On March 29, 2005 the Board of Commissioners approved City Park 2018 – a Master Plan for improvements over the
next 13 years. Its completion would coincide with the 300th anniversary of the City of New Orleans. On August 29, 2005 Hurricane
Katrina made her unwanted and devastating arrival. A look at the park in the weeks that followed broke the hearts of many
but CPIA never lost sight of the Plan – it is being implemented as written before Katrina.
In the days immediately
following Katrina, flooding from poorly engineered levees and canal walls devastated 80% of the city. Flood water up to eight
feet deep in sections of the park sat for as long as three weeks. The flooded park can be seen in the center of this NASA
photograph (surrounded by the flooded city). Damage to the park was massive – 122 buildings, 2000 trees, grass, and
2,000 varieties of plants from around the world. 90% of the park was flooded sustaining $43 million in damages. Operations
at the park ceased and the staff was laid off.
The park's recovery has been made possible by civic, business, and private
contributions of blood, sweat, tears, money, and hard physical work. Thousands of people, New Orleanians and volunteers from
around the world, came to its rescue. While still a bit on the mend as this book was completed City Park is once again a jewel.