Wednesday, October 31, 2012
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – Hike for KaTREEna,a nonprofit group dedicated to reforesting New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina distributed a thousand trees free to St. John residents on Saturday, October 27, in an effort to help replace trees lost due to Hurricane Isaac. During the tree giveaway held at the Civic Center, residents (with a limit of two) chose from numerous Louisiana Native trees including River Birch, Cypress, Sweet Bay Magnolia, Red Maple Nuttal Oak, Sycamore Green Ash, Japanese Magnolia and Southern Magnolia. After selecting trees, residents received a two-minute presentation on tree planting and were educated by Entergy on where to plant as to not interfere with power lines. Fruit trees were available for purchase.
Connie Udo, director of Hike for KaTREEna, said it was great to see people smiling at the event. “Trees are a sign of rebirth and send a positive message of restoration, recovery and progress. We wanted to come out and pick up the spirits of residents,” said Udo. Landcraft Homes of LaPlace, sponsored the event, along with the Apache Foundation, Bayou Tree Service, and The Water Company. “When I received the call and heard about Hike for KaTREEna, I knew it would be great for the area. I was happy to help,” said Joseph Scontrino, President of Landcraft, Inc.
In 2006, New Orleans resident Monique Pilié hiked the 2,175 miles of the Appalachian Trail, raising money to plant one tree in New Orleans for every mile she hiked. From that spawned a non-profit organization called “Hike for KaTREEna”. Hike for KaTREEna is still planting and raising money to replace trees lost during Hurricane Katrina and as well as assisting other areas victim to tree loss. “Hike for KaTREEna” will also visit St. Tammany Parish, St. Bernard Parish, and Orleans Parish this month.
Parish President Robottom expressed her thanks for the organization and its sponsors. “It was a refreshing event for our residents, one without stress or worry! Many of our residents impacted by Hurricane Isaac picked up trees to plant at their homes. We are greatly appreciate those who donated the trees and sponsored the event,” said Robottom. Councilman-at-Large Division A Lucien Gauff also attended the event on Saturday. “With our residents going through so much to get their properties restored, it was a timely gesture by Hike to come through and give life to our neighborhoods in the form of trees. Thanks Hike for your contribution to rebuilding St John Parish, the residents that came out, really appreciated it.”
The multi-agency warehouse, located at 1929 W Airline Hwy, is currently accepting donations to facilitate long-term recovery in St. John Parish. Donation items needed are: sheetrock, insulation, lumber, flooring, cleaning supplies, generators, water, mold remediation tools and fungicide, personal protection equipment (N-95 masks, gloves, glasses, Tyvek©suits, etc), tools, brooms, shovels and wheelbarrows. Monetary donations are also needed to assist in purchasing materials and supplies. Please go to www.hurricaneisaacrecoveryfund.com or make checks payable to “Hurricane Isaac Recovery Fund” and mail it to First National Bank, 377 Belle Terre Blvd., LaPlace, LA 70068. All donations are tax deductible and will go directly to recovery efforts. There are no administrative fees associated with the donation.
For more information on Hike for KaTREEna visit http://www.hikeforkatreena.org/.