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February 9, 2024


A partnership of two non-profits comprised of Common Ground Relief and the Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative has scheduled their third annual tree seedling planting at the Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans East. Volunteers are being invited from the public to participate. They will also hold volunteer work mornings at the refuge on some Mondays over the next month.


Some of the areas where they will be planting tree seedlings are old canal spoil banks that have become a Chinese tallow tree forest after Hurricane Katrina ravished the refuge. The plan is to plant the seedlings while it is winter and then come back in the spring and work on killing the tallow trees.


Please help them with this important work if you can. Here are the dates and the descriptions of where they will be working:


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Plant bare-root tree seedlings with Common Ground in Bayou Sauvage National Urban Wildlife Refuge using volunteers who will go out in boats to the center of the refuge.  9 AM until 2 PM.  Volunteers will meet at the Hwy 11 boat launch.


Friday, February 16, 2024  

Plant bare-root tree seedlings in Bayou Sauvage National Urban Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans East with Limitless Vistas.   9 AM, work as long as you can.  They will stop at 2 PM.  Volunteers will be working on land in the ridge forest near the boardwalk.



Monday, February 19,  2024 

Regular Monday work morning from 8:30 AM until 11:30 AM.  The volunteers will be cutting brush away from young trees that have been planted using loppers. Some of them will also be planting tree seedlings. Volunteers will be working in the ridge forest near the boardwalk.



Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Plant bare-root tree seedlings in Bayou Sauvage National Urban Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans East using a boat to access the site.  Volunteers will meet at the Hwy 11 boat launch.



Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Plant bare-root tree seedlings in Bayou Sauvage National Urban Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans East using a boat to access the site.  Volunteers will meet at the Hwy 11 boat launch.



Thursday, February 29, 2024

Plant bare-root tree seedlings in Bayou Sauvage National Urban Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans East using a boat to access the site. Volunteers will meet at the Hwy 11 boat launch.



Monday, March 4, 2024

Regular Monday work morning from 8:30 AM until 11:30 AM.  Volunteers will be working in the ridge forest near the boardwalk planting tree seedlings. A group from Limitless Vistas will be planting trees until 1 PM, so anyone can work past 11:30 AM if they would like to.


Tools, equipment, and bottled water will be supplied. We will create a privacy barrier for onsite potty use during the four volunteer events that are only accessible by boat.


Please bring your own lunch for the tree planting days.


A long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and rubber rain boots are recommended.


You must register for any of the events because space is limited. They also need to know how to contact you if the weather causes the event to be canceled at the last minute. You can register here on Common Ground Relief's website: https://www.commongroundrelief.org/.../volunteer.../  Please specify which event(s) you are registering for.


All help will be appreciated. The only way that the native tree forest will return to these areas of the spoil bank is for tree seedlings to be planted. Please help us help the forest return and the refuge heal from the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina almost twenty years ago.





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February 10, 2024


Mark your calendars for the 75th Annual Big Bass Fishing Rodeo and Festival at New Orleans City Park on Saturday, March 23, 2024. Hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the New Orleans City Park Conservancy, the Big Bass Rodeo is the oldest freshwater fishing rodeo in the nation. The Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, Inc. will hold an educational exhibit/info canopy open for this event.



This rodeo offers something for everyone – with categories and activities for all ages and skill levels.



There will be plenty to do on at the FREE family-friendly Festival at the rodeo headquarters in the park:

  • Music

  • Games

  • Activities

  • Educational Exhibits



Mark your calendar and send us an email if you’d like to help out holding our booth open. lwrfriends@gmail.com


You can check out the City Park Big Bass Fishing Rodeo webpage for more information: https://neworleanscitypark.org/.../big-bass-fishing-rodeo/

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February 11, 2024


The US Fish & Wildlife Service staff has a program they are offering for groups to schedule a tour of the grounds of the Bayou Lacombe Center refuge complex in Lacombe, La. It's called "Behind the Scenes Tour."



Join refuge volunteers on a tour behind the scenes at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex. The tour setting is the beautiful 110-acre, historic Bayou Lacombe Center at 61389 LA-434, Lacombe, LA. Here, you will find woods, trails, and gardens all bordered by scenic Bayou Lacombe.



Listen to the history of the unique Bayou Lacombe Center's grounds from its early days of use by the Choctaw and other indigenous groups to becoming a private home and grounds, horticultural garden, seminary, and now a headquarters for a National Wildlife Refuge Complex.



Learn more about former landowners, including a Louisiana Governor and a Federal judge, who shaped the landscape of this hidden treasure.


This unique tour is for large or small groups, clubs, or other types of organizations to enjoy the blooming scenery and learn more about the site’s history.



Contact refuge volunteer Sandi Wicklund at sandiwicklund@gmail.com to schedule a tour for your group.

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