The Grand Isle Garden Club, Restore Grand Isle and Restore or Retreat will join forces using a Keep Louisiana Beautiful grant to plant live oak trees to replace the cheniere canopy that was damaged by Hurricane Ida.
“It’s important to restore the historic live oak forest that was damaged during Hurricane Ida,” says Ronnie Sampey, Grand Isle Garden Club President. “This historic cheniere forest has provided a safe haven for residents and visitors to the island for centuries. We are now doing our part to help make sure it’s here for generations to come.”
The three non-profits will plant over 100 live oaks on Grand Isle on January 27, 2024. Trees will be planted at four public locations: Ninety West Park, Cheniere Caminada Playground, Grand Isle Community Center Park and the Grand Isle Port Commission Property. Volunteers and Members of Bayou Lafourche Band of the Biloxi Chitimacha will also be in attendance to mark this significant event. The tribe first inhabited the island prior to the 1520s and the arrival of the French and Spanish.
“This is a significant effort to continue the island’s ongoing recovery from Hurricane Ida,” said Mayor David Camardelle. “I would like to thank Keep Louisiana Beautiful, Inc. for the grant and Grand Isle Garden Club, Restore Grand Isle and Restore or Retreat for partnering to make this event happen. I also want to thank the volunteers, including the Bayou Lafourche Band of the Biloxi Chitimacha, for taking part in this effort.”
“Understanding the long-term sustainability needs of a unique community like Grand Isle and then turning those needs into action is so important for public servants at all levels,” said Louisiana State Representative, Joseph Orgeron. “Also, the planting of these new and additional trees on Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island is a project I am both honored and happy to participate in.”
“Centuries ago, our ancestors in wisdom planted the first oaks on Grand Isle,” said Quincy Verdun, Chief of the Lafourche Band of the Biloxi Chitimacha. “We now will return to the island to plant oaks once again in the spirit of solidarity with our beloved community of Grand Isle.”
“We look forward to welcoming volunteers to plant these lives oaks so future generations can benefit from them,” said Restore or Retreat Project Coordinator Polly Glover. “In addition to providing storm protection and shade, they serve as a reminder of the ongoing efforts to restore our only inhabited barrier island here in Louisiana. We are excited to partner with Restore Grand Isle and the Grand Isle Garden Club.”
The Garden Club of Grand Isle and Restore Grand Isle were created to restore and beautify Grand Isle following damage to the island from numerous hurricanes. The both organizations promote restoring the island’s trees and natural environment, as well as educating residents, youth and visitors on the importance of Grand Isle to the state and nation. More on the Grand Isle Garden Club and Restore Grand Isle’s efforts to restore Grand Isle at www.restoregrandisle.com (http://www.restoregrandisle.com/)