The Big Green Easy


For many New Orleanians, parks, play spaces and the waterfronts are not just spaces but integral components contributing to their health, happiness, and daily lives. However, disparities in park conditions, play spaces and accessibility have been stark, disproportionately affecting the city’s most vulnerable population. 

In 2022, the City of New Orleans was awarded an impactful grant by the National Recreational and Park Association (NRPA) to develop a comprehensive city-wide park and recreation master plan. The Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families (OYF), the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission and the Department of Parks and Parkways in partnership with Audubon Nature Institute, and City Park Conservancy, engaged Design Workshop to capture the vision and produce the plan. The plan engaged various city departments including the Office Of Resilience and Sustainability, the  Office Of Neighborhood Engagement and the City Planning Commission. It also conducted various workshop sessions, focus groups, stakeholder conversations and employed Park Ambassadors including youth,  for equitable input.   

The Big Green Easy's two driving principles are:

  • Equity—a commitment to a just, fair, and inclusive park and recreation system that is tailored to meet the unique needs of New Orleans’ communities, particularly those that are currently underserved.
  • Resilience—harnessing the potential of the citywide park system to absorb stormwater, protect critical wildlife habitat, and support the city’s social fabric and cultural lifeways.

For the first time in New Orleans history, the plan prioritizes projects based on community needs and feedback, aiming to bridge the gap in park disparities. The urgency of implementation is emphasized by the city's increasing vulnerability to climate change, resulting in rising temperatures and increased flood risks. This comprehensive plan offers a path forward, celebrating the distinct cultures and identities of New Orleans while fostering a cooler, greener, healthier, more resilient, and just city for all.  "The Big Green Easy" is not just a plan for parks; it's a commitment to a more inclusive, vibrant, and resilient New Orleans. 

Arrow Right Click Here to Check Out the Park Master Plan