Sankofa CDC Celebrates Earth Day with New Wetland Park’s Inaugural Event

April 22, 2021 - 10:54 AM

NEW ORLEANS, LA - April 15, 2021 – Today, Sankofa Community Development Corporation announced an inaugural event celebrating the public opening of newly restored wetlands just in time for Earth Day. The Sankofa Wetland Park and Nature Trail is the organization’s newest project that is revitalizing 40 acres of wetlands along the Ninth Ward’s Florida Avenue corridor. The organization is commemorating the opening of the Park with a public event called Nature Fest.

Sankofa teamed up with 10 local neighborhood organizations to produce Nature Fest scheduled for April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event is a family friendly, picnic-type celebration featuring free food, snoballs, music and kids’ art activities. Free COVID-19 vaccinations will also be available from Urgent Care Eleven with preregistration at http://bit.ly/naturefestvaccine.

“The Nature Fest serves to highlight and teach children about the urgency for climate advocacy and land restoration, particularly as it relates to the Lower Ninth Ward,” said Rashida Ferdinand, Sankofa CDC Executive Director. “Restoration of the Wetland Park also addresses our need for progressive approaches to development in the Lower Ninth Ward area."

The event is organized in partnership with the Office of City Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen District E, NORD, Xavier University Health & Wellness Center, KidSmart, Urgent Care Eleven, Growth Is Life Foundation, Our Mammy’s, Native Plant Initiative of Greater New Orleans, TREE, Louisiana Master Naturalists, A Community Voice, Lower Nine Senior Citizen’s Center, Villa at St. Maurice Christopher Homes, Lower 9th Ward Voter’s Coalition and NENA.

The development of the Wetland Park follows years of study, collaboration and investment to encourage anchor projects that support the neighborhood’s economic revitalization and redevelopment. The project follows the City’s Master Plan for post-disaster recovery and aims to draw families and businesses that will participate in strengthening the neighborhood’s recovery.

“The Wetland Park is adjacent to areas of land and water impacted by coastal erosion and climate change. Projects like this present green infrastructure development models addressing storm-water overflow during heavy rainfall events, allowing us to live in harmony with the water resources surrounding us,” says Tricia LeBlanc, Wetland Park and Nature Trail Director.

 Also featured this month are three additional community nature outings:
● A bird-watching hike will take place Saturday, April 17 at 8:00 a.m. with Dr. Peter H. Yaukey, departmental chair and professor of biology at the University of Holy Cross.
● A bat-monitoring walk on Tuesday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. will feature bats in their natural habitat.
● A socially-distanced sunset stroll for community members to socialize and gather will take place Thursday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m.

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