NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City officials reopened Oliver Bush Playground at 2500 Caffin Avenue in the Lower Ninth Ward. This newly refurbished park was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and represents one of Mayor Landrieu’s 100 Committed Projects. The renovation cost $2.1 million, with funding coming from FEMA public assistance.
“The reopening of Oliver Bush Playground is long overdue,” Mayor Landrieu said. “Today, the Lower Ninth Ward takes another step forward in recovering from Hurricane Katrina. This park’s rebirth symbolizes the city we are working to become and represents one of my Administration’s 100 committed capital projects. This park will be an important gathering place for this neighborhood for the young and old alike.”
District E Councilmember Ernest F. Charbonnet said, “I am very excited to see this park reopen in the Historic Lower Ninth Ward. This park will be a place that cultivates the recreational interest of our children for generations to come. The combined efforts of the Mayor, Vic Richards, the Council, and partners like Mr. Arnie Fielkow and the National Basketball Retired Players Association demonstrate to me the unwavering commitment this city has to heavily invest in the lives of all its citizens. As this park is named after a proud resident and coach from Lower Nine, this is a proud day for the residents and the City of New Orleans.”
Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, “Oliver Bush is one of the most needed playgrounds in the city and I’m so excited to be a part of the celebration of this opening and to see all the precious, happy faces of our children!”
This park’s restoration includes a new basketball pavilion with three resurfaced basketball courts, four resurfaced and painted tennis courts with new nets, a re-graded and sodded baseball field, new high mast lighting, and new playground equipment. In addition, Oliver Bush Playground features a new picnic/music pavilion, new bleachers, and new landscaping with park benches.
New Orleans Recreation Development Commission CEO Vic Richard said, “The reopening of Oliver Bush is a huge win for all of us. This newly renovated playground will serve the Ninth Ward and this entire city in a number of very worthy and worthwhile ways. As we continue to grow and develop as a city and a Recreation Department, projects like this give us the fuel we need to create better programming and better opportunities for our youth.”
FEMA Louisiana Recovery Office Executive Director Joe Threat said, “The return of Oliver Bush Playground to the Lower Ninth Ward community is yet another testament to this neighborhood’s resiliency. Federal funding in the form of taxpayers’ dollars have supported this Katrina-related recovery accomplishment, which has resulted in something everyone can celebrate – a great recreational facility for locals of all ages to enjoy for years to come.”
Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure, and Community Development Cedric Grant said, “Parks, playgrounds and green space are essential to community development. Oliver Bush Playground is an important step in the Lower Ninth Ward’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina.”
Officials also highlighted a $25,000 donation by the National Basketball Retired Players Association, National Basketball Players Association, and the NBA to help fund painting of the basketball courts.
Oliver Bush Playground was designed and VergesRome Architects of New Orleans and constructed by Crescent Commercial Construction of New Orleans.