Maintain Cabrini Park

(Sent to NORD and City Council)
To whom it may concern:
I am writing concerning the online debate by those in favor of single-use of the park only for Homer A. Plessy students when they take over the McDonogh 15 school on St. Philip.
I am very pleased that Homer A. Plessy School is coming to the Quarter as our next charter and cannot think of a better fit, due to the historic name attached to it, the goals of the school and the engaged parents, some of whom I know personally. I sincerely wish this to be a great success so that is also why I am against cordoning off Cabrini Park entirely, held only for the school’s use for a few hours per week. That will only create a barrier between the school and the neighborhood.
I live in the French Quarter and and have done so on and off for decades since high school, when I attended L.E. Rabouin and walked through the Quarter and CBD each morning. That daily trip gained me many protectors and friends who would look out for me and greet me as I made my way to Carondelet.
The opportunity to live in a gracious, social city like New Orleans is amazing enough; to be here during one’s formative years is another gift. Children should be able to feel comfortable on their city streets and in their public spaces, not to be cordoned off from them as if all other people (neighbors!) are something to be frightened by. One of the wonderful things about our French Quarter and the little Red Schoolhouse as realized by Lucianne Carmichael is that it allows the children to be members of the neighborhood, as we see in the regular, happy use – by their parents and kids – of the coffeehouse across the street, when they line up to walk down Bourbon to the park or going on field trips to the French Market among other outings. We shouldn’t want any it any different in our public park.
And as someone who uses and has used the few green spaces for decades in the Quarter for play and at one time for my little dog’s exercise, I know how much community happens at the park, sharing notes and meeting new neighbors. For all of these reasons, I ask that the off-leash dog site and public use of Cabrini park be maintained. Not only does the school have 2 play areas of their own, the new park layout allows for multiple uses at once. Every neighborly eye on our park helps to maintain it as a safe and neighborly place; locking the doors will bring the negative activity back; it indicates to those looking for hidden corners to engage in illegal activity that this is an ideal space for that.
 The dog park will also allow for a controlled area for our many 4-legged friends. That activity also likely reduces the crime in that area and adds happy playful sounds, sounds that we all sorely need in our stressful life.
Let’s work together to build a world-class park for everyone.

Off-leash green space for QuarterDogs coming

From NextDoor FQ:

At last night’s meeting of the full NORDC commission, an off leash dog area was approved for Cabrini Park. It was much larger than the plan that was expected to be proposed–18,816 sq ft rather than 10, 800–and is positioned against the Barracks St side of the park. The vote was 7-3 in favor of the off leash area.


FQ business owner and resident Robbie Robertson using Cabrini Park with his beloved companion Dante from an earlier TeePee article. photo by Eliot Kamenitz





 Cabrini to gain off leash dog park

Preliminary plans for the dog park determine that about 1/4 of the park space would be fenced off for dogs to run off leash.

Some community members gave their feedback that this space would be too small for the numbers of dogs expected to show up in the area. Judge Williams indicated that NORDC may be open to designating a larger portion of the park for dogs — specifically, what is now the planter/ former wading pool which would possibly be good for use as a small dog area. This would relieve potential space issues in the larger dog area.

He also indicated that the Cabrini Dog Park is a project in progress — that he wants NORDC to finish this first stage soon (before summer 2016) and that if it’s determined that an abundance of dogs are using the park, the space can possibly be expanded in the future. 

Source: Share Cabrini

Proposed sale of park worries residents

Cabrini Park is for sale. The one shared green space for residents, happy dogs and schoolkids alike is now waiting for a developer. Clearly, the neighborhood associations in the surrounding areas need a Martha Robinson-level activist with time and access to fight for this. How wonderful if the outcome of this is that we could have a first-rate green space led by the citizens much like Dufferin Grove Park in Toronto or People’s Park in Berkeley, both that I have made pilgrimage to during my organizing work. Proposed sale of park worries F.Q. residents.