For Immediate Release, Thursday, November 2, 2006

Even Better the Second Time Around 

            In April 2004, St. Tammany Parish announced a landscaping and improvement plan for the Oak Harbor/Interstate 10 Interchange.  The landscape design work, by Kyle Associates, was submitted by the Regional Planning Commission to the Federal government for funding in Fiscal 2005. The I-10 at Oak Harbor Boulevard Landscape Beautification & Enhancement Project was awarded to St. Tammany Parish Government for $108,023.74, with the Parish putting up the 5% match of $5,685.46.  The RPC submitted the grant application and paid for the design by Kyle Associates. Katrina delayed the planting. 

            Today, St. Tammany Parish is pleased to announce that work will begin with the next planting season at the Oak Harbor/Interstate 10 Interchange.  “This is one more sign of rebirth and recovery,” said Parish President Kevin Davis.  “About one year ago, the interstate was littered with boats and debris at this location.  Today, we are celebrating a public safety and beautification project.  Each day brings us closer to some new sense of normalcy.” 

The purpose of the proposed I-10/Oak Harbor Landscape Improvements is to continue St. Tammany Parish’s philosophy of incorporating the protection or re-establishment of the natural environment in all aspects of development throughout the parish. The addition of these improvements would continue that philosophy while also providing a welcome to those commuters traveling through St. Tammany Parish via Interstate 10.   

 “This is a critical entrance point to St. Tammany Parish,” said Davis.  “As visitors cross Lake Pontchartrain on Interstate 10, this is our first opportunity to make a great impression.  Good impressions build tourism and business for St. Tammany.” 

Landscape improvements planned for the intersection include four (4) different species of Palm trees: Canary Island Date Palm, Sabal Palm, Queen Palm, and Chinese Fan Palm.  The trees will be planted in mass groupings in which they will provide a significant aesthetic value to the area.