On Monday (March 21) from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Audubon Commission will host the third public meeting for community members to comment and offer feedback on the proposal to update the Audubon Park Tennis facilities. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. Click here to register for the meeting. “These proposed improvements will create state-of-the-art public facilities that honor the needs of the recreational tennis community, new youth players, and community partners,” said Audubon Nature Institute’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kyle Burks. “The new amenities and multi-functional community space will be a resource for the public to enjoy while maintaining the sustainable balance of active and passive space in Audubon Park.
Not everyone is ready to build and maintain a compost bin in their backyard or have a worm bin in their home. But you can still help reduce the amount of food waste going into landfills by participating in a free food-waste collection program. Frozen food scraps are collected on Mondays at the Audubon Golf Clubhouse, 6500 Magazine St. The program is resuming after it was halted due to Hurricane Ida. Bins will be on veranda from 4:30 until 6 p.m. If you do not see any bins on site, the sponsor warns, do not just leave your scraps.
Audubon Park is reopening on Saturday (Sept. 18), although the jogging paths are open now for limited use. Bicycles will not be permitted until the entire park opens. The Audubon Nature Institute announced a two-phase plan for reopening its facilities following closures due to the impacts of Hurricane Ida. The Uptown park is in the second phase.
Who even calls the stretch of greenspace overlooking the Mississippi River “Audubon Riverview Park”? But that is its official name. The current pavilion in the park everyone refers to as “The Fly” has a history dating back more than 25 years.
That structure, officially named “A Stage for Viewing,” was damaged in October’s Hurricane Zeta in October, and the process of replacing its shredded roof is still in play.
It’s this structure’s predecessor that gave the stretch of land by the river its name. Few today can remember the original building that people thought resembled a butterfly. So the park gained the nickname “The Butterfly,” which was then shortened to “The Fly.” The building, which housed concessions and restrooms, was actually supposed to resemble gull wings.
Per state and city public health directives, Audubon has received approval to move forward with reopening its family of parks and museums following a phased approach that strictly limits attendance and programming. Audubon Riverview Park, or The Fly, will reopen on Saturday (May 16) to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Vehicular traffic will not be allowed. Audubon Tennis will reopen Wednesday (May 20) with a limited schedule and appropriate social distancing measures. Audubon Golf Course will remain closed at this time, and more information on plans for its reopening will be announced soon.
A community meeting Monday night on the proposed parks and recreation overhaul brought out numerous questions, comments and criticisms from the public, as city officials faced a skeptical crowd trying to defend a proposed reallocation of tax dollars. Voters will decide May 4 whether to approve the city proposal to shift the current allocation of over $20 million in property taxes used to fund parks and recreation, which would notably provide City Park with city funding for the first time in its 169-year history. One concern not present Monday night was of the threat of higher taxes, though, as the current 6.31 mill rate would stay the same. Still, many questioned the wisdom of how the city plans to use their money. “What is the justification for continuing to give money to Audubon?” asked David Newman, a resident of Mid-City.
New Orleans voters will decide in May whether to reallocate a portion of the tax money now dedicated to the Audubon Commission, giving the zoo and aquarium long-term but sharply reduced funding, the New Orleans Advocate reports. The millage would be extended for 20 years and would cut Audubon’s tax intake to provide more money to the Department of Parks and Parkways, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission and City Park.
The 11th Annual New Orleans Kidney Walk strives to raise both money for kidney disease research and awareness of the need for screenings Sunday morning (Nov. 4) in Audubon Park. For more information see the following press release from the National Kidney Foundation:
On November 4th, 2012, hundreds of walkers will step up for the 11th Annual New Orleans Kidney Walk and help raise awareness and funds to support the fight against kidney disease in the Greater New Orleans Area. “This walk will help many others take the lifesaving step of getting their kidneys checked,” said Torie Kranze, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Louisiana. “By participating in the Kidney Walk, we’re all helping sound the alert that anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney disease should get their kidneys screened — that’s over 73 million, or 1 in 3 Americans at risk.”
Audubon Park’s latest car-burglary suspect has a criminal record of 50 felony arrests, and used the credit cards he stole to buy routine items such as cigarettes, gas and an over-the-counter pain reliever, police said Thursday. After news reports earlier this week showed surveillance footage of a man going to area businesses and using credit cards stolen from vehicles at Audubon Park, Sgt. Warren Keller of the NOPD Second District property-crimes division said he received a call from a woman who said she had seen the man on Tuesday, sitting on a bench at the golf course after getting out of a car there. A worker at the park told police he’d seen the same man suspiciously looking into parked cars, so he wrote down the man’s license plate, and from there investigators were able to identify the suspect as 55-year-old Sergio Santos. Santos used the stolen credit cards for a variety of purposes, Keller said.
The perennial issue of thieves targeting vehicles at Audubon Park for hasty break-ins has resurfaced in recent weeks, police said, but they have recovered surveillance images from two recent cases that appear to show the same suspect in each. On Oct. 25, a man was caught on tape at a Walgreens near the park using a credit card stolen in a vehicle burglary at the park just before, detectives said:
In a separate case this past Saturday, an SUV parked at “the Fly” area behind the zoo was found to have its window smashed out, and the cash and credit cards were stolen from a purse inside it, police said. A total of nearly $400 in purchases was racked up on one of the cards at the Shell gas station on Magazine, Roberts grocery on South Claiborne, and four other groceries and drug stores in the 45 minutes before it was canceled, police said, and again, surveillance images were able to be recovered. The man in both photos appears to be the same person, noted Lt. Mike Montalbano, interim commander of the NOPD Second District.