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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Louisiana Irises in the Costco landscaping

When you see Louisiana Irises in the Costco landscaping... this is the back story.
I guess this is what they mean when they say the power of social networking.

These Costco folks are pretty amazing.
Can't wait for the store to open!

From: NorthWest Carrollton
Sent: Jun 2, 2013 11:58 AM
To: Susan Guidry - Council District A, Stacy Head, Ann McDonald - Parkway & Parks
Subject: Irises at Costco and Washington & Carrollton streetscape

Dear Council Members and Parks & Parkways;

This weekend there was an interesting post and conversation on Facebook regarding the streetscape at Washington & Carrollton regarding Louisiana Irises.

Here is the link that started the conversation:

and here is the quote that created the idea to have Costco (and Parks & Parkways) include native Louisiana Irises in the landscaping. 

" 'During the past twenty-five years, I have witnessed the most frightful destruction amongst the irises within the city limits of New Orleans and adjoining parishes, even worse than that of the Frenchmen Street location. At the junction of Washington and Carrollton Avenues, there was a patch of several acres, which when in bloom appeared to be a solid mass of iris; today not one remains. At the site of Newcomb College there was a fine stand of Iris fulva. This has disappeared entirely.' "
As a result of this conversation, we are asking if it would it be possible to request that Costco ( and Parks & Parkways) use Louisiana Irises in their landscaping. These are local, native plants and when it rains their blooms explode. It could be a nice nod to the location and honor the site's history. Additionally large clumps of irises don't require as much maintenance and could be more cost effective long term.

Respectfully & hopefully,
Jenel Hazlett
Elaine Leyda
(with thanks for the e-conversation that included Cathe Mizell-Nelson, Kiki Reinecke, Timmie Reinecke Cass Cairns, Barb Masinton)

The email above got us a contact at Costco and we wrote a second email

Mr. Fuller;

We are looking forward to having Costco so centrally located and close to our neighborhoods. This Saturday our City Council Representative Susan Guidry participated in the ribbon cutting for the streetscape at Washington and Carrollton. Today there was an e-conversation regarding the lost of Louisiana Irises in the New Orleans streetscape.  Given the synchronicity, we are writing you with the hope that Costco might be interested in an idea that bubbled up among neighborhood leaders this morning on Facebook to have Costco use Louisiana Irises in the landscaping at the new New Orleans location.   As the article in the link below indicates  "At the junction of Washington and Carrollton Avenues, there was a patch of several acres, which when in bloom appeared to be a solid mass of iris; today not one remains."  We are hoping that you will bring this idea forward to the team responsible for the New Orleans site.  We feel it would be a nice nod to our history and could even long term be cost effective landscaping as once established irises require very little maintenance. We also contacted our city council representatives to see if we can't encourage the city to use irises in their portion of the streetscape.

Jenel Hazlett
Elaine Leyda
residents of the Carrollton neighborhood in New Orleans

And within 6 days we had this answer from Costco

Jenel and Elaine,

Thank you very much for your recent e-mail concerning the Louisiana Iris and our new Costco.
We have identified a few areas on our site where we can substitute scheduled plant material for Louisiana Iris.
These areas would be at our site corners and entrances at Dixon and Carrollton, Dixon and Dublin and at the entries along Palmetto.
Please see the attached PDF with the areas highlighted in pink. 
I hope that this effort meets the spirit of your request, and regret that we can not provide additional coverage due to the fact that the majority of the plant material has already been ordered or purchased.
We are looking forward to our first Louisiana location joining the neighborhood.
Todd Thull
Vice President
Costco Construction
Costco Irises in pink boxes1 Costco Irises in pink boxes1

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