‘Bogging in the Big Easy’ — Help Plant a New Orleans Wetland During WEFTEC

July 23, 2012

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Bioswales in New Orleans' City Park where WEFTEC volunteers will help plant a wetland. Photos courtesy of New Orleans' City Park.

Bioswales in New Orleans' City Park where WEFTEC volunteers will help plant a wetland. Photos courtesy of New Orleans' City Park. Click for larger images.

Bioswales in New Orleans' City Park where WEFTEC volunteers will help plant a wetland. Photos courtesy of New Orleans' City Park.

Once again, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC) urges WEFTEC® 2012 attendees to get outside and make a difference during the conference. When registering, those planning to attend the WEF annual technical exhibition and conference can choose to participate in the annual WEFTEC Service Project.

During this year’s project, “Bogging in the Big Easy,” volunteers will plant a wetland in New Orleans’ City Park to help remove silt and pollutants from stormwater runoff and help protect surface waters, and to provide wildlife habitat and a recreational area.

On Sept. 29, volunteers will plant eight native wetland species in the lower riparian area of a new wetland area. Approximately 10,000 small plants are required in the area, and WEF volunteers will spend the day, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., attempting to complete plantings in half of the area, said Haley Falconer, SYPC Community Service Project chair.

City Park experienced more than $43 million in damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. More than 90% of the 526-ha (1300-ac) regional park was flooded for a month, according to City Park officials. The park is the largest recreational area in the New Orleans metropolitan area, and its restoration will help increase surrounding property value and return recreational opportunities in the city, officials said.

A rendering of the wetland area that will be constructed with the assistance of WEFTEC volunteers. Photo courtesy of New Orleans City Park.

A rendering of the wetland area that will be constructed with the assistance of WEFTEC volunteers. Photo courtesy of New Orleans City Park. Click for larger image.

“The WEF Service Project is an opportunity for WEF members to give back to the WEFTEC host community,” Falconer said. “These projects also provide volunteers experience with and exposure to low-impact development concepts. Additionally, the WEF Service Project provides an avenue to interface with the general public and showcase the great things we do as water professionals.”

Those who already registered for the conference without signing up for the service project can still sign up by sending an e-mail to Dianne Crilley at dcrilley@wef.org.

The 2012 project will be the fifth in a series of service projects that included the construction of a bioswale in the Lower 9th Ward during WEFTEC 2010 in New Orleans. Read more about these previous projects in past issues of Highlights:

— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights
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