2022: Reflections from a Year on the Land

In 2022, Land Trust for Louisiana got back to our roots… literally!

After a few pandemic years of limited interaction with our members, in 2022 we held several events where we got in touch with nature, learned more about our state’s native ecosystems, and explored the full impact of conservation on Louisiana’s special places.

FOR THE LOVE OF LAND

Volunteers picking up trash at Cherokee Beach

We kicked off 2022 with For the Love of Land at Cherokee Beach on the Tangipahoa River. The site of a conservation easement and research forest, this property has been littered for decades with detritus from its years as a campground and popular tubing site. We picked up mounds of decaying inner tubes, hundreds of broken beer bottles, and even an abandoned stereo! Stay tuned in 2023… we are developing this site as a place where students can conduct research along the ecologically significant Tangipahoa River, in partnership with the landowners and Southeastern Louisiana University!

MAUREPAS SWAMP PADDLE

Paddling Maurepas Swamp in Spring 2022

In the spring we had the honor of paddling the Maurepas Swamp Important Bird Area with ornithologist Melanie Driscoll, who is now a member of the Land Trust team! We learned why this wetland is so important for migratory birds, and enjoyed a pastalaya meal with the local hunting club, who we work with to maintain our property at the Maurepas Swamp Preserve.

YOGA IN THE SUNFLOWERS

Vinyasa Flow among the sunflowers at Pine Knoll Farm

The first annual Yoga in the Sunflowers event was a huge success, bringing hundreds of new faces out to Pine Knoll Farm to learn more about conservation while experiencing vinyasa flow among the beautiful sunflowers. We are grateful to yoga instructor Brenna Barzenick, owner of Downtown Yoga in Hammond, for partnering with us so that we could help people experience the healing and wellness that only nature can bring.

FALL HIKE AT ABITA CREEK

Learning about the longleaf pine ecosystem at Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve

Longtime volunteers Nelwyn McInnis and Latimore Smith led our largest-ever Fall Hike at the Abita Creek Flatwoods. We hold the conservation easement on this beautiful property, which was transformed by The Nature Conservancy into a bio-diverse haven on the largely urbanized Northshore. It’s always magical to hike among the flourishing longleaf pines — a forest ecosystem that is rapidly disappearing across the southeastern US.

TASTE OF THE LAND

Land Trust for Louisiana CEO Dr. Jay Addison speaking with visitors to Pine Knoll Farm

2022 also saw us hold our first ever Taste of the Land at Pine Knoll Farm! This was an opportunity for us to spend quality time with area landowners and others interested in learning more about conservation. It was a day of farm tours, clay shooting, great food, and wonderful music on Dr. Addison’s special property. In the future, we plan to hold additional Taste of the Land events at sites across the state!

AND A WHOLE LOT MORE WENT ON BEHIND THE SCENES IN 2022…

Live Oak Farm in Vermilion Parish

We did BIG, meaningful conservation work. The scale and importance of our projects are growing. We worked with a family in Vermilion Parish this year to place an easement on their 6,000-acre rice farm, and will close on the project next year. This easement allows the current generation to continue producing rice on a farm that has been in the family since the 1800s! Rice production is important for the local economy and heritage of our state, and also provides extremely important habitat for water birds that are losing their habitats as coastal wetlands disappear. This project provides a safety net that will help ensure that these species survive our changing climate.

As we continue to move several more important projects forward in 2023, we hope to approach 20,000 acres of permanent protection of woodlands, historic and culturally significant properties, farms, river floodplains, and endangered species habitat.

We are seen as a trusted partner in the important work of advancing conservation throughout Louisiana. This year we were active in legislative work in coalition with other conservation organizations through Louisiana Outdoors Forever. Our work paid off, and our coalition was able to pass legislation that sets up a program in Wildlife and Fisheries to conserve land with state funds. The next step is to locate a permanent source of state funding and pass legislation that allows these funds to be used on crucial conservation projects each year!

Our team grew! We welcomed new staff and board members this year, who are helping us respond and achieve in our growing role in Louisiana land conservation, while making sure that the Land Trust is viable long into the future.

NONE OF THIS CAN HAPPEN WITHOUT YOU!

Your donations, your help at events, and your participation as we get out and explore Louisiana’s lands and waters is the foundation of our organization. THANK YOU for everything you did to support our work in 2022!

If you have been meaning to support us this year, but haven’t yet, it’s an easy process! Just visit our website to play a meaningful role in our work.

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