Bocage Civic Association
|Type:||Neighborhood or civic association|
|Number of members:||250|
|Meetings Dates/Times (if recurring):||Every other month on the 2nd Wednesday |
|Contact name:||Eric J. Songy, President|
|Contact phone:||(504) 394-4039|
On behalf of our homeowners association—Bocage Civic Association (BCA)—we welcome you to our community and look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events. You will receive information about these events and other neighborhood news through BCA’s monthly newsletter. If you wish to know more about the Bocage Civic Association and our neighborhood, just contact your street representative. Our fees are $75 per year. The funds are used to provide regular security patrols, maintain the two main entrances into Bocage, sponsor the children’s events, and publish a monthly newsletter and a neighborhood directory.
Some BCA events: Mardi Gras Children’s Parade during February Easter Egg Hunt in the spring Neighborhood “Night Out Against Crime” block party in October Halloween Trick or Treating Lighting of the Oaks during the holiday season Christmas Party in December BCA general meetings
The Bocage subdivision is part of the Aurora section of the Algiers district of the city of New Orleans. The Algiers district is the portion of New Orleans (and Orleans Parish) located on the west bank of the Mississippi River. The history of Algiers traces back to 1719. In that year, New Orleans founder Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, ceded to himself an eight-mile strip of New Orleans land along the Mississippi River’s east bank and a generous tract of land on the west bank. This tract comprised the present-day section of Algiers and became a plantation used by Bienville for farming. Around 1800, the town of Algiers began to develop; it was incorporated as a city in 1840. To the south of town, farming continued at various plantations. In 1870, the land containing the plantations and the city of Algiers was annexed to New Orleans, as the 15th Ward. It is also known as the Fifth Municipal District of the City of New Orleans. One of the area plantations was the Aurora Plantation, which was listed in Murray’s Planters Directory of working plantations between 1850 and 1860. The property was most recently owned by the Norman family and the plantation house still stands, at the corner of Patterson Road and Westchester near the Mississippi River levee. Aurora Plantation included the land now comprising Bocage and many other nearby neighborhoods. The Norman family also donated property for municipal uses; Norman Park on Eton Drive is one example. Development of Bocage subdivision began in 1965, when the subdivision’s property was acquired by developers Mark C. Smith and Sons and La Mesa Development Corp. The covenant for the Bocage subdivision was signed March 28, 1967, and it established several legally binding standards for our neighborhood. The covenant insures that our neighborhood remains quiet, neat and a single-family residential area. It has the usual range of provisions found in quality subdivisions. It also specifically prohibits other activities—like displaying signs, breeding animals, and oil drilling. BCA can provide you with a copy of the covenant. As to our subdivision’s name, the word “bocage” is French in origin and refers to a terrain of mixed woodland and pastures, with side roads and lanes bounded by banks and hedgerows to limit access to the property. Indeed, Bocage does have limited access. It is a self-contained neighborhood, with only three entrance points: LaCour Monique at Eton, Carlisle Court at General De Gaulle, and Brunswick Court. Bocage doesn’t have pastures, but does have a grassy area between Rue Nichole and Rue Michelle. This area is a servitude, owned and maintained by the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board. Bocage also doesn’t have woodlands and hedgerows, but we do have plenty of towering oak trees. These were planted in 1970, thanks to the efforts of a group of residents who convinced the City of New Orleans’ Parks and Parkways department to provide a free oak tree to each Bocage homeowner. The project helped earn an Eagle Scout badge for one Rue Colette boy, who managed the effort for his street. These oaks thrived and in the 1990s, Bocage residents began a tradition of wrapping the oaks with tiny white lights during the Christmas season. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, you’ll see your neighbors begin to wrap their oak trees, spacing the lights about two inches apart. Our De Gaulle entrance oaks are wrapped by BCA volunteers and during December, we gather for the Lighting of the Oaks celebration, followed by Christmas caroling. Bocage Christmas lighting is a stunning tradition—it delights our children and was even featured one year in the Wall Street Journal. It also won first place in the Christmas In New Orleans citywide neighborhood lighting and decorating contest in 1992, 1993, and 1994. We look forward to your participation. As to the origin of Bocage Civic Association (BCA), the homeowners association was incorporated on April 8, 1971. BCA is a non-profit corporation as defined in Louisiana RS 12:201(7) and a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organization under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. BCA was organized “solely and exclusively for the purposes of encouraging, promoting, advancing and conducting certain non-profitable activities, particularly but not limited to the beautification and protection of the property within the confines of Bocage Subdivision.” BCA is governed by a set of bylaws and its membership consists of homeowners and residents living within Bocage. The amount of annual fees is determined by BCA’s Board of Directors and based annually upon BCA’s budget. We believe that the fees that Bocage Civic Association charges are modest and reasonable. As to how our fees are spent, the majority pays for the security patrol that helps keep Bocage one of the safest communities around. Another portion of the fees goes toward children’s parties at Christmas, Mardi Gras and Easter. Your fees also pay for landscaping and maintenance of our subdivision’s entrances. Our directory, which is provided free to BCA members, and our monthly newsletter, which is distributed to all Bocage residents, are paid for entirely by advertising. Please consider patronizing our advertisers to thank them for this important service. If you have time to spare, consider helping your neighbors and the Bocage Civic Association. We could use more street representatives (ideally, each street should have two). The Beautification and Maintenance Committee can always use an extra pair of hands to maintain our entrances. We also have Finance/Fundraising, Publications, and Special Events committees looking for more volunteers, We encourage your suggestions on how to improve our association; contact your street representative, BCA officer or board member or email your ideas and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. And come to our association meetings! They are small, friendly, and informative gatherings. Please come out and get involved in your community.