Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jefferson Parish (LA) takes baby step to include bicycling in transportation plans

     Completing the path along Lake Pontchartrain, developing bicycle routes from the Mississippi River to the lake and teaching police about bicycle laws, were a few of the suggestions offered by a group of about 50 people attending a public forum at the East Bank Regional Library that will eventually lead to the development of a parish-wide Bicycle Master Plan for Jefferson Parish.
     Once developed the plan will serve as an official "blueprint" for making bicycling safer and easier in the sprawling parish.  The plan itself, a product of the Regional Planning Commission (RPC), will not create facilities but will be used to coordinate projects as money comes available, a fact sheet from the meeting said.  The RPC develops plans for a five parish area including Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, and St. Tammany parishes.
     A second public forum will be held on the West Bank, Wednesday, January 30 at the West Bank Regional Library at 2751 Manhattan Blvd. beginning at 6:30 p.m. to give residents of the West Bank a chance to make suggestions.
     Suggestions from the two meetings will be refined by the urban planning firms working on the project (there are five) into broad concepts that will be discussed at public forums in about a month, said Matthew Rufo, senior planner with GCR Inc. and lead presenter at the meetings.
     For more information, to ask questions, offer suggestions and to receive emails of upcoming meetings go to www.JeffParishBikePlan.org.  You can also participate by following the project on Twitter:@JeffBikePlan or "like" the project Facebook page: facebook.com/JeffParishBikePlan.
     For other RPC projects visit www.norpc.org.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kayaking, Midnight and Marshmallows and birding events set for NNC in February at Northlake Nature Center, Mandeville (LA)

     The Northlake Nature Center, (NNC) a 400-acre nature preserve east of Mandeville, LA, is continually expanding its program offerings.  First off, know that: Space is limited,  reservations are required, events usually fill up quickly.  The events are free for NNC members, membership is $10 and you can join on the spot in most cases.  Non-NNC members pay $5 per event.  Events are held at the NNC preserve east of Mandeville.  Dress for the weather expected for the duration of the event and bring water and snacks if you think you might get thirsty and hungry.

     February 25--Moonlight Hike and Marshmallow Melt.  Begins 5:45 p.m.  The moon will be full but bring a flashlight just in case you have forgotten how dark a forest can be even with a full moon.  Call NNC about bringing children.

     March 10--Daylight Savings Time.  Lose an hour in the morning.  Set clocks ahead one hour.
     March 16-- Guided hike to observe seasonal changes in native vegetation at the center.  Begins at 8 a.m.  Participants will use the "Four Seasons" tree ID program to identify native trees and shrubs year around.
      March 22--Kayaking on Bayou Castine.  Trips begin at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.  Trips last for about two hours. Participants must weight at least 50 pounds so that the life vests supplied will fit.  Or, bring your own.  No experience necessary.  The basics will be taught during the trip.  Leader is David Woodard from Massey's Professional Outfitters.
     March 24--Bird Watch Thru the Woods.  Begins at 8 a.m.  For both experienced birders and birding wannabes.  Bring binoculars, telescopes and cameras if you have them.  Area habitats are rife with birds this time of the year as birds are in the middle of their spring migrations.  Leader is Tom Trenchard

     April 6, Paddle Boarding with Jeff Lakey.  11 a.m.
     April 12-14, The Great Louisiana BirdFest.  (See related elsewhere in this blog)
     April 20, Kayak Bayou Castine (about an hour) with David Woodward from Masseys Professional Outfitters.  9 a.m.,11 a.m.,1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
     April 26, Moonlight Hike, Marshmallow Melt, 7:15 p.m.
     April 28, Bicycling the back trails of the NNC with David Moeller owner of The Bike Path, 3 p.m.

     For more information visit the Northlake Nature Center Facebook page, or call 985-626-1238 or email rue@northlakenature.org.