New Greenspace in Downtown New Orleans
Recently, the Downtown Development District, joined by officials from City of New Orleans, NOLA Public Schools, International High School of New Orleans, Groundwork New Orleans, American Society of Landscape Architects and other partners officially activated a new greenspace in the Lafayette Square neighborhood in Downtown New Orleans.
“The DDD takes its lead from hundreds of conversations, focus groups and surveys of Downtown stakeholders, who tell us they want more and better parks and open space Downtown,” said DDD President & CEO Kurt Weigle. “Many are familiar with our work to gather input regarding how Duncan Plaza should be redeveloped and our recent programming expansion and modest physical improvements there.”
The Legacy Park Project is a partnership among International High School New Orleans, NOLA Public Schools, ASLA, Groundwork New Orleans, generous sponsors, and Downtown businesses and residents. It has transformed a portion of the IHSNO parking lot into a shared greenspace serving both the students and the surrounding community. The beautifully designed park incorporates storm water management features, an outdoor classroom with a flexible lawn and shaded outdoor seating.
“The Legacy Park project is a great example of the positive collaboration that can happen between dedicated stakeholders, in this case, the Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB), International High School and the Downtown Development District,” said NOLA Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Henderson Lewis, Jr. “It is exciting to see new life being breathed into the School District-owned property which will provide much needed greenspace to the area and a unique outdoor classroom setting where students will be able to flourish.”
“Legacy Park will be a wonderful addition not only to IHSNO’s campus, but to all of Downtown,” said IHSNO Head of School Sean Wilson. “The DDD’s commitment to adding more green space to Downtown is perfectly suited to our school’s commitment of enhancing the New Orleans community.”
Long term activation of the space provides new and exciting opportunities for community led programming, training in storm water management and outdoor play, ultimately providing a beautiful outdoor space that improves the quality of life for residents and businesses Downtown.
Due to its manageable scale, this project is an opportunity to immediately begin to enhance the greenspace offerings in Downtown while serving as a pilot project for future greenspace enhancements.
DDD and Groundwork New Orleans oversaw the construction which had a total budget of $300,000. DDD plans to match private and corporate philanthropy to complete the project.
Weigle concluded “Legacy Park is a down payment and proof of concept for what other greenspace projects like Duncan Plaza will be on a much grander scale. Its focus on the needs of children who live in and visit Downtown responds to our stakeholders and to the belief that if we build Downtown for the young and the old, it will better serve everyone.”