The New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation recently hosted a day of appreciation and support for the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department at Federal City in Algiers. The common theme was “We Back the Blue.” The community was asked to wear light blue clothing and to make a sign showing their support.

The NOPJF event started with a performance by The Pin Stripe Brass Band, who performed throughout the day. Superintendent Michael Harrison, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and some of the City Council members also came out to show their support. Food was provided by Kenny’s Cajun and Creole Food Truck and Food 4 Da Soul.

The kids activities included an obstacle course, face painting and jewelry making by the YMCA staff and Xbox One interactive games provided by Microsoft.

Harrison thanked the group for coming out in support of the Police Department.

“For you to come out and show your support, and tell us ‘thank you,’ it means the world to us,” Harrison said. “ I think it is a great morale booster to know that people really do support the New Orleans Police Department.”

Harrison also mentioned the “Get behind the Badge” recruitment campaign. He said the police force is aiming for 1600 police officers, and 97 former officers expressed interest in joining the force.

The NOPJF handed out Mardi Gras beads with a New Orleans Police Department emblem on them.

“This job is tough in any case, but it certainly could not be done without all parts of government to make things work. Police departments across America are facing greater challenges than ever before. Our NOPD officers work extremely hard to provide us with a safe city for every business, every neighborhood, every household, every citizen,” said Bob Brown, chairman of New Orleans Peace and Justice Foundation.

Barbara Potter, of Marrero, brought her children to the event. She also made a sign: “Thank You NOPD — Live in Jefferson, Work, Learn and Play in New Orleans.”

“My children, David and Malissa, are cadets at New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy at Federal City and I work in New Orleans,” Potter said. “These men and women are our family members, friends and neighbors. They deserve our enthusiastic support for what is often a highly dangerous and thankless job,” she said.

The mission of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation is to make New Orleans a safer place in which to live, work and visit. The foundation accomplishes this by promoting excellence in policing, efficiency in criminal justice and positive community engagement.

New education programs at Audubon Wilderness Park

Audubon Wilderness Park will be open to the general public free of charge from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through May 31.

Beginning this spring, Audubon will offer new educational programs and activities, including Scout badge opportunities and Nature Club meetings. Groups are invited to experience weekend, fee-based educational programs such as Badge Clinics, Geocaching, Insect Identification and more.

Located in Lower Coast Algiers, on the campus of the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Audubon Wilderness Park is a natural and secluded green space with basic amenities. It houses the NALCO Visitor Center, a short loop trail, picnic shelters and restroom facilities.

The calendar of activities includes:

GIRL SCOUT GEOCACHER BADGE PROGRAM: March 1, 9:30 a.m. to noon, $25 per Scout (includes snack). Activities will include learning to use a GPS receiver, making a trade item and experiencing a geocaching adventure.

NATURE CLUB MEETING: March 14, 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.

BOY SCOUT BADGE PROGRAM MAMMAL STUDY: April 18, 9 a.m. to noon, $30 per Scout (includes snack)

BOY SCOUT BADGE PROGRAM — NATURE BADGE: May 16, 9 a.m. to noon, $30 per Scout (includes snack)

BUG DAY: May 17, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., $10 per person includes bug catcher supplies and snack. Families can register for a family bug hunt and create an insect catcher to learn how to identify various bugs.

Learn more at www. wilderness-park.

Yetoria Lumpkin DeShazier writes about the people and events in Algiers and the West Bank. Contact her at or call (504) 367-0905.