NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, City and State officials, and FEMA announced the reopening of the newly renovated Norwood Thompson Playground at 7200 Forshey Street in Gert Town. This park was damaged during Hurricane Katrina. In total, $848,000 in improvements were made to the Norwood Thompson Playground.
“Providing our children safe places to grow, learn, and play is essential, and the restoration and enhancement of Norwood Thompson Playground proves that we are building back better than before,” Mayor Landrieu said. “As one of my Administration’s committed capital projects, this playground is once again open to the residents of Gert Town where it will continue to serve as an important gathering place.”
Improvements to Norwood Thompson Park include construction of a new concession building, universal access concrete entryway, sidewalks, fencing for playground area, landscaping, benches, and picnic tables. Repairs were made to the high mast lighting, restrooms, and water fountains. The baseball field and basketball court were also refurbished.
District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell said, “I want to welcome the return of Norwood Thompson Park and look forward to many years of continued use by children and adults. In recent weeks, I’ve witnessed the revitalization of this portion of District B and remain encouraged by the children who are making use of the park. Green spaces are important for the health and recreation needs of all New Orleanians and are directly tied to better health outcomes. They increase the chances that folks will stay active and add to our city’s world-renowned greenscape.”
City Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, “This is yet another neighborhood and NORD family that has been so patient! Norwood Thompson Playground is so deserving of this and we are so very happy for them!”
Vic Richard, CEO of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission said, “Today we celebrate a solid investment in our future. As a proud Son of Gert Town this park holds a special place in my heart. The opening of the new and improved Norwood Thompson Playground will go a long way to provide much needed programming and worthwhile opportunities for our youth.”
Funding for this $848,000 project came from FEMA public assistance, Disaster Community Development Block Grant (D-CDBG) funds, and City Bond funds. This project was designed by Torre Design Consortium and built by Crescent Commercial Construction. Baker Ready and Perle Construction served as DBEs on this project.
Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure, and Community Development Cedric Grant said, “The City of New Orleans is committed to rebuilding parks, playgrounds, and community centers that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. These facilities are key components to the City’s place based redevelopment strategy and strengthen neighborhoods.”
FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson said, “Parks and playgrounds are a crucial part of the fabric of a community. We are proud to collaborate with our local and state partners on repairing the Norwood Thompson Park facility, as well as the on-going post-storm recovery efforts in Louisiana.”
Pat Forbes, Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development said, “By creating greenspaces where people can connect to the outdoors and each other, parks and playgrounds strengthen neighborhood identity, which is critical for full recovery from the storms. Along with the Carrollton Avenue Streetscape and Public Greenspace Tree Replacement, these improvements to the Norwood Thompson Playground are part of more than $2.4 million in disaster recovery Community Development Block Grant funds being invested in the quality of life of this neighborhood.”
Reverend Norwood Thompson, Jr. said, “My father was not only a great civic worker and minister to the people of Gert Town, but he was a steadfast presence in this entire city. He was deeply concerned about all New Orleanians from every section of town and every walk of life. He worked tirelessly for this city all the way back to the Chep Morrison administration. This is a proud day for our family.”
NOLA FOR LIFE DAY
The City will hold its fourth NOLA FOR LIFE Day at the newly reopened Norwood Thompson Playground on Saturday, July 20, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Volunteer activities will be focused on quality of life improvements in the Gert Town neighborhood including installation of energy efficient light bulbs with Green Light New Orleans and smoke detectors with the New Orleans Fire Department, cleaning and marking of storm drains with Bayou Land, along with canvassing and cleaning up the neighborhood. In addition, Fit NOLA Parks will conduct a community engagement event and other City and partner agencies will participate in a resource fair. Those interested in volunteering can click here to register.
For more information on NOLA FOR LIFE, visit nolaforlife.org.