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friends of lafitte greenway

Our commitment is to foster a vibrant and active greenway that encourages economic development, and links adjacent neighborhoods, cultural features, historic sites, retail areas and public spaces. Opened to the public in the November of 2015, we continue to promote this great public space and host community events and programs. To support Friends of Lafitte Greenway donate today and stay up-to-date with our newsletter!


  • From the blog

    Friends of Lafitte Greenway and NORD begin work on Clarity Parks Project: Lafitte Greenway Plaza

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    August 3, 2020

    Friends of Lafitte Greenway and NORD begin work on Clarity Parks Project: Lafitte Greenway Plaza

    NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Friends of Lafitte Greenway and the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORD) are creating a new pedestrian Plaza on the Lafitte Greenway in Mid-City this fall. Working in partnership with leading national place-making nonprofit, the Project for Public Spaces and Claritin® through the Clarity Parks Project, the group will begin the transformation of the driveway of the former Brake Tag Station where the Greenway meets the Bayou St. John into a vibrant and welcoming pedestrian plaza with public art, landscaping, stormwater management infrastructure, farmers markets, and more. This $40,000 rapid-build project has just entered the design phase, and is set to be complete this November, responding to the key need for more outdoor public spaces in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.

    This transformation is made possible thanks to a grant from The Clarity Parks Project: A collaboration between Claritin ® and Project for Public Spaces to improve public spaces in three communities across the U.S. that have been impacted by natural disasters, and help them to fulfill their vital role in their communities. The Lafitte Greenway is one of three national Clarity Parks grantees in 2020 along with Republic Square in Austin, Texas and H.A. Chapman Centennial Green in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    “Our public parks and plazas have never been more important,” says Friends of Lafitte Greenway Executive Director Sophie Vorhoff, “This year, we’ve seen a growth in Greenway use during this pandemic, as people turn to parks and open spaces to get out of their homes, to exercise and safely connect to their city and community. This rapid-build Greenway Plaza will respond to this need, and lay the foundation for the continued development of a new community space in Mid-City where the Greenway meets the Bayou.”  

    “NORD is pleased to partner with the Friends of Lafitte Greenway, Project for Public Spaces, and Claritin® to create this new pedestrian Plaza on the Greenway," says NORD CEO, Larry Barabino, Jr. "We have seen an increase in outdoor parks and trails usage over the last several months confirming, what we have already known, our parks and outdoor spaces are critical to community development, and overall health and wellness. This rapid-build project is one of many NORD looks to complete in our efforts to expand services and programming to residents across the Greenway."

    The Project for Public Spaces said, "We are proud to be able to support Friends of Lafitte Greenway through a grant and technical assistance thanks to Claritin’s Clarity Parks Project. We look forward to helping them fulfill the plans laid out by the New Orleans community to showcase local talent and creativity in this wonderful public space and build resilience through new green infrastructure."

    Through the Clarity Parks Project: Lafitte Greenway Plaza, Friends of Lafitte Greenway (Friends) will invest $40,000 to initiate the development of the former driveway and set the course for the area’s integration into the Lafitte Greenway public park, with a focus on the front of the site, where the Greenway meets the Bayou St. John at the intersection of Lafitte St. and Jefferson Davis Parkway. 

    The project complements recent and upcoming investments at this key intersection of the Lafitte Greenway, including  the City of New Orleans’ $1.5 million renovation of the former Brake Tag Station on the Greenway at N Lopez Street into a community pavilion and the January 2020 opening of a new playground. City officials, NORD, and Friends cut the ribbon on the Pavilion in March of this year. The Plaza will complement the Brake Tag Pavilion development, continuing the transformation of the site from a place for cars to a place for people. 

    The Plaza will feature a signature art installation by Will Nemitoff, Iris of Memory, commissioned by Friends, The Arts Council of New Orleans, and NORD with support from The City of New Orleans Percent for Arts Program and Elaine Ravich as a memorial in honor of Deborah Vorhoff, local artist and mother. The sculpture will be an iconic 17-foot tall metal iris flower, with illuminated petals and leaves that double as benches.

    Artist's renderings: Will Nemitoff's Iris of Memory

    Friends has contracted a local collaborative of architects, design professionals, and landscape professionals, Urbanscapes Design + Build Collaborative to design and construct the Plaza. The landscape and stormwater management elements will be installed by Mastodonte,Mastodonte, a female- and black-owned construction company based in New Orleans. Friends and NORD will host a virtual public meeting to gather ideas and priorities on the Plaza design from the community on Tuesday, August 11th at 6pm, and collect input through interactive signage at the site. Information on public input is available at lafittegreenway.org/plaza.

    The community’s desired uses will help to inform the design of the space. Confirmed uses include Market Umbrella and the Crescent City Farmers Market weekly Mid-City market, which will move from its standing location nearby at the American Can Company to the Greenway Plaza. The Plaza will provide additional space for the market’s growth and easier access for people on foot, bikes, and in cars.

    “The Greenway Plaza provides an unique opportunity to blend recreation, art, living with water, and food access in one location,” noted Robin A. Barnes, Interim Executive Director of Market Umbrella and the Crescent City Farmers Market. “Moreover, its central location means that residents from New Orleans East, Uptown and Downtown New Orleans, and Metairie will be able to visit the Thursday market and enjoy the Plaza’s other amenities, as well. We are delighted to partner with Friends of Lafitte Greenway on this endeavor.”

    To learn more about the project, and to participate in the public input process, visit lafittegreenway.org. 

     

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    #PhaseTwo on the Greenway

    On Saturday, June 13, 2020 the City moved into #PhaseTwo: Safer at Home. Under Phase 2, medium risk operations like restaurants, bars, barber shops, and businesses will be able to open with 50% capacity.  Working from home is still encouraged, if possible. People who are sick, have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, or are vulnerable to infection, should continue to stay home. For more details, see NOLA Ready's reopening guidelines

    While the Greenway has remained open throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, Phase Two includes some updated guidance for Greenway users.

    What’s New:

    • Non-contact sports are now allowed. This includes: baseball, softball, tennis, and swimming. Contact sports like basketball, football, and soccer are not allowed.  
    • Large gatherings require a permit. Gatherings are limited to 100 people with one safety control officer provided per 50 people per State Fire Marshal guidelines, even in outdoor parks and spaces. Participants in gatherings must maintain six feet of distance between others and must wear masks. Learn more at ready.nola.gov
    • The Greenway facilities at Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center, including the tennis courts, playground and FitLot between N Miro and N Rocheblave remain closed until further notice. 
    • Lemann pool on the Greenway will remain closed this summer. For a list of open NORD pools click here.

     

    Social Distancing & Safety on the Greenway: Phase Two Reopening

    • Don't leave home if you’re not feeling well, or if you’ve come into contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Keep a 6 ft distance from others - The Greenway Trail is 12 feet wide, so keep to the outer edges of the trail and pass one at a time.
    • Look for the least crowded path. If your schedule is flexible, try going to the Greenway when it’s less crowded, like early morning and mid-day.
    • Exercise caution on fitness parks and playgrounds. While these facilities are being routinely sanitized, you should take care when touching anything that other people have touched. Sanitize your hands before and after using equipment, avoid touching your face, and if you can, bring sanitizing wipes to wipe down surfaces before and after use.
    • Non-contact sports are allowed. Contact sports like soccer, football, and basketball that require close contact with others are not allowed.
    • Avoid water fountains. Instead, bring your own water bottle. 
    • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you go outside. 
    • You don’t need to wear a mask while exercising outdoors, but if you’re going to an outdoor gathering or taking the Greenway to get somewhere that will require you to go indoors (like an essential job, a bike shop, the grocery store or your favorite reopened bar or restaurant), be sure to bring a mask, scarf, bandana, or other face covering with you to cover your nose and mouth.
    • Stay Up to Date! Be sure you're getting reliable information: check ready.nola.gov for updates about New Orleans' COVID-19 response.

    Reopening Resources:

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  • Upcoming Events

  • From the blog

    Mid-City streets and trails see a cycling boom

    By Katherine Hart 

    May 13, 2020

    A ray of good news has appeared through the gloom of the coronavirus pandemic: More New Orleanians are getting on their bikes and enjoying local trails and greenspace.

    It’s a phenomenon many have noticed since the stay-at-home restrictions began, whether they’re among those getting out to exercise or among those observing the world from their porch or front window . Now there’s data to support it. A sustained rise in biking and walking counts has been recorded throughout the stay-at-home order by the University of New Orleans Transportation Institute.

    The institute records data on pedestrian and bicycle activity from permanent, continuous counters in key locations throughout the region .

    “It appears that many people are discovering or rediscovering the bicycle during this time of significantly disrupted travel behaviors and traffic patterns,” said Tara Tolford, research associate and pedestrian and bicycle outreach coordinator at UNO Transportation Institute.

    Continue reading…

    Lafitte Greenway: Where Commerce takes Cues from Nature

    By: Kathy Finn | May 31, 2019

    Source: MyNewOrleans.com | Full Article

    In a city where land available for commercial development is scarce, it is refreshing to see a strip of green space not only preserved, but transformed into a magnet for new activity, which is what is happening along the corridor that stretches from New Orleans’ Treme neighborhood through Mid-City.

    The former railroad right-of-way now known as Lafitte Greenway is slowly becoming an oasis of outdoor fun and relaxation thanks to a 2.6-mile bicycle path, with playgrounds and pedestrian-friendly features that have taken shape there. Since the corridor’s opening in 2015, about 320,000 cyclists and pedestrians access the greenway annually, according to automated people counters monitored by local researchers.

    Now, developers who recognize the growing appeal of the green space have begun re-purposing adjacent sites and renovating ramshackle structures into new housing, cafés and bars, with plans to make the Greenway a place where people will routinely come for a refreshing break in the heart of a bustling city.

    Continue reading…
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