What: City Park is excited to announce the spring wildflowers have bloomed. For the sixth year in a row, the Park’s been fortunate enough to plant seeds and see the colorful blooms providing fields of wildflowers for the public. This year may be more important than ever with the need for outdoor respite and recreation during this challenging Covid-19 pandemic time.
This year, to bring a piece of the Park to you at home and as a small thank-you, for a limited time when a donation is made to New Orleans City Park or Friends of City Park, donors receive wildflower seeds they can plant at home.
Why donate now: More people are enjoying City Park than ever before. Since Katrina, the Park has taken an entrepreneurial approach to its operations. Currently, the Park generates 90 percent of its revenues, most of which have been eliminated or severely reduced since mid-March. Therefore, it must appeal to the public for voluntary contributions during this critical period.
How to donate: Visit NewOrleansCityPark.com or FriendsofCityPark.com to securely donate to the Park online. We also accept payments by check sent to 1 Palm Drive, New Orleans, LA 70124. If you would like to speak with someone about a donation, please reach out to Casie Duplechain, Chief Development Officer, at 504-483-9437.
Please use #iheartcitypark when posting your wildflower seed journey to social media so we can see it.
About the flowers: The Park loves being able to provide the wildflower areas for the public. City Park’s horticulture department plants cosmos seeds in two varieties: Cosmos Bipinnatus 'Sensation Mix' (the pink and white flowers) and Cosmos Sulphureus 'Bright Lights' (the orange and yellow). Areas for planting are chosen as they are low-ground and difficult to mow due to rain-water collecting in the area. We call the areas “Grow Don’t Mow.” We’re also particularly thrilled to have specific places for the bees to do their important work. The Horticulture Department tills and seed and typically sees growth between 6 and 8 weeks later. This year, the fields were seeded just before the Stay Home Mandate was declared. Dependent on weather, the team plants three batches per year, March, June, and September (we hope to be able to complete this schedule again this year).
Quote: “We use about 600 pounds of wildflower seeds,” says Dan Preziosi, Director of Grounds, “We till and hand plant the seeds over dozens of acres of land between the two fields on Marconi, six smaller areas at Big Lake, and at Bayou Oaks. The small areas at Big Lake have other flowers as well: Black-Eyed Susan 'Gloriosa', Liatris, Salvia Coccinea, Purple Coneflower, Indian Blanket, and Cleome or Spider plant.”
General Rules Reminders:
- Follow all CDC recommendations when visiting the Park and the wildflower fields including physical distancing and mask usage.
- Stay on the created paths and walk on the flowers
- Do not pick flowers
Help Support a Legacy:
Seeing record visitation numbers, City Park is playing a vital part to the public during this challenging time. The Park is a place for people to practice solitary passive recreation but the attractions are closed and events are canceled. City Park makes revenue from attractions and events. This revenue goes directly back into the Park. The Park needs your support. We know these are challenging times for everyone, but if you are able to donate, please do. Or consider becoming a member of Friends of City Park. Every dollar helps City Park keep open-spaces operational for the public right now and will help the Park get back on its feet to reopen fully when the times comes. All donations are appreciated. Donation or not, we’ll continue to be there for the people of New Orleans and the region for as long as we can.
About New Orleans City Park:
In its 170th year, City Park continues to push forward with thoughtful progress. Last year was a banner year for City Park. A 6 acre expansion of the New Orleans Museum of Art Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden was opened. Café Du Monde opened in City Park in July of 2019. In September, the Louisiana Children’s Museum opened its doors to the children of the nation. A new swing-ride joined the other 17 amusement rides in Carousel Gardens Amusement Park and Storyland was revitalized for the first time in 30 years. A large outdoor kitchen in the New Orleans Botanical Garden opened and The City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center received the national 2019 USTA Facility Award.
New Orleans City Park is distinguished by its large menu of sports and recreational activities, attractions for children, and its natural beauty. City Park is a 90/10 Park. Self-generated revenue makes up 90% of the $22 million annual operating budget; City Park receives no general fund operating dollars from the city or the state. The Park receives approximately $2 million each year from the state for capital projects. City Park has a special place in the hearts of generations of New Orleanians and is a must visit for visitors to the city. The 1,300 acres of parkland provide enjoyment for people no matter their age. City Park is home to the world’s largest collection of mature Live Oak trees in the world. To learn more about the Park, visit NewOrleansCityPark.com.
Director of Public Relations