Gretna City Park from Google

It was open land and it fights flooding.

What was once an 80-acre expanse of undeveloped green space is now a flood-fighting tool for Gretna. Following a roughly $7 million overhaul, Gretna City Park can now hold an additional 6.5 million gallons of stormwater, the equivalent of 130,000 bathtubs. With hundreds of new trees and expanded detention ponds, the park is a prime example of how to use “nature-based solutions for water management and ecosystem restoration,” Mayor Belinda Constant said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday. The project was one of 10 across the state to receive federal funding through Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments Program, known as LA SAFE. Officials hope the renovations will reduce the repeated flooding of homes surrounding Gretna City Park — and provide a place for residents to relax and have fun.

The improvements included:

1½ miles of pedestrian trails, A 1,500-square-foot open-air pavilion, A kayak launch, Fishing piers, A bog garden and wildflower meadow and Hundreds of new trees. “What you’re looking at today is a secret high-performance landscape,” said Andy Sternard of the architecture firm Waggonner & Ball, which was the lead master planner on the LA SAFE program. “This is one of the highest-performing stormwater landscapes in the city, if not the region, if not the state.” City Council member Mark Miller said since the improvements were completed, he’s noticed more and more real estate agents listing their property’s proximity to the park as a selling point. The park falls within what Gretna officials have dubbed the city’s “resilience district,” which has among the highest concentration of properties with multiple National Flood Insurance Program claims in the state. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also selected Gretna for a $10 million grant to shore up the 25th Street Canal and improve its connectivity to the drainage network.

More of these and we are in better shape.

Gretna City Park holds more water
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