Dec. 7, 2019 – Town of Jean Lafitte and Greater New Orleans Iris Society Plant 1,000 irises along the town’s boardwalk to reestablish and revive the state’s wildflower.

Volunteers from the Town of Jean Lafitte and the Greater New Orleans Iris Society (GNOIS) planted 1,000 Louisiana Irises on the town’s Wetlands Trace boardwalkSaturday, December 7.

The Town of Jean Lafitte and GNOIS organized this iris restoration project in memory of Joe Baucum, a long-time volunteer with area nonprofits, especially those involving the natural environment and horticulture.Members of the GNOIS and town residents planted I. giganticaerulea, a large blue species of Louisiana iris, in the swamp near the boardwalk to restore and increase numbers that were lost followingHurricane Katrina. The town’s boardwalk will now be featured on the GNOIS list of where to find Louisiana Iris in the wild.

“Joe Baucaum was an importantpart of this community and we couldn’t think of a better way to honor him than improving the environment on the wetland trace…a place he held close to his heart,”said Jean Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner. “I want to thank the Greater New Orleans Iris Society and volunteers who made this event possible. This project will allow residents and visitors to see more of thesebeautiful native flowers in the wild. They are a symbol of our culture and region and quite a sight to see in the spring.We want to invite the public to come toJean Lafitte and look forward to seeing the irises bloom inMarch and April.”

Joe Baucum, whopassed away earlier this year,served on the boards of the Louisiana Master Naturalists of Greater New Orleans, the state Louisiana Master Naturalist Association, Friends of Jefferson the Beautiful, Better Swamps & Garden Club, Jefferson Parish Council of Garden Clubs, the Louisiana Garden Club Federation and the Louisiana Urban Forestry Council. Among his many important accomplishments was the construction of a mile-long raised boardwalk through the cypress swamp in Jean Lafitte’s Nature Study Park, which is where the December 7iris plantingtook place.

The Jean Lafitte Wetland Trace is located behind the town’s museum and future Wetland Education Center at 4917 City Park Drive, Jean Lafitte. It’s open from sunrise to sunset daily. More information at

The Greater New Orleans Iris Society is a nonprofit organization comprised of everyday gardeners who’s purpose is to learn about, promote and encourage interest in the Louisiana iris.  In addition to organizing native wild iris restoration projects, the society is involved in assisting several public gardens with Louisiana iris plantings and holds two iris plant sales each year.