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Thank You Ginger Ford, A Garden District Original

They say that the tree of loving

Shine on me again

They say it grows on the bank of the river of suffering

Shine on me again, and

Weave, weave, weave me the sunshine out of the falling rain

Weave me the hope of a new tomorrow, fill my cup again…

Weave Me the Sunshine, 1972

Folk artists Peter, Paul and Mary

The Garden District of Baton Rouge is so fortunate to have as a fellow resident, Ginger Ford, our very own weaver of sunshine.  Since the early months of Covid-imposed restrictions, Ginger has been providing a daily dose of sunshine and smiles with her free homegrown flower bouquets, which she sets out every morning on the sidewalk in front of her home.  Ginger’s kind gesture has lifted our spirits and exemplifies that touch of humanity that we all need during these trying, uncertain times.

Ginger has lived in the Garden District for sixty-six years. Her mother, herself an avid gardener, instilled a love of gardening in Ginger from an early age.  Ginger says that there are many positive aspects of gardening, including it being great exercise.  Ginger says that “gardening is peaceful and rewarding.  It’s yoga, church and gym all rolled into one.”

While strolling along Camelia Ave., it’s hard to miss Ginger’s garden. Every square foot of ground, from the street curb to the steps of her house, is filled with a variety of plants and whimsical yard art that would make a botanical garden envious. The fragrances and kaleidoscopic colors are like a Monet painting come to life.  When asked what her favorite plant is, Ginger replied that the question is impossible to answer as she loves them all.  Her oldest plant is a rescued bougainvillea that she found tossed to the curb by a neighbor.  It is over 60 years old! In addition to the many flowers she nurtures, Ginger also loves growing vegetables with greens, cantaloup, and okra being her favorites.

When asked what inspired her idea of the free flower give-away, Ginger stated that “gardening is a great avenue to learn, and apply repurposing and recycling.”

Ginger has seen many changes in the Garden District over the years.  She feels that the renovation of so many of the old homes has been a positive thing and a huge benefit to the neighborhood.  On the other hand, the deterioration and decline of the old live oak trees sadden her.  Ginger says that the live oaks along Drehr and Cherokee streets were planted by Mr Alvin Drehr and his family.  She said that Mr. Alvin gave his daughter, Mildred, the job of watering the planted seedlings.  Mildred would haul buckets of water in her wagon each day after school and ladle water onto every seedling.  Wow, what a commitment, and what an inspiring result!

When Ginger was asked if there is a local organization or a cause dear to her heart that folks could contribute to as a way of paying her kindness forward, she stated that she would like to see a marker erected thanking the Drehr family for their forward-thinking and beautification efforts in the neighborhood. Their planting of what would become these majestic oaks deserves recognition as the benefits of these established trees inure to the benefit of all.

Ginger says, ”If more people gardened, the world would be more peaceful and there would be more respect for our environment.”

So, to our weaver of sunshine, many, many thanks and blessing upon you for bringing such joy and that shot of daily happiness to your neighbors in the Garden District.

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Claire PittmanThank You Ginger Ford, A Garden District Original
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Voting in 70806

There have been many questions about voting in EBR during this election year. From the Secretary of States Office: The primary purpose of this election is for voters in Louisiana to voice their preference for the President of the United States, to fill one of Louisiana’s U.S. Senatorial seats and all six of Louisiana’s U.S. Congressional seats for the 117th Congress. In addition, there are seven Louisiana Constitutional Amendments and one statewide proposition. Some parishes will also have various state, municipal, special, and/or proposition elections.Here is some helpful information to reference.

If you are unsure if you are registered to vote, visit Vote.org to check the status of your voter registration. It takes 2-3 minutes.

If you will be voting in-person at a polling place, please review the CDC’s Recommendations on Protecting Yourself and Your Family. Wear a mask and keep your distance.

Important Dates

Election day

Tuesday, Nov. 3. 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Dufrocq Elementary School, 330 S 19th St, Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Absentee Ballot

Request: Received by Oct. 30
Return by mail: Received by Nov. 2 by 4:30 p.m.
Return in person: Nov. 2 by 4:30 p.m.

Early Voting

Oct. 16 – Oct. 27, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM for each day of early voting

BATON ROUGE CITY HALL
222 ST LOUIS ST, ROOM 607
BATON ROUGE, LA 70802

LOUISIANA STATE ARCHIVES BLDG
3851 ESSEN LANE
BATON ROUGE, LA 70809

2020 Sample Ballot 70806

Par Guide to 2020 Constitutional Amendments

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Claire PittmanVoting in 70806
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LET’S HALLOWEEN SAFELY

Halloween is on with warnings to take precautions and be safe. Trick-or-treat hours for the City of Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish are set for 6:00-8:00 p.m. Saturday, October 31, 2020.

MAYOR BROOME ON CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN 2020 IN EBR

BATON ROUGE, La. — October 14, 2020 — East Baton Rouge Parish is on the right path to slowing the spread of the coronavirus, and we must work together to ensure we continue on this path. With that said, I encourage our residents to use good judgement when it comes to celebrating holidays like Halloween.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) considers traditional trick-or-treating or costume parties to be “high-risk” activities during this pandemic. We recommend participating in modified, open-air events, where everyone can keep their distance and wear face coverings.

If you do choose to participate in traditional events, please remember to wear a face covering, practice social-distancing, and wash your hands when you get home.

CDC’s Recommendations for Safe Alternatives to Holiday Festivities

Lower risk activities

These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Moderate risk activities

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
    • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
    Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

    • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
    • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

Higher risk activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19
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Claire PittmanLET’S HALLOWEEN SAFELY
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Hurricane Delta: Be Prepared!

From the City of Baton Rouge

HURRICANE DELTA PREPARATIONS

Neighbors,

We are monitoring local weather conditions and the path of Hurricane Delta as the storm continues to develop, with landfall expected later this week.

While we have been through this exercise many times already this hurricane season, it is still critical to remain vigilant for this and every major storm that comes our way. Please take a look at your household emergency plan, update it as necessary, make sure everyone in your household knows and understands it, and include planning for your children, pets, and other vulnerable populations. Keep enough supplies on-hand for at least three days, secure loose items in your yard, fuel your vehicles and generators, and monitor our local radio and TV stations for the latest forecasts.

We have also updated our City-Parish emergency page with links to sand and sandbag locations, closure information, weather and stream gauge maps, energy outage maps, and more. Visit this page here and check back regularly for updates at brla.gov/emergency.

Remember to follow @RedStickReady on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for official, real-time updates from our Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, or text “RedStickReady” to 225-243-9991 to opt in for informational text message updates.

We are still in the middle of a pandemic, so be sure to practice social distancing and wear a face covering while making any final preparations. Attached is a checklist of some additional tips to be prepared for the storm. For more information and planning resources, visit brla.gov/hurricaneprep.

Stay safe, everyone…

GATHER SUPPLIES FOR YOUR DISASTER KIT!

  • Have a 3 day supply for each person in your household.
  • Include medication, disinfectant supplies, cloth face coverings, personal hygiene items, personal identification, and pet supplies in your kit.

PREPARE YOUR HOME!

  • Trim or remove damaged trees and limbs.
  • secure loose items and clear gutters.
  • Fuel your vehicles, generators, and gas cans. Consider purchasing a portable generator and additional gas cans.
  • Check your insurance coverage. Keep a copy with you – paper or electronic.

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Claire PittmanHurricane Delta: Be Prepared!
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Welcome to the Neighborhood!

Did you know that the Garden District has a Welcome Committee?  New residents are greeted at their homes by a Garden District board member and presented with a welcome canvas bag featuring our neighborhood logo designed by a former Garden District resident containing a bottle of bubbly and a welcome letter from the GDCA president that welcomes new residents and encourages them to get involved with our civic association. Joining the Garden District Civic Association is so easy and benefits the new resident as well as our neighborhood.

Anne Trapp, Welcome Committee Chair, says, “Being on the Board and greeting new neighbors has been enjoyable and fulfilling.  I am constantly reminded of the positive and unique neighborhood where we live.”

If you’re new to the Garden District, we hope you look forward to many enjoyable years here, and we would love if you consider becoming a Garden District Civic Association member.

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Claire PittmanWelcome to the Neighborhood!
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Summer Security Update

June Calls

  • On 6/2/20 at 2131 hours, Officers responded to the area of Broussard St. and Perkins Rd. relative to an anonymous complaint of a male walking in the roadway. Upon Officers’ arrival, there was no one walking in the roadway.
  • On 6/3/20 at 0557 hours, Officers responded to the 2100 block of Terrace Ave. relative to a sexual assault. This case is under investigation and no further details can be released due to the nature of the case.
  • On 6/8/20 at 1000 hours, the resident at in the 1100 block of Drehr St. called the telephone reporting unit to report that an unknown male suspect stole packages from their front porch on 6/7/20. The resident advised they were unable to get a good description of the suspect from their surveillance cameras, but they could tell that he left riding a bicycle.
  • On 6/11/20 at 1359 hours, a resident went to 3rd District to report that an unknown caller repeatedly calls their phone regarding their child. The resident advised the person calls from an unknown number and tells them about their children.
  • On 6/19/20 at 2048 hours, Officers responded to a home in the 900 block of Park Blvd. relative to a fallen tree in the roadway. The tree damaged a home.
  • On 6/24/20 at 2156 hours, Officers responded to a call from the 2100 block of Tulip Street relative to an anonymous complaint of shots fired in the area. Officers patrolled the area and did not hear gunfire or find any evidence of gunfire in the area. Individuals in the area reported they had not heard any gunshots.
  • On 6/27/20 at 2328 hours, Officers responded to a call from the 2300 block of Tulip Street relative to an anonymous complaint of shots fired in the area. Officers patrolled the area and did not hear gunfire or find any evidence of gunfire in the area.

July Calls

  • On 7/2/20 at 2259 hours, Officers responded to the 2000 block of Tulip Street relative to an anonymous shots-fired complaint. Officers advised there were fireworks in the area and the sound was likely mistaken as gun shots. Officers did not locate anyone in the area needing Police assistance.
  • On 7/3/20 at 0447 hours, Officers responded to the 800 block of Camellia Ave. relative to an unresponsive subject. The subject was deceased and homicide detectives were contacted. The report has been blocked from viewing so no further information is available.
  • On 7/3/20 at 0905 hours, Officers responded to 1800 Camellia Ave. relative to a traffic complaint. Residents in the area advised a large trash dumpster was in the middle of the road in the alley. Officers contacted the company listed on the dumpster and they later arrived to move it.
  • On 7/6/20 at 1032 hours, Officers responded to the area of Drehr Ave. and Cherokee Ave. relative to a stranded motorist. There was flash flooding in the area at the time and the vehicle was immobilized due to flooding. Officers pushed the vehicle out of the road to a safer area.
  • On 7/6/20 at 1108 hours, Officers responded to the area of Cherokee Ave. and Park Bl. relative to complaints of flooding in the area caused a wake to damage homes when motorists drove through the high waters. Officers notified DPW to put barricades in the area to stop traffic until the water receded.
  • On 7/7/20 at 1939 hours, Officers responded to the 2000 block of Olive St. relative to a disturbance. The resident’s mother called Police to check on the resident due to the resident arguing with their spouse. The resident was transported to their mother’s home per their request until things between them and their spouse calmed down.
  • On 7/7/20 at 2200 hours, Officers responded to an anonymous complaint of a suspicious person near the 2000 block of Kleinert Ave. The complainant stated a white female was walking barefoot in the road and appeared to be having trouble maintaining her balance. Officers patrolled the area for the female but were unable to locate her.
  • On 7/8/20 at 0738 hours, the resident called the telephone reporting unit to report a vehicle burglary in the 3000 block of Kleinert Ave. The resident reported their vehicle was burglarized overnight. The vehicle was left unlocked and money was stolen from it.
  • On 7/8/20 at 1023 hours, a resident in the 2100 block of Olive St. reported two of their garbage cans were missing to the telephone reporting unit.
  • On 7/10/20 at 0721 hours, Officers responded to a disturbance in the 900 block of Park Bl. The resident advised a subject was in the area panhandling but left prior to Police arrival.
  • On 7/12/20 at 1138 hours, Officers responded to the 2000 block of Myrtle Ave. relative to a disturbance. Two family members were having an argument.
  • On 7/15/20 at 1736 hours, the complainant called the telephone reporting unit to report a disturbance that had already occurred in the 800 block of Camellia Ave. The complainant stated they went to feed the cats for a family member, and got into an argument with another family member. The complainant only wanted to report this incident for documentation purposes.
  • On 7/21/20 at 0750 hours, the resident of the 2200 block of Myrtle Ave. reported to the telephone reporting unit that someone had stolen all of their patio furniture. A black male, tall, skinny, and bald, who was wearing a white t shirt and mask was seen committing the crime via video surveillance at 0500 hours on this date. This case is pending investigation.
  • On 7/23/20 at 1016 hours, Officers responded to the 2000 block of Cherokee Ave. relative to a burglary. The resident reported someone pried the lock off the shed and stole several tools from within the shed. This case is pending investigation.
  • On 7/27/20 at 1525 hours, Officers responded to the 2000 block of Olive St. relative to a vehicle burglary that occurred between 0100-0900 hours on this date. The resident left the doors unlocked and the suspect took their wallet, passport, and a set of keys that went to the home. The resident stated the suspect may have tried to enter the home, but they were unsure. The keys were left in the yard of the home. This case is pending investigation.
  • On 7/28/20 at 1131 hours, Officers responded to the 800 block of Drehr Ave. relative to black male wearing all black and a white mask was walking through the neighborhood taking pictures of houses. Officers patrolled the area and were unable to locate the male.
  • On 7/28/20 at 1209 hours, Officers responded to 500 block of Camelia St. relative to an anonymous complaint of a black male wearing a light colored jacket walking through the neighborhood making threats and gestures as if he wanted to fight people. Officers arrived on scene and were unable to locate the male.
  • On 7/28/20 at 1220 hours, Officers responded to the 2000 block of Olive St. relative to a welfare check. The complainant wanted Officers to check for someone at this location to see if they were okay. The person did not answer the door and there was no indication that anyone was at home.
  • On 7/29/20 at 0855 hours, Officers responded to the 2000 block of Olive St. relative to a disturbance. A couple were arguing at their home in another city so the male brought the female to this home per her request. While there, an altercation occurred that led neighbors to call Police. Officers contacted the male and female, and then went to contact witnesses of the altercation. As Officers were contacting witnesses, the male pulled off in his vehicle at a high rate of speed, nearly hitting other vehicles parked on the side of the street. The male wrecked his vehicle into a fence separating two properties at the corner of McGrath St. and S. Eugene St. The male fled from the vehicle and was unable to be located. The female advised the male fled because he had punched her during the altercation. The vehicle was officially stored and the male cannot retrieve it from the wrecker company without turning himself in for applicable pending charges.
  • On 7/29/20 at 1832 hours, Officers responded to the 2000 block of Cherokee Ave. relative to a suspicious incident. The complainant stated a black male wearing all black with a mask is walking up the street taking pictures of license plates and houses. The complainant was advised by Officers that the subject was not breaking any laws and for them to contact Officers if the subject came onto their property.

August Calls

  • On 8/1/20 at 0037 hours, Officers responded to a call in the 2100 block of Oleander Street relative to a vehicle burglary. The complainant was a neighborhood resident who reported they observed a white male burglarizing a vehicle at this home while walking their dog. The complainant stated they observed the suspect flee into the alley way and then called Police. The suspect was described to be approximately 5’8, with a slim build, blonde hair. The suspect was in his late 20s to mid-30s, and was wearing a tight black t-shirt with loose khaki pants. The resident advised nothing was missing from their vehicle.
  • On 8/1/20 at 0854 hours, Officers responded to the 2500 block of Olive St. relative to a disturbance. The complainant advised their landlord was trying to lock them out of their apartment without properly evicting them. Officers contacted the Landlord and explained to them that they needed to go through an eviction process in order to remove the tenant from the home.
  • On 8/2/20 at 2142 hours, Officers responded to the 2100 block of Cherokee Ave. relative to a disturbance. The complainant advised their former dating partner had come to their home in another part of town uninvited. The complainant advised the suspect had made copies of their keys and entered the home uninvited. The complainant left their home and came to their parent’s home on Cherokee Ave. to call Police. Police were unable to locate the suspect at this time. The complainant left Cherokee Ave. and called back at 0121 hours advising that the suspect returned to the complainant’s home and was peeking through the windows. Police arrived to the home in the other part of town and located the suspect hiding in the bushes. The suspect ran from the area but was apprehended and arrested for Stalking and Resisting an Officer.
  • On 8/3/20 at 1725 hours, Officers responded to the 2300 block of Tulip Street relative to a suspicious incident. The complainant advised that an unknown person in a maroon vehicle was photographing their neighbor’s home. Police arrived and the complainant would not come to the door. Police contacted the homeowner of the home that was being photographed and learned they had food delivered and the driver was driving a maroon vehicle.
  • On 8/7/20 at 0833 hours, Officers responded to the 2300 block of Tulip Street relative to a burglary. The resident advised someone broke into their shed overnight and stole tools. This case is pending investigation.
  • On 8/9/20 at 1456 hours, the resident of the 2000 block of Wisteria Dr. called 2nd District to report someone dumping trash in the alley. The resident advised they located hypodermic needles in the trash. The resident later brought the needles to 2nd District to safely dispose of them.
  • On 8/9/20 at 1614 hours, an anonymous complainant reported a male subject overdosing in a camper in the 2600 block of Oleander St. BRFD and EMS rendered aid to the male and transported him to the hospital.
  • On 8/10/20 at 0658 hours, Officers responded to an anonymous complaint of a vehicle traveling on Oleander Street near Park Street. Officers patrolled the area and were unable to locate the vehicle or any loud music.
  • On 8/10/20 at 2100 hours, Officers responded to the 3100 block of Kleinert Ave. relative to an anonymous complaint of a loud party at the residence. Officers advised they observed no signs of a party or loud noises coming from this location.
  • On 8/12/20 at 0245 hours, Officers responded to an anonymous complaint of shots fired near Oleander and Camellia Ave. Officers advised they patrolled the area and did not observe anyone needing assistance or any signs of a shooting in the area.
  • On 8/12/20 at 1620 hours, the complainant called the telephone reporting unit to report their parent’s identity had been stolen. The complainant stated their elderly parent’s SSN was used to open a Cox cable account, and the account now has an outstanding balance of $734. Another account for Charter Communications was opened in Texas and that account balance is now $261. This case is pending investigation by Detectives.
  • On 8/14/20 at 2010 hours, the resident in the 2300 block of Myrtle Ave. reported their vehicle had just been stolen. The resident advised they had been having an issue with their key fob, but the vehicle was supposed to be locked. Moments later, the vehicle was located on W. Johnson St. Two arrests were made, and the vehicle was returned to the resident.
  • On 8/25/20 at 0922 hours, the resident of the 1900 block of Tulip Street called the telephone reporting unit to report a burglary. The resident advised their vehicle was burglarized overnight and their wallet was taken.
  • On 8/26/20 at 2252 hours, Officers responded to the 2500 block of Olive Street relative to a burglary in progress. Officers responded and contacted the complainant/resident inside of the home. Officers observed a shotgun next to a glass bong used to smoke methamphetamine while speaking with the complainant. The complainant was apparently under the influence of narcotics when making the complaint of the burglary. Officers located a large amount of crystal methamphetamine and three other different legend drugs that the complainant did not have a prescription for. The complainant was arrested for several drug charges as well as for possessing the firearm as a convicted felon and for possessing the firearm in the presence of controlled dangerous substances.
  • On 8/31/20 at 1320 hours, Officers responded to the 600 block of Camellia St. relative to the theft of a 4-wheeler. The resident advised a juvenile black male, wearing a gray and blue hoodie, broke the lock on their alley gate, entered their fenced in yard and pushed their 4-wheeler. The resident advised the 4-wheeler was taken at approximately 1240 hours. The resident spotted it on Government St. shortly after it was taken. At that time, the 4-wheeler was being operated by a black male with a flat-top haircut, who was wearing a tank-top and shorts. The male fled the area at a high rate of speed when the resident followed him on Government St. The resident continued driving around the area and later saw it at North St. and N. 30th but lost sight of it again. The resident then reported it to Police, who helped the resident continue to look for it. However, the resident and Police were unable to locate it. The resident believes the suspect lives in the area of Spain St. or 18th St. This case is pending further investigation.
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Claire PittmanSummer Security Update
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October is Alley Month

The Baton Rouge Department of Maintenance would like to put the Garden District alleys on a regular maintenance schedule. This first involves the residents along the alleys first removing any trash and debris from the alley as well as cutting back vegetation. The City will cut overhead tree limbs that hinder the passage of garbage trucks and emergency vehicles. Residents should move junk, trash and debris to the right-of-way, next to the street for Republic trucks to pick up. Remember not to put the pile under low hanging branches or too close to tree trunks. The Grabber won’t be able to get to it safely. Also, on Tuesday, don’t have a car parked in front of your pile. The truck won’t be able to reach it.

During inspections of the alley, Mike Schexnayder, chair of the GDCA Alley Committee, and Mary Fontenot, GDCA Secretary, found that many alleys were overgrown. Some were wildly overgrown with invasive bamboo, while others had beautiful plants, but they narrowed the alley too much, making it difficult for trucks to maneuver. If we want Republic to use our alleys, we are going to have to make them wide enough and clear enough, so they can be traversed. We certainly want them cleared enough for fire engines. Hopefully one will not be needed.

The Department of Maintenance is also planning to address drainage and surfaces, but that is a subject for another newsletter.

Please plan on cleaning your alley some Saturday in October. Many blocks have Block Captains who will be contacting residents. Please help your block this October and keep your alley in good shape all year.

 

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Claire PittmanOctober is Alley Month
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September 2020 Drainage Update

Drainage Problems in the Garden District

Tom Douthat, who moved here in 2017, noticed the drainage problems in his first few months in the Garden District. He is an Environmental Law professor at LSU. His house was swamped in the June 6th deluge in 2019, so he had incentive to look into the matter. Other neighbors and a meeting with the Mayor and Fred Raiford, Director of Drainage, supplied Tom with background information and updates. Tom explained to the GDCA Board what is happening.

Much of the Garden District drains to Dawson’s Creek near Catholic High School, but there is more water entering EBR’s drainage system than there used to be. When the water level gets high enough in Dawson’s Creek it submerges the outfall from our neighborhood and acts as a dam effectively preventing our neighborhood from draining. This is called a hydraulic dam, and it may be exacerbated by culverts on Broussard St. and Hundred Oaks Ave., which EBR is seeking federal funds to replace with bridges that would allow more outflow. Culverts have been working as dams and need to be fixed. Our water can’t get to Dawson’s Creek. The pipes aren’t large enough. This a principle theory why the water backs up in our neighborhood but then drains quickly once the water levels in Dawson’s Creek decline. Another possibility is that some localized drainage pipes in the neighborhood are too small, but the city does not currently have an inventory and map of its drains. Nobody knows the diameter of all of the pipes taking water out of the Garden District.  A map and model is being developed under the Stormwater Masterplan.

Part of the solution is more storage throughout Baton Rouge to slow the entry of stormwater into the larger drainage system and thus prevent our stormwater outfall into Dawson’s Creek from becoming dammed. There is no quick fix to this issue. Strategies to address are more difficult and more expensive in older areas like ours. The Department of Public Works and the Mayor’s Office are aware of the problem and the issue has been flagged for the consultants developing the EBR Stormwater Master Plan, and a commitment was made to hire an engineer to review this issue over the next months. There are additional federal funds that the city is pursuing that would be used to address this issue is awarded.

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Claire PittmanSeptember 2020 Drainage Update