Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge is between Slidell and Mandeville. Founded in the 1990s, it protects endangered birds and combats coastal land loss. It’s not just wildlife that thrives at Big Branch. The park’s volunteer program brings people of all ages and backgrounds together.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities in 2016 here. 


Happy Holidays.
Jesse Hardman

A recent Pew Research Center report highlighted the fact that the United States is no longer a majority middle income country. We here at the Listening Post thought dropping this report during the holiday season made for some interesting questions.

So, we’re asking folks around New Orleans both how they’re feeling about their place on the economic scale, and how that impacts their gift buying this December.

Monuments Vote: A Path To More Change?

Dec 16, 2015

New Orleans City Council votes Thursday on an ordinance to remove four Confederate monuments. The mayor introduced it after nine black churchgoers were shot by a white gunman in Charleston, South Carolina over the summer. Hundreds of New Orleanians and many out-of-towners spoke before the council last week at a public hearing.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Some cities have a range of programs for children with severe mental health needs: outpatient clinics, residential hospitals, therapeutic boarding schools. New Orleans isn’t one of them.

The city already had limited options when it shuttered its adolescent psychiatric hospital back in 2009. Now kids can receive some treatment in school or at home, or check into a hospital outside the city. But there's a new option for children with mental health needs.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Homelessness is a big issue in the New Orleans region, one that extends to the Northshore. Winter is particularly hard — shelters fill up, it is cold, and there is often nowhere to go. It can be especially hard for single men, and one organization is Slidell is trying to help.

Mark McVille has been homeless for two years. He has worked as a tugboat captain and construction worker, and was in the army for a while. He always had a pretty good job and had no problem supporting his kids.

New Orleans Homelessness Issues Garner Attention

Dec 11, 2015

Since New Orleans' was announced as the winner of President Obama's challenge to house all homeless veterans last year, the city has seen a rise in interest on homelessness issues across the board.

A group of indigenous people from all over the world led a kayak flotilla through a canal in central Paris.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Indigenous people want their voices to be heard during the international climate talks. They are rallying in Paris, saying their communities and interests are not fully represented in the official negotiations. Indigenous groups want legally-binding language that protects their way of life in the wake of climate change.

Dave Holt helped design a new wheelchair accessible bathroom for Mamie and Lawrence Cage.
Eve Abrams

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans, Inc. revitalizes communities by increasing the number of homeowners and transforming vacant or substandard properties into sustainable homeownership. They improve quality of life through informed community development initiatives, leadership development, education, outreach and collaboration.

From right, United Houma Nation first lady Noreen Dardar and principle chief Thomas Dardar with other members of the Gulf South Rising delegation from Louisiana. Dardar is in Paris seeking support for his coastal Louisiana tribe.
Monique Verdin /

International leaders continue negotiations Monday at the climate talks in Paris, and some Louisianans are there to advocate for their communities. One of those is principle chief of the United Houma Nation, Thomas Dardar.

The Houma have long inhabited south Louisiana but are not federally recognized as a Native American tribe, partly because the government requires that tribes have a central base, but the Houma population is very spread out.

Roux Carre, a new food court from a local nonprofit in Central City.
Ian McNulty

In its natural habitat of shopping malls and concourses, the food court is set up for convenience and speed, offering a spread of ready options.

Transport the idea of a food court to a particular New Orleans neighborhood in the midst of change, however, and put a nonprofit business development group in charge, and you have something different. In the case of Roux Carre, it’s a food court designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs take a step up in the burgeoning business of New Orleans dining.