It’s that time of the year again!  The one day a year where all the amazing nonprofit work in New Orleans gets amplified through GiveNOLA Day! For 24 hours on Tuesday, May 4th, everyone who loves our region can support their favorite local causes by donating to one or more of 700+ participating nonprofit organizations. Last year’s event, put on by Greater New Orleans Foundation, raised over $7.1 million from over 50,000 donations across the nation and around the world.

Friends of City Park has participated in GiveNOLA Day since its inception.  We have benefited in many ways including gaining new supporters, stepping out of our comfort zones with new fundraising ideas, collaborating with other nonprofits, and last year we surpassed our fundraising goal and even won a GNOF sponsored award, all thanks to YOU, our Friends of City Park! 

Friends of City Park is working towards its annual goal to raise $30,000 on this day.  In early April we were approached by the good folks at Meyer Engineers and they offered to match all GiveNOLA Day donations up to $2,500. 


Although we are well on our way, we still need some help to reach our goal of $30,000.  We plan to do that by enlisting YOU to be a part of our (Virtual) Street Team. 

A Street Team is a marketing term used to describe a passionate group of people who ‘hit the streets’ promoting an initiative. We have decided to arm our Street Teams with everything they need to help us achieve our GiveNOLA Day goal from the comfort of their homes. That’s right, you can help City Park and volunteer by participating in our (Virtual) Street Team, all from your PJ’s! 


Volunteering as part of our (Virtual) Street Team is easy. The Friends of City Park staff has put together a few items to make your job amplifying our message as easy as sending a text.

 Your (Virtual) Street Team instructions include: 

Create your own Fundraising page for Friends of City Park and direct your network there! Instructions on how to create a fundraising page for GiveNOLA Day can be found HERE.


Use the blurbs below to share our GiveNOLA Day message on May 4th!

So, what are you waiting for?  Become a part of Friends of City Park’s (Virtual) Street team, help us create some buzz, and achieve our fundraising goals for the Park.  Your contribution whether it be amplifying our message during GiveNOLA Day, or just loving City Park in general, does not go unnoticed.  It keeps the Friends of City Park staff going and it keeps the Park going too!

Photos in a Flash

We all look forward to this time of year, when the crawfish are boiling, the sun is shining, and the City Park wildflowers are in bloom. Many of us have given into the temptation of trying to capture their colorful display on our smartphones, but Friends of City Park would like to offer something better in appreciation for our members.

To celebrate this beloved time of year, Friends of City Park has partnered with Riverview Photography to offer Photos in a Flash, a members-exclusive event born out of the popularity of City Park’s wildflower season. In May, the flower fields adjacent to the City Park Administration Building will be teaming with orange, yellow, pink, and purple as the wildflowers bloom and drive droves of people to take photos of the beautiful sight. But, this year, Photos in a Flash will give our members the opportunity to take professional photos in the flower fields for FREE! Just sign up, gussy up, and show up.


How to claim your FREE Photos in a Flash membership perk: Photos in a Flash will be a 2-day member event on Friday, May 21 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm, and Saturday, May 22 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. You must pre-register for a session prior to the event, walk-ups will not be accommodated. Please arrive ahead of your appointment time, as each “Photos in a Flash” session will last a maximum of 3 minutes.


  • Only current members can register and participate in this perk
  • If you are not a current member, Renew your membership HERE or Join HERE
  • Pre-register for the event and choose your arrival time HERE.
  • Only one reservation per membership account will be accepted.
  • We are unable to accommodate groups of more than 8 people.
  • Your registration must be made under the name of either the primary or secondary cardholder on the Friends of City Park membership account.
  • Please add your Member # under the “Member #” field on your online registration (found under the expiration date on your card; Not Required).
  • If you are a new member and have not received your cards, write NEW in this field when registering.
  • On the day of the event, check in at the Friends of City Park registration table on Beau Bassich Circle, New Orleans, LA 70124 (where Roosevelt Mall meets Marconi Dr.)
  • Upon arrival, present your current membership card or new/renewal membership confirmation along with your “Photos in a Flash” registration confirmation (both printed and digital versions will be accepted).
  • Your Photos in a Flash session will last approximately 3 minutes, so please arrive 10 minutes prior to your session.
  • Photos will be uploaded to a public gallery in a high-resolution, downloadable, digital format with Friends of City Park branding following the sessions on Monday, May 24.
  • You will have the option of purchasing additional prints and products without our branding from Monday, May 24 through Wednesday, June 30.
  • More details for accessing your photos will be provided on-site and on the Friends of City Park website.
  • Friends of City Park has made as many time slots available for our members as safety and comfort (for both our guests and our staff) will allow during this 2-day event.
  • In the event of rain, this event will be canceled and rescheduled based on availability.
  • We will not accept change requests for appointment times, and strict arrival times will be kept.
  • If you do not arrive within your reserved window of time, you forfeit your right to this free offer. Walk-ups will not be honored. 
  • Please contact to cancel your registration.
  • If you are planning your own professional photo session in the Park, outside of the “Photos in a Flash” membership event, please know that a $50 permit fee per session is required. Click HERE for more information on City Park’s permitting policies.



New Orleans City Park is proud to announce the development of its first mobile app, funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, to help you increase your health and wellness in a safe outdoor environment!  We have partnered with OuterSpatial, an app that’s free to download and easy to use as a guide to finding all of your favorite City Park outdoor activities – trails, points of interest, outings, membership perks, and more.

Come join us at Couturie Forest & Arboretum for a pre-launch member-exclusive event, download and experience the app, take a hike, and reward yourself with a cold refreshment provided by Gordon Biersch Brewery.  Please bring your own cup to be extra eco-friendly.

April 7

4:00PM – 6:30PM 


Sign up in 30 minute windows for added Covid-19 safety

Couturie Forest & Arboretum 

1035 Harrison Ave, New Orleans, LA 70124

What OuterSpatial Is and How to Download

Explore the thirteen hundred acres of our outdoor oasis and discover 24 miles of walking trails through our urban forest. Nature comforts and nature inspires. Get outside yourself. Get to City Park.

Members will need to present an active membership card. 


No subscription or app login necessary.

Please bring a reusable cup.

New FOCP T-Shirt

Since 1979, Friends of City Park has been committed to maintaining and increasing the value and importance of City Park as a place of natural beauty, culture, recreation, and education for the public and has contributed to over 40 improvement projects.

Show your Friends of City Park Member pride with this new T-shirt from Screens for Good.

This shirt is printed on-demand using eco-friendly, water-based inks. It will require 3-4 additional processing days before shipping. Please allow at least 7 business days for this item to ship. Orders with multiple items will ship together. Next Level Triblend

Membership Perk: Free Floats In the Oaks Poster

We all know painfully well that Mardi Gras was not the same this year. But, we also know how resilient this city can be in difficult times. In response to demands to keep the spirit of Mardi Gras alive during the pandemic, City Park offered Floats in the Oaks, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to view iconic floats from various Mardi Gras krewes from the safety of their own cars.

To commemorate this unique event, City Park partnered with Louisiana native and artist, Kelly Boyett, to produce a one-of-a-kind poster that is sure to “Let the Good Times Roll” into your homes. Boyett, who specializes in live-painting performances, is skilled at capturing the energy of any event, and Floats in the Oaks was an event worth remembering.

As a gesture of gratitude for the support of our members, we are giving away 1 poster for each active membership account. If you are not an active member now but join or renew by March 23, 2021, you are also eligible for this perk. These posters are valued at $45, but for you, our members, they are free!

Posters will be available to members for pick-up at the City Park Administrative Office on:

Saturday, March 20 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Pick-up times will resume on Monday, March 22 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

and Tuesday, March 23 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

How to get your free Floats in the Oaks poster:
• Renew your membership HERE or Join HERE
• Only current members can participate in this perk
• Pick-up at 1 Palm Drive, New Orleans LA 70124
• ONLY on the dates and times listed above.
• There will be no exception to these pick-up times.
• No mailing option available.
• Members must have a valid membership card or new membership confirmation/renewal confirmation with them
• Members must have a corresponding photo ID
• Posters will be available until supplies last

Your support is vital to the success of the Park, and we would not be able to operate without your help. We thank you again for your support and look forward to celebrating this festive time of year with you!

With tremendous gratitude,

The Friends of City Park Team

Floats in the Oaks in New Orleans City Park Official Commemorative Print

19″ x 25″ Silk coated Full-Color Floats in the Oaks print rendition from artist Kelly Boyett.
Not signed or numbered. The watermark shown on the image will not be on the purchased print. 


Want to be the lucky winner of a brand new Subaru Forester Premium? All you have to do is purchase a raffle ticket for $75. Turn your LOVE for City Park into a LOVE for giving back. LOVE. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.

One lucky winner will be randomly selected from a drawing held on June 23, 2021, in which the winner does not need to be present. Funds raised will benefit building City Park’s endowment for the future of New Orleans. Each purchase provides us with the means to carry out our mission of maintaining and increasing the value and importance of City Park as a place of natural beauty, culture, recreation and education for the public. Must be 21+ to enter.


Includes key features and adds:

  • City MPG: 26 
  • Hwy MPG: 33 
  • Engine: 2.5L H-4 cyl
  • Emergency communication system
  • Exterior parking camera rear
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Power moonroof 
  • Wireless phone connectivity 
  • Split folding rear seat 
  • Steering wheel mounted audio 
  • Security system
  • Alloy wheel package 

Vehicle generously donated by:


Introducing New Friends and Fresh Leadership

The new year brings some new faces to Friends of City Park. We are pleased to introduce our new Board President, Shon Cowan Baker, PhD, CFRE, our four new members of the Board of Directors, Jeffrey Birdsong, Damon Carraby, Sudie Sutter Joint, and Ron Stone, and we welcome new Membership Manager, Raegan Buckley to our staff. These community leaders and activists cover a range of unique skills from communications and nonprofit law, to finance and nonprofit development. This powerful group of experts in their fields offers Friends of City Park a wealth of knowledge and resources that will make a great impact in shaping the future of City Park. Please join us in welcoming them to Friends of City Park!

Shon Cowan Baker, PhD, CFRE – President, Friends of City Park | Shon Cowan Baker, PhD, CFRE is Vice President for Philanthropy at Ochsner Health System. Shon leads the Ochsner Philanthropy Team in connecting donors to the health system’s world-class care and educational programs through strategic philanthropic outreach. With more than a decade of experience leading development strategy and comprehensive fundraising activities for healthcare organizations, she assists Ochsner’s efforts to lead the nation in quality patient care and life-changing discoveries. Shon recently received the Ochsner Health CEO’s Game Changer award recognizing the impact she has had on the Philanthropy Department and the health system. 
Shon earned a B.S. from Campbell University, M.A. from the University of Holy Cross, and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. Her research interests include examining the impacts of transformational donations on the mission of healthcare systems, female philanthropic leadership, and feminist philanthropy. In addition to her professional endeavors, Shon volunteers her time and expertise. She is a former member of the Board of Dress for Success New Orleans, is former Vice President of the Board of Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, and a former board member of the Junior League of New Orleans. Shon was named 2018 Healthcare “One To Watch” by the Baton Rouge Business Report, a 2017 Top New Orleans Female Achiever by New Orleans Magazine, and was named a 2015 New Orleans City Business Healthcare Hero. Committed to the community, Shon has chaired many of New Orleans’ favorite fundraisers including the Young Leadership Council’s Streetcar Named Desire Gala, the Preservation Resource Center’s Julia Jump, Friends of City Park’s Martini Madness, Friends of City Park’s Lark in the Park, Dress for Success’ Suits and Salads Luncheon, Le Petit Theatre’s Curtain Call Ball and Firstline School’s Edible Evening.

“More than 40 years ago, an incredibly committed group of people dedicated themselves to helping protect the future of City Park and created Friends. That essence of trailblazing still permeates every trail and bayou in City Park.”


Jeffrey Birdsong – Board Member At-Large | A native New Orleanian, Jeff Birdsong lives in the Mid-City area neighboring City Park. He is an attorney at Liskow & Lewis, APLC in New Orleans practicing tax and nonprofit law. Jeff attended Louisiana State University for both his undergraduate studies and law school. After law school, Jeff attended New York University School of Law where he obtained a Tax LL.M. Outside of his legal practice, Jeff spends his time serving on numerous local and national nonprofit boards and enjoys frequenting the city’s best cocktail bars.

My favorite parts of the Park are the Wisner walking paths, the Couturie Forest, and the Discgolf course.  I have been playing Discgolf in the Park since it was located on the Southside of I-610 and I try to play at least a few rounds each week.


Damon Carraby – Board Member At-Large | Damon P. Carraby is a native New Orleanian and is a graduate of Dillard University. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies, with a focus on Public Policy. Professionally, he serves as the Director of Corporations and Foundations at City Year. Damon is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He currently serves on the board of the Young Leadership Council, HandsOn New Orleans, Lycée Francias School, and Global Shapers. He also volunteers with Son of a Saint and the Urban League.

“I am excited to serve on the board for Friends of City Park because I see how important it is to connect individuals and community partners to create meaningful opportunities for the betterment of City Park.”


Sudie Sutter Joint – Board Member At-Large | Sudie holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Louisiana State University and she is a Certified Public Accountant. She started her career at KPMG, LLP where she completed compliance attestation audits for one the firms largest advisory clients. She furthered her career at Capital One Bank and Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank where she assisted with regulatory testing and developed analytical skills related to compliance. Currently, she works for Lawrence J. Jacobi CPA managing tax returns, tax compliance, payroll, and bookkeeping. She is a member of the Louisiana State Board of CPAs and AICPA. She currently resides in Old Metairie with her husband, Richard, and two children, Hazel (6) and Sutter (4). She loves City Park and all of the activities it has to offer. Prior to joining the board, Sudie donated her time to Chair Friends of City Park’s Martini Madness.

“I love City Park and all of the activities it has to offer including Ghosts in the Oaks, Celebration in the Oaks, and beignets at Café du Monde.”


Ron Stone – Board Member At-Large | Ron Stone is an External Relations Advisor, Deep Water Gulf of Mexico for Shell in New Orleans. He began his career with Shell in 2011 holding a variety of global and regional communications roles. Prior to joining Shell, Ron was a television news reporter, then a writer-producer with a Houston-based corporate communications firm. Ron is a Texan, born and raised in Houston, but got to New Orleans as quickly as he could! He received his B.A. in History from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin. Ron is the proud father of two daughters.

“I love long walks among the beautiful oaks with my fiancée, Susan and our dog, Louis.”


Friends of City Park is thrilled to welcome our new board members and staff. Together they bring many assets, talent, and fresh perspective to this organization. Their knowledge, experience, and expertise will continue to add to the impact that Friends of City Park has made over the last 40 years. 

Friends of City Park is a regional, non-profit organization whose mission is to maintain and increase the value and importance of City Park as a place of natural beauty, culture, recreation and education for the public. 

For additional information about this or Friends of City Park, please contact or (504) 483-9376. 

Generous Chefs and Restaurants Make Lark Possible

Although Lark Picnic in the Park has a whole new take on the food this year including pre-packaged personal picnics and a seated dinner depending on sponsorship level, attendees will not be disappointed!   Due to the generosity of our restaurant supporters, the event will offer an opportunity to “safely picnic with your pod” under the lavish greenery of the Garden’s 13 acres. 

The Botanical Garden’s resident Chef, Chef Pat White helped to curate the seated dinner with specialty donors like Cajun Caviar. 

SESSION ONE from 11:00am – 2:00pm

Will feature personal picnic baskets curated by Copper Vine, Messina’s Catering, Mirepoix Catering, Bonfire Catering, Langenstein’s, Graze+Friends, re:Borne Bakery, and Karibu Kitchen.

Picnic Delights Includes:

  • Vichyssoise
  • Charcuterie Cups
  • Mini Crudite with Ranch
  • Watermelon, feta, and fresh mint salad with balsamic
  • Creole Tomato Sandwich on Ciabatta
  • Chicken Salad with Pita Chips
  • Charcuterie Cups
  • Zapp’s Potato Chips

SESSION TWO: 4:00pm – 7:00pm

Will feature a Cocktail Hour Tour of the Garden presented by Sazerac House (small groups of 8) and a seated dinner with menu by Chef Pat White.

Hors d’oeuvres
Smoked deviled eggs topped with Cajun caviar
Fried green tomato & andouille pie
Beet & goat cheese crostini with grilled garden veggies
Shrimp remoulade & garden greens salad
Grilled fish over “elote” style creamed corn topped w/garden chimichurri & lump crabmeat
Strawberry cornbread topped with whipped creole cream cheese & Steen’s cane syrup featuring Louisiana Strawberries

Treat Your Valentine to an Experience in City Park

Before you panic buy chocolates and flowers this Valentine’s Day, consider giving the gift of experiences this year. Check out this weekend itinerary of events in the Park using your Friends of City Park membership perks:


  • Get lost in the oldest grove of mature live oaks in the world! (Download a map HERE)
  • Warm up with hot chocolate from Café du Monde (10% member discount on purchases)


  • Enjoy a round of mini golf at City Putt ($2 off per person per round)
  • Have a celebratory beverage on the veranda of Filmore in the Oaks Restaurant & Bar (10% member discount on purchases)


  • Flowers and Valentine’s Day go hand-in-hand at the Botanical Gardens (Free admission)
  • Rent a Swan Pedal Boat from Wheel Fun Rentals (20% member discount on rentals).
  • Decorate a Mardi Gras tree with your City Park Peristyle Lion Ornament (Click HERE)

Whether you are celebrating with a significant other, family, or friends, your Friends of City Park membership perks make it easy to show your love on this special day.

Thank you for supporting City Park through your membership, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Community Bag Program

Want an easy way to support our mission?

THIS FEBRUARY, Friends of City Park will receive a $1 donation for each reusable Community Bag purchased at the Winn Dixie, located on 401 North Carrolton Ave. Each bag costs $2.50 and helps support the community and the environment!  #befriendcitypark #shopsustainably #communitybagprogram #friendsofcitypark #neworleans

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Lark in the Park

March 18, 2022

Come picnic in the park as Friends of City Park hosts its Covid-safe variation of Lark in the Park!