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Jan 24, 2014

Focus:Environment
Action Request:Petition
Location:United States

This community is holding hands to prevent concrete and tarmac from invading further in its environment. Lend yours!

The best way to explain is using their own words, so I'm quoting below the petitions text. The link is here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/189/188/926/help-metairie-sanctuary-on-the-lake-save-eight-acres-of-green-space-from-development/

"Metairie Sanctuary on the Lake (MSL) was founded in October 2013 by a group of concerned community members as a grassroots effort.  Aiming to address the impending development of 8.1 acres of green space on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, MSL’s mission statement is “for the local community to buy the land in conjunction with the Land Trust for Louisiana so we can keep it undeveloped and green in perpetuity and enjoy its natural God-given beauty for generations to come as a community legacy.” In December 2013, the group incorporated itself as a state non-profit and teamed up with the Land Trust for Louisiana (LTFL), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, to try to raise enough funds to buy the land from the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Currently, the Archdiocese plans to sell it for probable development into a subdivision.  Gathering this petition is a vital step in showing that the community wants green space, not more housing developments.  Please join us by becoming part of our collective voice.  Show your support by signing this petition to preserve this invaluable land.

Located at 5500 St. Mary Street, this land is part of what was formerly known as The Cenacle Retreat, which was owned and operated for 55 years by practicing nuns in the local Metairie area.  During their time at the Cenacle, the nuns formed a legacy of appreciation for the land.  In one 1957 ad from the Times Picayune they expressed this sentiment, saying that they “earnestly hope that the parks of Jefferson Parish will become a reality.”  Because of the dwindling number of retreatants and Cenacle sisters to maintain the property, it was purchased by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. While the entire property totals 20 acres, the Archdiocese is planning to sell 8.1 acres of that in order to service the debt incurred by the purchase.

In response to community outcry against the development of this beautiful natural land, the archdiocese has given MSL until the end of January to raise $125,000 towards the purchasing price.  If MSL is successful in obtaining those funds, the group will be given another six months to raise $600,000 to go towards buying the land. While these figures are daunting, they are not impossible to reach.  With the help of LTFL and many passionate volunteers, MSL has held two fundraising events; reached out to corporate sponsors; collaborated with environmental strategists and other non-profit organizations; worked to spread awareness regarding the organizations goals; and surveyed over 170 community members (who responded 95% in favor of preserving the green space).  If MSL’s efforts are successful, the organization will then open the land for the public to enjoy as an undeveloped park.  

This unique urban green space property is the last of its kind in Metairie and once developed will be lost forever.  We continue to hear stories from concerned citizens who grew up in this area who perhaps looking through the asphalt and concrete of today’s over-development instead visualize when it was a green landscape filled with nature’s wildlife. Their grounded perspective of Metairie (which loosely means little farm in French) can continue to be a reality for future generations to come as we preserve what little natural green space is left.  Please sign this petition so that the community's voice can be heard!"

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Friday January 24, 2014, 10:22 am
Tags: community sanctuary environment solidarity [add/edit tags]

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Mariann Rannenberg (134)
Tuesday February 4, 2014, 11:10 pm
Signed!

Author

Maria Cristina A.
female , divorced, 1 child
Porto, Portugal
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