Hike for Katreena was started by New Orleanian Monique Pilie after Hurricane Katrina. The initial goal was to plant one tree in New Orleans for each of the 2175 miles she hiked on the Appalachian Trail in 2006. Hike for Katreena reached it's goal of planting 2175 trees in October 2008. Hike for Katreena's new goal is to replant the estimated 100,000 trees that were lost in New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina. Trees are planted on public property (parks, schools, neutral grounds,etc.) and private property, as long as it benefits the neighborhoods (front yards). Hike for Katreena encourages residents and neighborhoods to get involved by decided which areas would best benefit from trees and by helping to plant the trees.
Hike for Katreena is dedicated to replanting the tens of thousands of trees lost to hurricanes and flooding in the greater New Orleans region, through programs that foster community participation and stewardship.
Hike for Katreena was founded in January 2006 by New Orleans native Monique Pilie. After Hurricane Katrina Ms. Pilie combined her desire to help her city with her lifelong dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail and committed to planting one tree in New Orleans for each of the 2175 she hiked. She quite her job, sold her house and after 6 months of hiking she completed the Trail in October 2006 and in October 2008 Hike for Katreena planted it's 2175 tree. New Orleans lost over 100,000 trees in Hurricane Katrina and after reaching it's first goal Hike for Katreena is now committed to planting 100,000 trees in New Orleans
Hike for Katreena plants trees throughout the greater New Orleans area by planting on public and private property. Hike for Katreena will plant trees for individuals near and around their home. The only criteria is that they live in New Orleans. Hike for Katreena also organizes "neighborhood plantings". Working together with neighborhood organizations and residents, areas are chosen where there is a need for trees, the types of trees to be planted are selected and a planting date is set. The residents are encouraged to help plant the trees and water them for the first year. This helps the residents get more involved in their community and helps build a sense of ownership.
Over 3000 trees have been planted with the help of over 80 different neighborhood groups, civic organizations, schools, city government and businesses. The replanting of trees has been essential to the recovery of New Orleans because trees improve the quality of the environment and the quality of life for residents. This encourages residents to return home, attract new residents, draw tourism, help grow and sustain the economy and build stronger communities.
One of goals for this year is to plant trees in each of the 72 different neighborhoods in New Orleans. As of today Hike for Katreena has planted in 63 of them. Hike for Katreena also hopes to plant trees in 40 different schools throughout the city with the help of teachers and school children and use that opportunity to teach children the importance of trees in their community and why it is important that more trees be planted in New Orleans.
Monique Pilie was born and raised in New Orleans. Her family has lived there since the late 1700s. She attended Loyola University where she received a degree in Psychology. She worked as a counselor for the New Orleans Job Corp for 5 years until her desire to see the country made it impossible for her to be behind a desk a minute more. She sold her belongings except for her camping gear and some personal items and took off for a 6 month drive around the United States camping along the way. She found her way back to New Orleans and started working as a courier for Federal Express. Ms. Pilie has always had a love for the outdoors ever since her parents took her camping as a child. While in high school she read an article about the Appalachian Trail and made up her mind to one day hike the Trail in its entirety. Jobs, families and mortgages got in her way of attempting this adventure until she saw an opportunity when Hurricane Katrina destroyed her city in August 2005. She knew there was no way she could return to New Orleans without doing something to give back to her neighbors and her city. So in January of 2006 she sold her house, quit her job and started Hike for Katreena. It is hard to find a silver lining in something that has caused so much loss for so many even 3 years after the storm, but the silver lining does exist and the opportunity to give back to her city through Hike for Katreena has been the silver lining for Ms. Pilie.
Kerry Sicomo Katherine Caraway Chris D'Amour Bob McGuire
4821 BIENVILLE ST NEW ORLEANS, LA 70119-4316 Phone: (504) 301-5628 www.hikeforkatreena.com EIN: 85-0488807
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