“Over 13,000 volunteers have invested over 66,000 hours (the equivalent of 32 people working full time for one year)
to help restore the park. The cash value of their donated hours totals $1.2 million. They have picked up trash, removed tree
limbs, painted fences, strung lights, potted plants, dug holes, entered data, you name it – they have done it.”
– Park Chief Development Officer John Hopper. Pictured is the museum reopening in March, 2006. (DCM)
Before Katrina the park employed 260 people – in the weeks after only 23 until a $1,000,000 donation from the
Azby Fund allowed for rehiring some staff, replacement of electrical systems, and Botanical Garden clearing and replanting.
The brightest moment in 2005 was the Katrina Celebration in the Oaks in December some 3 ½ months after the storm which
included, for the first time, the beloved Mr. Bingle (pictured). (DCM)