NORD Kicks Off 75th Anniversary and Renaming of Behrman Park
[Article was originally posted on https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/LANOLA/bulletins/2f4d371]
The New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) Commission kicked-off its 75th Anniversary as a City agency, and announced the renaming of Behrman Park as the Morris F.X. Jeff Sr. Park. Mayor LaToya Cantrell was joined by Larry Barabino, Jr., NORD CEO, Kristin Palmer, District C City Councilmember, Jolene Jeff, Daughter of Morris F.X. Jeff, Brian Egana, NORD Commission Chair, Theo Sanders III, District C NORD Commission Chair, as well as representatives from the community to honor Jeff’s legacy with NORD and longstanding contributions to youth and family recreational programming for all residents of New Orleans.
"It really is an exciting day for our city, but more importantly for our New Orleans Recreation Department. Additionally, it’s an exciting day for the renaming of Behrman Park to F.X. Jeff Park," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "We’ve learned a lesson about how NORD is absolutely vital, a central core of resources in terms of meeting people where they are. There is something here for everyone."
"The evolution of NORD over 75 years from a recreational outlet to now also being an essential arm for the city in post disaster recovery and the pandemic is outstanding. It contributes to our vision to be a sustainable and innovative organization that transforms lives," said Larry Barabino, Jr., NORD CEO. "And now seeing Behrman Memorial Park being renamed to the Morris F.X. Jeff, Sr. Park demonstrates the City’s commitment to recognize those who paved the way while looking towards the future. I look forward to having our residents participate in all of the activities NORD plans on hosting in 2022 to commemorate 75 years and I cannot wait to see what the next 75 years entails."
"When Councilmember Banks and I created the Council Street Renaming Commission to rename streets, parks, and places in New Orleans that honored white supremacists, we wanted a public process that included voices from every community. As a result of an 11-month process, Algiers residents overwhelmingly supported renaming Behrman Park to Morris F.X. Jeff Sr. Park. This park, now bearing the name of a community activist who fought for African American children to have access to the same amenities as their white counterparts, is representative of the inclusivity of the Algiers community," said Kristin Gisleson Palmer, District C Councilmember.
"I’ve been involved with NORD for 37 years either as a participant, a coach, and now the chair of the Commission," said Brian Egana, District E NORD Commission Chair. "I look forward to its continued growth and progression as a mainstay in the New Orleans community. And the renaming of Behrman Park to Morris F.X. Jeff, Sr. Park solidifies the commitment of NORD and the city to recognize the essential trailblazers in its history."
The New Orleans City Council created NORD through City Ordinance No. 16,630 on September 27, 1946, which went into effect on January 1, 1947. Behrman Park is part of the City Council Renaming project and will be renamed as the Morris F.X., Jeff Park. The complex is named after Morris F.X. Jeff, who was a pioneer in establishing recreational and educational programs for African American children when New Orleans was segregated.
NORD has served as a space for community and youth recreation and programming activities. Today, NORD operates over 150 playgrounds, 17 swimming pools, 15 recreation centers, 2 tennis centers, 5 teen centers, and 2 stadiums. NORD continues to offer programming for musical arts, visual arts, dance, athletics, summer camps for youth and teens, and programming for seniors.
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