Press Releases


October 10, 2014

Media Contact:   Jasmine J. Haralson

                                  Director of External Affairs




New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and Southwest Airlines

Plant Nearly 200 Trees in New Orleans

Volunteers Help Revitalize the Community in Placemaking Initiative

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), Southwest Airlines Volunteers and Hike for KaTREEna teamed up to plant 179 trees in New Orleans as part of Southwest Airlines’ nationwide volunteer campaign.  Trees were planted on six NORA owned vacant lots adjacent to Interstate 610 in the Lakeview community located at 5702 & 5704 Argonne Blvd; 5704 & 5710 General Haig and 5725 & 5731 Marshall Foch Street.

“Nine years ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated the lush tree canopy that significantly contributes to our city’s quality of life by absorbing rainwater and reducing heat in our sub-tropical climate," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. "Since then, groups like Hike for KaTREEna have made it their mission to restore what was lost. I want to thank Southwest Airlines’ volunteers for partnering with NORA on this important environmental effort and for their commitment to New Orleans.”

“Our local Team is delighted to give from the heart in the city we love and call home,” said Aleichia Potter, Southwest Airlines Operations Agent Supervisor and Volunteer. “Projects like this epitomize our Southwest Airlines value of sharing our Servant’s Heart with our communities.”

“NORA is committed to improving these six lots through the introduction of landscaping techniques designed by Louisiana State University's Urban Landscape Lab that better manage stormwater, introduce urban canopies and encourage biodiversity,” said Jeff Hebert NORA’s Executive Director. “I want to thank Southwest Airlines for their partnership with us on this transformative project.”

“I am thrilled to welcome a Southwest Airlines’ nationwide volunteer project to Lakeview and District A” said Councilmember Susan Guidry. “This installation of 179 trees represents a central tenet of our recovery effort:  investing in our neighborhoods and community spaces. This project combines forward-thinking storm water management principles with native Louisiana cypress trees, resulting in what I know will be a wonderful addition to District A. Thank you to NORA, Southwest Airlines and Hike for KaTREEna for making it possible.”

Southwest Airlines’ nationwide volunteer campaign derives from the Southwest Airlines signature program, Heart of the Community, which was developed to support and activate public spaces in the heart of cities. Launched in April 2014, the program aims to support placemaking, a movement that reimagines public spaces as the heart of every community.  As part of Southwest Airlines’ Fall Nationwide Volunteer Campaign, Employees across the U.S. are participating in volunteer projects that give back to the cities the airline serves.

Volunteers are comprised of 20 local Southwest Airlines team members, NORA’s staff, Hike for KaTREEna personnel and Young Leadership Council (YLC) volunteers.

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority is a catalyst for the revitalization of the city, partnering in strategic developments that celebrate the city’s neighborhoods and honor its traditions.



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