greenway, in collaboration with our community and City partners. We’ve gotten incredibly positive feedback from local residents and businesses on our recent cypress tree plantings, but the real benefits are still to come. As these trees mature they will provide increased value to the Greenway and adjacent neighborhoods in terms of habitat restoration, flood reduction, increased shade, reducing the urban heat island effect, and demonstrate best practices for similar projects throughout the city.”

Currently, the planted trees have prevented 19,971 gallons of stormwater from entering the New Orleans drainage system and 1,083 pounds of carbon prevented from entering the air.

In the future, the project is predicted to prevent 289,728 gallons of water from entering the drainage system.

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