In 2012, after six years of operation,  The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo was finally sustainable enough to start fulfilling one of its original goals: to give back to the community through investments in arts, culture, and recreation.  Knowing that community trees are proven to encourage social gatherings, promote recreation, reduce crime, and improve environmental quality, Friends of Bayou St. John set its eyes on replacing Bayou St. John’s four majestic oak trees that were lost during Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac. 

The Restore the Bayou Canopy Campaign’s initial goal was simply to replace these four trees. But thanks to overwhelming community support, FOBSJ has been able to plant five 200-gallon, one 300-gallon, and two towering 670-gallon Southern Live Oaks along Bayou St. John. Friends of Bayou St. John also facilitated transforming one of the dead oak trees into a public art sculpture thanks to a collaboration between renowned chainsaw artist Marlin Miller and Mardi Gras float craftsman Jonathan Bertuccelli. 

Aside from the Bayou St. John Parkway, FOBSJ also teamed up with Parkway Partners in 2016 to help the Broadmoor neighborhood become home to twelve new 15-gallon trees (including crape myrtles, sweet bay magnolias, and savannah hollies). Broadmoor is at the bottom of New Orleans’ proverbial bowl and suffered tremendous damage during Hurricane Katrina, so these new trees will help mitigate storm water runoff problems in a myriad of ways. 

Friends of Bayou St. John continues to invest money regularly in tree care and maintenance including disease and insect control, mulching and improving soil structure for drainage. FOBSJ plans on continuing its Restore the Bayou Canopy Campaign, beautifying the city for generations to come.


In Fall 2014, Parkview Neighborhood Association surveyed residents’ preferences for neighborhood improvement projects. 63% of respondents suggested funds be invested in general maintenance such as “picking up trash in and around the water,” and 42% of respondents suggested other cleanup efforts such as increasing the number of trash cans. Based on the survey results, Parkview Neighborhood Association’s final recommendations included “general upgrades and maintenance to the bayou, including but not limited to more trash cans [and] a more regular trash pickup.”

In 2015, Friends of Bayou St. John’s Board of Directors voted to respond to this community need by investing in a new anti-litter campaign. FOBSJ kicked off the program in the Fall of 2015 by sponsoring Bigbelly solar-powered recycling units on the Lafitte Greenway, a project that was led by Friends of Lafitte Greenway with support from Keep Louisiana Beautiful.

In December 2015, FOBSJ sent a proposal to the New Orleans Department of Sanitation requesting permission to donate wrought-iron trashcans for the bayou and asking the City to service the receptacles. We are continuing to put pressure on the City to respond with the cooperative endeavor agreement necessary to move this project forward. In the meantime, we are extremely grateful for a partnership with Kayak-ity-yat, NOLA Trash Mob, and Friends of Lafitte Greenway that facilitates morning banks and bayou cleanups during the annual Bayou Boogaloo.

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