Early March kicked off the beginning of a multi-year partnership with NPT and Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Through 2017, NPT will be working with the National Park Service and local school groups to restore the Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery by planting native trees. They also will be learning about the park's rich and diverse cultural history. Fifth graders from Chalmette Elementary donned boots, gloves and safety goggles and assisted in planting 180 trees; the native hardwoods will preserve the beauty of the park while replacing storm damaged trees.
“They made an immediate difference in the appearance of the battlefield and the national cemetery. In the long run, the site will look better and better as the trees grow, and every time those participants pass by, they’ll see their trees and know that they played an important part in preserving these sites for everyone to enjoy in the future,” said Jean Lafitte’s Chief of Resource Management, Guy Hughes.
Students will visit the park again before the end of the school year to monitor the trees. Over the next four years, NPT is providing funding for planting materials including trees, equipment, boots, gloves, goggles and monitoring tools.