This excerpt was written by the National Links Trust, a 501(c)(3) non profit, is dedicated to protecting and promoting accessible, affordable and engaging municipal golf courses to positively impact local communities across the United States of America.
In 2006, local New Orleans leaders formed the Bayou District Foundation in a bold effort to revitalize 18 blocks of the Gentilly neighborhood that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. For residents of Gentilly, quality housing and access to healthcare, education and support services was not a given. Following the Purpose Built Community model developed by the East Lake Foundation in Atlanta, GA, the Bayou District Foundation implemented an intentional and holistic strategy to build a mixed-income community for New Orleans’ residents called Columbia Parc.
In 2015, the Bayou District Foundation partnered with City Park New Orleans to renovate the historic east and west golf courses of City Park and create an economic engine that could sustain funding for the new community development. Two years later, the Rees Jones designed Bayou Oaks at City Park reopened for business. Today the golf course helps to fund the myriad of programs integrated into the Columbia Parc community including:
– A Cradle-to-College education system to serve all of the neighborhoods children
– 685 mixed-income residential units where 100% of adult residents are employed, in vocational training or enrolled in college or university
– St. Thomas Community Healthcare clinic
– Access to recreational activities and open green space
In the next episode of the Municipal Golf Network Webinar Program, you will learn:
– Why the golf course renovation was needed and what framework was used to develop the Columbia Parc community
– How income generated from Bayou Oaks provides sustainable funding for the community’s many programs
– Who the stakeholders are that manage and benefit from this project
– What the future holds for this operational model as well as takeaways other municipal golf stakeholders can use in their own community programming.