TPL Will Help Restore New Orleans’ City Park

NEW ORLEANS, LA, 6/14/2007 – The Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization, today announced a campaign to restore the Big Lake trail and meadow in New Orleans’ City Park.

The $2 million effort will involve repairing and landscaping the 50-acre parcel at the southeast corner of the park, said Larry Schmidt, director of TPL’s local office.

“City Park was one of America’s greatest and most popular urban parks and the destruction caused to the park by Hurricane Katrina has been a real blow,” said Schmidt. “As a native of New Orleans, I know well what this park means to this city. We are going to help City Park come back and the first step we’re going to take will be to turn the Big Lake area into a beautiful pastoral landscape with walking trails, bicycle paths and a meadow for concerts.”

“Once we are finished with our project, we think Big Lake will be an oasis where people can come to begin to reconnect with our city’s natural environment. We believe this area can become a prime public gathering spot for our community,” Schmidt said.

Paul Masinter, President of the New Orleans City Park Improvement Association, said, “The partnership between City Park and the Trust for Public Land on the improvement of the Big Lake Area of the park is a perfect example of how the park will be restored to its former glory. Together, we will create a spectacular new outdoor space for people to enjoy with friends and family. I predict that once the project is completed, the Big Lake area will be one of the top sites in the City for recreation.”

The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. TPL has protected more than 2 million acres across the nation. TPL relies on the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations.