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Bayou Beef: Balancing Fests, Sportage, and Preservation

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The return of warm weather means Bayou St. John will be teeming with outdoor enthusiasts running, biking, volley-balling, and getting their waterway sport on. While this is normal 'tis the season action, Mid-City Messenger points out that "decisions about the future of the waterway's use remain up in the air." City Councilwoman Susan Guidry is cool with the bayou's destination status and said, "It is a public land, just like a park and just like a playground, and it's open for everyone to use." But the Greener Bayou St. John Coalition, a neighborhood group concerned with the "health" of Bayou St. John and how the surrounding land is used, doesn't exactly agree. Their "master plan" that will eventually make its way to City Council isn't yet complete.

As far as Bayou St. John festing goes, the coalition wants to reel in the action. Guidry seems pro-party but says festival organizers should pay for "exclusive use" when they're on the banks. Apparently, the New Orleans Earth Day Festival & Green Business Expo will change its park venue to Louis Armstrong Park where they will pay $1,500 a day instead of the reported $8,000 per day fee at Bayou St. John. The organizer behind Bayou Boogaloo told the Messenger he could be charged up to $10,000 but Guidry says they "shouldn't be charged as much as other festivals because of the kind of restoration work the festival's foundation does for the greenspace."
· Bayou changes still up in the air [Mid-City Messenger]
· Less fests, more preservation on Bayou St. John, group says [Curbed NOLA]
· Greener Bayou St. John Coalition [official site]
· Bayou St. John coverage [Curbed NOLA]