2024 Live Oak Tree Planting w/Restore Grand Isle


Louisiana Arbor Day Volunteer Activity

2024 Live Oak Tree Planting

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Saturday, January 27 , 2024 – Rescheduled

Ninety West Park, Grand Isle

Restore or Retreat Announces Successful Completion of Grand Isle Oak Tree Planting

–For Immediate Release, January 28,2024, Grand Isle, Louisiana

On a misty rain morning, after two weather postponements, in conditions less than ideal, the live oak tree planting on Grand Isle was finally able to take place. Restore or Retreat welcomed  members of the Lafourche Band of the Biloxi Chitimacha tribe, the Restore Grand Isle group, the grant recipient, Grand Isle Garden Club and our volunteers who traveled from out of town to plant with us. Approximately 45 volunteers traveled to the island to join the planting of trees on 4 pre-determined sites around the coastal area. 

The planting of 100 trees was made possible with a grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful and the office of Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. We greatly appreciate the support of his staff and the Lt. Governor himself.  The oaks were grown locally here in Louisiana and  Restore Grand Isle’s Ronnie Sampey stated “When people come together like they did on Saturday to do positive things you can change your environment. Which they did with the planting on the island”. 

Restore or Retreat recently began collaborating and working together with several tribes on a major coastal sustainability project. It was that project and our shared goals that led the tribe to join us in Grand Isle for the planting. . “We are honored to have the tribe plant with us today” stated the organization’s project coordinator, Polly Glover

Chief Quincy Verdun representing the Lafourche Band of the Biloxi Chitimacha stated” in 1528 when the French discovered Grand Isle; the Chitimacha tribe had long since been there. They planted oak trees, especially at the center of the island, many believe one of the key reasons was to protect the island from erosion. Today marks a significant event as our tribe put our hands in the dirt just as our ancestors did centuries ago, planting new oaks to help protect Grand Isle from erosion caused by the storms, protecting this beloved island for future generations to come.”

On hand for the planting was State Representative of District 54, Joseph Orgeron, who is also Restore or Retreat’s Executive Director; he stated, ”The planting of 100 new oak trees on Grand Isle helps to increase the storm resilience and sustainability of Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island. It was great to see so many volunteers show up to make a difference and get the trees in the ground in under one hour.”

Additionally we had newly appointed Nicholls State University Coastal Center Executive Director Laci Melancon who stated, “It was an honor to help our partners at Restore or Retreat for the Grand Isle oak tree planting. Our barrier islands are crucial to the sustainability of our coastal communities and our culture. Planting these oak trees was a small effort that will make a huge difference for future generations.”

This event wrapped up a historic day for Grand Isle and our partnering organizations.  Planting these live oaks as the community continues to recover from Hurricane Ida provided multiple benefits for the region. Ecological by providing erosion control, wind protection and new habitat  as well as being a symbol of hope for the future.  On a dreary, rainy morning the sun would come out at planting time and volunteers worked together for the benefit of protecting our Coast, Community and Culture for future generations.

Respectfully submitted for Restore or Retreat
Polly Glover, Project Coordinator

View Event-Specific Google Photos Album

[Original Sign-Up Page – Posted Jan 1, 2024]

The Grand Isle Garden Club, Restore Grand Isle and Restore or Retreat are joining forces to plant over 100 live oaks on Grand Isle on January 20, 2024. We are excited to have received a Beautification Grant from Keep Louisiana Beautiful that will make the purchase of the trees possible. This project has identified four locations to plant trees lost to Hurricane Ida and help restore the live oak canopy and historic maritime forest on Grand Isle. This is an essential part of Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island.

Please consider joining us to replant live oaks on the chenier of Grand Isle impacted by Hurricane Ida.  This project will help support long-term restoration and stabilization of the land.

If you are interested in,,,
Signing Up for Volunteering, please see the Sign-Up page on the…
Restore Grand Isle’s 2024 Live Oak Planting specific page.

If you (as a Restore Or Retreat member/friend) have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected]