by Conrad Abadie
I am pro-tree plantings along Bayou St. John. But, that does not mean that the neighbors fronting the bayou should not have some say. I encourage them to notice that the lower bayou, from Mirabeau to the lake, has trees. It also has more animal life. One of the contributing factors, is the trees. There are migratory and native birds that find roosting spaces. You will see egrets, herons and ospreys in greater numbers. Seasonally, you will see migratory ducks and more pelicans. The trees not only provide cooling shade for shore animals, including humans, but for the fish along the shoreline.
For those who think the bayou “never had trees” I suggest you refer to page 5 of this post-K study that was done by experts. https://secureservercdn.net/220.127.116.11/end.894.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Bayou+Plan+2006-small.pdf
Bienville and the natives had to dodge cypress while navigating the bayou. In the 90’s when we asked for the bayou to be lowered to have access to the bottom for major cleanups, large cypress stumps were exposed. North Lopez was once called Encampment Street. There the developer of Faubourg St John sent the clearing crews to make camp at the original Bayou Road, now Bell Street, to begin the clearing of the cypress swamp. Much of that cypress was milled nearby for construction of homes throughout the city.
On page 13 in this link is a list of recommended trees. Deciduous trees, such as cypress, provide shade in the hot months, color in the Fall, and bare in the Winter. Trees prevent soil erosion, prevent subsidence and do so much more.
Surely, there must be some areas along the bare expanse of the bayou where trees would be welcomed. It is important for the bayou.