Gretna City Park was awarded a $7 million overhaul to take 80 acres of undeveloped green space and turn it into a place for stormwater to go. The park now collects an additional 6.5 million gallons of stormwater. This is the perfect example of how we can use nature to help with water management. Mayor Belinda Constant describes it as “nature-based solutions for water management and ecosystem restoration.”
The $7 million was granted to the project by federal funding from Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE). There are 10 other projects that are also receiving funding that are located throughout Louisiana. The improvements include 1 1/2 miles of pedestrian trails, a 1,500-square-foot open-air pavilion, a kayak launch, fishing piers, a bog garden, a wildflower meadow, and hundreds of new trees.
“What you’re looking at today is a secret high-performance landscape. This is one of the highest-performing stormwater landscapes in the city, if not the region, if not the state,” says Andy Sternard of the architecture firm Waggonner & Ball.
According to Gretna officials, Gretna Park is located in the area that is described as the city’s resilience district. This district is among the highest concentration of properties with multiple National Flood Insurance Program claims in the state. The park will also receive a $10 million grant to improve the drainage network along the 25th Street Canal from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.