City park continues covid recovery with wildflower campaign

Published: May. 8, 2021 at 10:11 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -“It’s just like a burst of sunshine in the middle of a green park it’s very picturesque, it’s like a painting,” said Sean Serino.

Out for a bike ride during some of her last days in New Orleans, Sean Serino says City Park has been her escape throughout the pandemic.

“Now this is the newest thing go on flowers which reminds me of California… it just makes me so happy to come home and so proud of the city for rebuilding it the way they did it’s amazing,” said Serino.

The scenery and experiences of her New Orleans hometown helped to push back her return to the west coast until now.

“I’m vaccinated yay so now things are opening up everywhere so it feels like I can go back out into the world,” said Serino.

During the pandemic, park usage soared and is still high. But city park leaders say they’re still trying to build back from staffing and financial losses.

“For us to keep the park maintained and cleaned while we were down a third of the staff was really challenging with a lot of our revenue-generating facilities close too,” said Casie Duplechain.

Casie Duplechain explained how with restrictions lifted on capacity, their bottom line has improved. But says there is still a lot more hiring and funds to secure to get back to pre-pandemic levels.

“One of our other revenue generators is the amusement park and roping get that open but to do that we need to hire up,” said Duplechain.

In the sprawling city park, the wildflower patch is arguably a little more special this year than last.

“Last year we actually plan in the wildflowers right before covid hit New Orleans, they bloomed right kind of around the time we went into lockdown,” said Duplechain.

Because as park-goers stop to admire the colorful fields, they’re also remembering the challenges and losses of last year too.

“It’s kind of a nostalgic thing to see what the parks been through… knowing you’re contributing to someone a piece of their happiness and it’s something that’s really special,” said Duplechain.

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