December Update

December Programming Highlights

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Heavy rains in late December pushed some of our programming into 2016, but last month still saw some new partnerships coalesce to get youth outside! Through a collaboration with the New Orleans Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit, students from Sci Academy were able to learn what it takes to be one of the elite, four-hooved officers that help protect New Orleans! Two canoeists, having just completed the 2,300 mile journey down the Mississippi, stopped by Bayou Segnette State Park for a Paddle and Trash Pick Up event with a 6th grade class from Esperanza. The duo has maintained written correspondence with students through the LOOP NOLA, reinforcing knowledge about river ecology, natural history, and safe camping practices. Elementary and High School workshops also covered outdoor cooking and camping basics during classroom visits. 

LOOP NOLA is excited to welcome new staff and expanded programming during January! 

 Sci Academy students visit the NOPD Mounted Unit stables in New Orleans City Park. 

Sci Academy students visit the NOPD Mounted Unit stables in New Orleans City Park. 

November Update

November Programming Highlights

November in Southeast Louisiana means our days get shorter but even more gorgeous. We took advantage of the cooler weather, continuing our fishing program with Carver High School and Sci Academy. Likewise, students from the Youth Empowerment Project and ReNew Therapeutic Program honed their map and compass skills, bushwhacking their way through an orienteering course at Bayou Segnette State Park. Sixth graders from Esperanza Charter School perfected Dutch oven cooking on our overnight campout at Bogue Chitto State Park. A special thanks to Mr. Gordon, our jack-of-all-trades, volunteer extraordinaire, for helping out with programming this month!

With the holidays upon us, December still promises an array of unique opportunities. We welcome back our friends Malcolm and Mitch, who are about to reach the Gulf of Mexico after paddling the entire length of the Mississippi River. They will have the opportunity to share their adventure with some of our students very soon!

We hope all had a lovely Thanksgiving, and are grateful, ourselves, for the opportunity to work and play in such a beautiful place, with such amazing young people. 

 Not too chilly for a dip! Sixth graders searching for the perfect skipping stones at Bogue Chitto SP. 

Not too chilly for a dip! Sixth graders searching for the perfect skipping stones at Bogue Chitto SP. 

October Update

October Programming Highlights

The wet end to October didn’t put a damper on our fall programming. Among our activities, last month saw Esperanza's 6th grade catch some bass at Fairview-Riverside State Park, ReNew's Therapeutic Program snag crawfish and shrimp at Bayou Segnette, and YEP students harvest wild plants to create “Moss Murals." We were also excited to put some lines in the water and make fish prints with folks from ARC, and paddle Bayou Segnette with this year’s cohort of Friends Forever participants.

It was a treat to visit a number of other sites within the State Park family. In early October, Josh had a whirlwind tour to check out best practices and collaboration opportunities with folks from Rosedown State Historic Site, Poverty Point Reservoir State Park and World Historic Site, Ft. St. Jean Baptise State Historic SiteLouisiana's State Arboretum, and Chicot State Park. Many thanks to the incredible staff at each one of these locations!

If you haven't checked out Malcolm and Mitch's Big Muddy Adventure in a little while, they've begun a correspondence with Ms. Mossing's class at Esperanza. It's definitely worth a visit. 

As the weather cools, we have campouts on the horizon, so check back for s’more action soon!

"It might be small, but it put up a fight!"  Esperanza students at Fairview-Riverside. Thanks to Mr. Gordon for helping us catch a net-full!

September Update

September Programming Highlights

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The end of September marked LOOP's first programming at Bayou Segnette State Park. We were excited to partner with our old friends at Sci Academy, and bring the REACH, Journey Program, Essential Skills, and Opportunities Academy classes out to LOOP's new home. Students persevered mud and mosquitoes to track down animal signs, create prints, and cook over a fire.

We were also excited to visit our new neighbors, Joshua Butler Elementary School in Westwego. With Butler's Pre-K classes, we learned that when you "work in a park, you share an office with" all kinds of wild things!  

Thanks to LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for a fun and informative Aquatic Volunteer Training. Looking forward to casting some lines at Segnette in October!

 A Sci Academy scholar learns about knife safety and sharpening as we prepare an afternoon snack!

A Sci Academy scholar learns about knife safety and sharpening as we prepare an afternoon snack!

August Update

The start of the 2015 school year has coincided with some big changes here at LOOP. We will be partnering with the lovely staff of Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego, LA to create a new base of operations. We will also bid farewell to LOOP's outstanding director, Valerie Bodet, as she and her family relocate to the Far North Shore (Boston, MA). We credit the past several years to Valerie's leadership, and her spirit has anchored the LOOP Family. Good luck, Ms. Valerie!

 Thank you Ms. Valerie! 

Thank you Ms. Valerie! 

 

We did have a tremendous amount of fun in August with Xavier's Peer Deans, staff from the NET Charter High School and the RSD Therapeutic Day Program, Tulane's School of Business, and the KAP Fraternity. Stay tuned for the latest from the West Bank!

 

August Programming Highlights

 Say Waaaaa?! Eric snapped this one-of-a-kind action shot during one of LOOP's two days with Xavier's Peer Deans!

Say Waaaaa?! Eric snapped this one-of-a-kind action shot during one of LOOP's two days with Xavier's Peer Deans!

Big Muddy Adventure

Last month, we met Malcolm Reed, a recent Loyola University graduate now embarking on an incredible journey. Malcolm and fellow Loyola graduate Mitchell Shelby will be canoeing the Mississippi River from its headwaters in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico! The duo has generously offered to donate a portion of the proceeds they raise via their gofundme page to Friends of LOOP. Furthermore, we're hoping to rendezvous with Malcolm and Mitchell as they paddle through New Orleans this fall. Keep abreast of their journey by checking out their blog, and stay tuned for the exciting collaborations we have in store. 

 A photo of the Mississippi at the outset of the Big Muddy Adventure!

A photo of the Mississippi at the outset of the Big Muddy Adventure!


Summer Update

June Programming Highlights

June at LOOP not only saw our end-of-year trip with Green, but also ushered in our Adventure Challenge Leadership Training program. During this intensive, 40-hour internship, 10 local high school students learned the ins-and-outs of ropes course operation. Clinics were held to teach knot tying, belaying, equipment management, and program facilitation, culminating in a Family and Friends Climb Day during which interns were able to showcase their skills. Special thanks to our very own Holley “Ms. Rob” Roberts for her leadership throughout the ACLT program!

 

We also had the privilege to work hand-in-hand with the NET Charter High School’s summer fishing course throughout June, and continued canoeing and fishing programming with YEP’s Summer Scholars. Our good friends at Grow Dat invited us to help host their camping retreat at Bogue Chitto State Park, and we were proud to celebrate their graduation with a day of climbing on the Challenge Course. We made some new friends in June as well, canoeing with Louisiana Lighthouse, and climbing with Excite All Stars.

 

We are awaiting word about LOOP’s restructuring from the State of Louisiana. Stay tuned to hear about the next chapter!

 ACLT Interns learn to fasten an Australian Belay!

ACLT Interns learn to fasten an Australian Belay!


May Update

May Programming Highlights

May means Mandeville! Each of our 3rd grade classes concluded their years with archaeology digs and swimming at Fontainebleau State Park, while our 6th graders paddled Cane Bayou to Lake Pontchartrain. The pirate John Lafitte made a visit to Carver Prep’s Essential Skills class at the National Park the bears his name, and Sci Academy Reach students put their fishing skills to the test at UNO’s CERF site. Many thanks to Rummel’s 10th grade: we had a blast during our days on the Challenge Course this month. 

While the school year is wrapping up, we’re excited to report summer updates from our June internship and fishing programs. Stay tuned!

 DT Aaron sixth graders take a breather after arriving at Lake Pontchartrain. 

DT Aaron sixth graders take a breather after arriving at Lake Pontchartrain. 

April Update

April Programming Highlights

April is the coolest month! From fishing with DT Aaron at Myrtle Grove, to climbing with Cohen College Prep at City Park, it’s been a beautiful spring at LOOP thus far. We are grateful to Tulane University for their continued partnership and use of the Reily Center for our swimming program. Our Green and MCPA 5th graders have come a long way!

April also marked the beginning of our end-of-year workshops and 3rd and 6th grade trips to Fontainebleau State Park.

We are thankful for the opportunity to participate in this year’s Children and Nature Network Conference this April, and are excited by the prospect of partnerships begun there.  Also, we are finalizing the planning for June’s Internship Program. Know a high school senior interested in Challenge Course and Leadership Training, 100% free of charge? Contact info@loopno.org with the subject, “Internship!” 

 Cohen College Prep Seniors reeled in the bass at New Orleans City Park!

Cohen College Prep Seniors reeled in the bass at New Orleans City Park!

March Update

March Programming Highlights 

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Spring has sprung at LOOP New Orleans! With all of our March programming, it's a good thing we have another hour of daylight. Here is a taste of what we've been up to: 

  • Challenge Course Climbs with Sacred Heart and Sci Academy
  • Camping at Tickfaw State Park with Samuel Green Charter School
  • Fishing workshops and outings to Myrtle Grove Marina with Esperanza, McDonogh City Park Academy, and Lafayette Academy
  • Canoeing in City Park with Arc of New Orleans

We are also beginning the search for summer interns! More on our summer programming soon. Drop us a line at info@loopno.org if interested!

 Crustacean appreciation at Myrtle Grove Marina!

Crustacean appreciation at Myrtle Grove Marina!



February Update

February Programming Highlights

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While the city celebrated another chilly Mardi Gras in February, we kept busy here at LOOP with our winter programming. Thanks to our friends at Tulane, fifth graders from Green Charter and McDonogh City Park Academy were able to continue the LOOP Swimming Program at the Riley Center. Meanwhile, 3rd graders received classroom visits from the pirate, Jean Lafitte, then scoured Barrataria for wetland flora and fauna. Sixth graders from McDonogh 42 and Green canoed, fished, and spent the night beneath the stars at Tickfaw State Park, while high school scholars from YEP and Sci Academy honed their own watercraft navigation and team-building skills in New Orleans City Park. We thank all the teachers and students who participated with LOOP in February, and look forward to even more fun in March!

 Arrrrr: Green 3rd Graders prepare to explore the swamps at Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve!

Arrrrr: Green 3rd Graders prepare to explore the swamps at Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve!