Saturday morning was the fall meeting of the Friends of Brechtel Park, and it was quite the success. We managed to have not just one but TWO representatives from the New Orleans City Council in attendance, something that just doesn’t happen very often for a community meeting.
The meeting started out with a short introduction by the president of FOBP, Aylin Maklansky. After she spoke, I was thrilled when Aylin used my video about helping to restore Brechtel Park. (see the video below) This same video has already made it’s way to a Boy Scout troop in New Jersey who is planning a spring trip to New Orleans and has Brechtel on their list for clean up sites!
By the time that City Council President Jackie Clarkson and Councilman Arnie Fielkow spoke, every seat was taken. The council has committed to help FOBP get the funding that was approved by voters several years ago and to work with the Friends to guide us through the maze of city funding and politics. Additionally, representatives from Parks and Parkways, West Bank Redevelopment and the Algiers Economic Development Foundation were in attendance and offered their support and assistance as well.
New members were signed up, new board members were drafted recruited, and some great ideas for park functions and improvements were suggested. In an example of how everyone brings something to the table in this group, a local resident brought a photo of an alligator that was seen in the pond at the park. Before the meeting was even underway, the Wildlife and Fisheries had been contacted and had promised to send someone out to “relocate” the alligator. Hmmm…I wonder where relocated alligators go?
It is only through the efforts of members of the community that we can restore the park to the vibrant meeting place that it once was – and can be again.