In late 2009 the Friends of Lafitte Corridor secured a $5,000 grant through the Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, funded by the US Department of Agriculture, to complete an inventory and assessment of trees in the Lafitte Corridor. The grant, completed in September, 2010, involved hiring licensed arborist Lee Stansberry of Bayou Trees to locate and assess tree conditions within the corridor right-of-way and a block on either side of its boundaries, using a GPS-based format. Categories of analysis included tree address; species; trunk diameter (breast height); ratings for location, species and condition; and a general grade (good/fair/poor). Altogether 3.2 miles were surveyed and 942 trees located.
This inventory was used by the Design Workshop team in developing a tree planting plan for the corridor. This inventory the first such GPS-based tree inventory for the City of New Orleans, and as such, will become the model upon which future inventories will be based. It is designed to correspond to other GPS-based systems in the City’s infrastructure database. Ann E. Macdonald, director of the City’s Department of Parkways and Parks, observed that this project has “aided the City in a number of respects. On a long term basis, it has allowed the City’s Department of Parkways and Parks to determine the basic criteria needed to begin to a master tree inventory of trees and to develop a tree management program. By concentrating on a defined area such as the Lafitte Corridor, we were able to identify the amount of resources needed for data collection and mapping, and this will enable us to develop a realistic budget of time and personnel for the expansion of this project into the rest of the city that now can easily be implemented into other areas as funding becomes available.” In addition, she continued, “completion of this study will also enable us to seek additional funding sources for future work. The shorter term benefit of gathering the data on the Lafitte Greenway and its environs is its immediate application to the development of this major new green space and its points of access into adjacent neighborhoods. The information can be used by the designers of the Greenway to evaluate the existing canopy and supplement it as appropriate, budget for needed tree work, and address other issues involving the urban canopy in the study area.”
FOLC partnered with representatives of the City’s Department of Parkways and Parks (urban forestry and planning/design sections) and the City’s GPS office; the grant was administered by FOLC board member and landscape architect Lake Douglas, ASLA.