While the Lafitte Greenway is one of New Orleans’s newest parks, it has a history that dates back over 200 years. The site was once the Carondelet Canal, which governor of the Spanish colony of Louisiana, Francisco Luis Hector de Carondelet, commissioned in 1794. Replaced by the New Basin Canal in the 1830s, the site became a rail corridor used by Norfolk-Southern Railroad—which fell vacant during the last half of the 20th century.
In 2006, several New Orleans residents collaborated to preserve the Greenway, hoping to make it a leading example of long-term planning and open-space development in the City of New Orleans. Part of the masterplan to revitalize the Treme-Lafitte neighborhood and to increase stormwater management throughout New Orleans, the City of New Orleans broke ground on this $9.1 million greenway in 2014 and opened it to the public in late 2015.
The Lafitte Greenway now has a 2.6-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail that connects Mid-City to the riverside edge of Treme. You’ll find over 500 trees (mostly live oak and cypress), bio swales and permeable pavement for stormwater management, open fields, several play areas for children, LED-lighting, beautiful wildflower meadows, and now eight Blue Bikes stations along its trail. It also incorporates Lemann playground, which the National Recreation and Parks Association renovated in September of 2017.
Along with the Friends of Lafitte Greenway and New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, the city has planned several developments to enhance the park over the next decade. While officially operated by NORDC, the Friends of Lafitte Greenway continues to assist in the historic preservation and community programming in the park.
In celebrating this linear park’s unique history, here are 9 things to see on your next trip along the Greenway.
- Interested in future developments near the Greenway? Check out this Curbed NOLA map.