The recovery of the forested wetlands of the Woodlands Trail bird sanctuary since Hurricane Katrina will be highlighted during a guided hike from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, at the trail, 449 F. Edward Hebert Blvd., Belle Chasse.
Katie Brasted, executive director of the Woodlands Conservancy, and Sean Anderson, an associate professor of environmental science and resource management at California State University Channel Islands, will lead the program.
Woodlands Trail is one of the region’s last stands of bottomland hardwood forests. The event is free and open to the public.
During the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina, the Woodlands Conservancy has conducted systematic assessment and ecosystem restoration work to restore the forests’ ability to provide habitat for wildlife and migratory birds, while improving the hurricane-protection qualities of one of the largest forested storm buffers between open water and the city of New Orleans.
The program Aug. 15 will begin with a discussion of the Woodlands Conservancy’s work at the Daybrook Pavilion near the entrance to the Woodlands Trail. The guided, interpretive hike that will follow will include areas in which non-native, invasive vegetation has been successfully removed after multiple treatments and later reforested, as well as areas that are still in the recovery process.
The program will highlight both ongoing effects on the coastal wetlands from the hurricanes of 2005 and the response and management of this ecosystem in the wake of those storms.
The Woodlands Conservancy manages the 609-acre Woodlands Trail in Belle Chasse and the 190-acre Delacroix Preserve in Lower Coast Algiers. These properties are home to more than 35 native wildlife species and provide vital habitat for 163 species of resident and migratory birds. For information, visit www.woodlandsconservancy.org.