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City Park Reflects on Challenges and Triumphs of COVID-19 Pandemic

NEW ORLEANS — The return of the annual wildflower campaign marks a key event in the Park’s journey of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. A year later, and the Park is still experiencing an increase in Park usage and need for the respite an outdoor space provides.

“During the height of COVID, the Park experienced a surge in first-time park users, and regular visitors began to explore other areas of this vast green space,” says CEO, Cara Lambright. “This all coincided with a limited staff, who worked tirelessly to maintain the Park through the increased usage. As we continue to move into brighter days, City Park still needs the support of our community.”

City Park’s annual operating budget has been largely derived from self-generated activities and the challenges of the past year have highlighted the need to diversify funding.

“There is vast opportunity for the future of the Park and a priority is finding new funding sources and deepening unrestricted individual giving to City Park,” Lambright said. “Public support is critical for the Park to provide its core responsibilities such as safety, clean restrooms and litter-free grounds.”

The Park would not be the vibrant place it is today without the individuals at the state and local levels and, most importantly, without the individuals and groups who have given to the Park in a myriad of ways. The financial recovery of the Park will be longstanding, even as various areas of the Park begin to reopen.

In response to the surge of Park users, City Park also launched a new app, OuterSpatial, which was funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, to help Park visitors experience safe outdoor exercise activities, promote health and wellness, and navigate the Park. The app is free to download and provides resources to find points of interest, walking trails, outing locations, and other outdoor activity spots within the Park.

City Park has additional ticketed attractions that will be re-opening over the coming months, such as the Carousel Gardens Amusement Park. Each of these can be accessed through the Park’s app and on the Park’s website.

For information on staffing needs for these attractions and how to apply, please visit City Park’s Job Postings here.

Donations to the wildflower campaign will directly impact the continued beautification and preservation of City Park.  As a small thank you, a packet of wildflower seeds will be mailed to bring the Park into your own garden.

To participate in the wildflower spring campaign, donors can visit friendsofcitypark.com/donate.

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