Common Ground Relief's focus for groups of volunteers is now wetlands restoration. Louisiana loses nearly a football field size piece of land every hour, the equivalent of a city block in midtown Manhattan every 2.5 hours, due to coastal erosion and subsidence. Southern Louisiana also lost millions of hardwood trees that provide canopy and wildlife habitat during hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Isaac from 2005 through 2012.
We own our own nursery and conduct tree and marsh grass plantings for numerous city, state and federal agencies as well as for private property owners. We work with college and university students, high school groups as well as summer camp and convention groups.
On-Site Groups, groups that plan to stay with us in Common Ground Relief housing, will have one or more days of planting trees and/or marsh grasses, work in our nursery, invasive species removal and work within the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood. Off-Site Groups can arrange for either a day(s) of tree/marsh grass planting or work in our nursery. Activities can involve being out in the water. We provide all the necessary equipment including canoes and a motor boat. We are flexible in our scheduling during the week in the event of a day of inclement weather.
If you are interested in working with us, take a look at some of the resources on this page. Our "What to Expect" will answer many of the questions you'll have about volunteering. Meanwhile the resources at the "Katrina Reader" and in the articles "Where Oysters Grew on Trees" and "Louisiana's Moonshot" provide some context and insight into social and environmental issues in New Orleans and surrounding communities.
Please fill out the applicable "Group" application and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers should expect to get muddy. Long pants (no blue jeans) are required for planting. We provide rubber boots but bring a pair of water shoes with you if you can. Dress is layers no matter what the weather and hats are always a good idea. No flip flops ever! More dress details can be provided once planting projects have been scheduled for your group. We have bug spray and sun screen but feel free to bring your own. Bring a reusable water bottle with you for personal hydration.
Volunteers will be required to sign our Wetlands Volunteer Waiver.