Splish Splash

Swimsuit collection at Audubon and City Park benefits New Orleans residents


One of the most ludicrous things one could write about summertime in New Orleans is that it is very hot. There aren’t really many similes or metaphors that can do our summer heat justice. It’s the kind of heat that makes your brain obsess over one goal – to find a pool and jump into it.

In order to make that goal more accessible for all residents of New Orleans, two of the city’s premier attractions, Audubon Nature Institute and New Orleans City Park, have partnered to collect new swimsuits for the New Orleans Recreation Development (NORD) Commission’s first swimsuit drive.

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NORD is seeking to collect as many new-with-tags swimsuits as possible, and in all sizes from youth to adult. At this time, they especially need more adult sizes for both men and women. New, unused swimsuits with tags can be donated at all Audubon attractions, the City Park Administration Building, City Hall and all NORD facilities.

“We are pleased to partner with Audubon Nature Institute and New Orleans City Park in our efforts to collect new swimsuits for residents of all ages,” said NORD CEO Larry Barabino, Jr. in a press release. “Through these donations, we will ensure everyone who wants to utilize the City’s pools during the hot summer months has the proper swimwear, and that all residents can participate in NORD’s free, year-round water safety and swim lessons.”

There are even perks for your generosity. Visitors to Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium can donate new swimsuits at the Guest Services windows where they will receive one complimentary admission to the Audubon attraction of their choice for each swimsuit given. There is a limit of four tickets per person.

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“When we learned about the swimsuit drive, we thought it was only natural that we participate in some way to give children the opportunity to swim at the city’s community-based pools,” said Chimene Grant Saloy, Audubon vice president of community affairs, in a press release. “Part of our mission is to connect children and families with nature and the great outdoors. We are proud that our employees will be making donations as well.”

Audubon will be promoting the swimsuit drive via its social media channels.

City Park is rewarding those who donate new swimsuits as well. You can receive one Carousel Gardens Amusement Park admission ticket and unlimited ride band for each new swimsuit donated, with a limit of four tickets per person. Those donations should be made at the City Park Administration Building at 1 Palm Drive, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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“As a regional park, recreation is always at the forefront of our thinking,” said New Orleans City Park CEO Bob Becker in a press release. “We’re thrilled to help the children and families of New Orleans beat the heat a little by enjoying pool time this summer at the NORD facilities.”

Swimsuits will be collected through August 30 at all drop-off locations. They will be distributed during the summer months and any surplus will be distributed year-round for NORD’s indoor pools.

If someone is in need of a swimsuit, they may visit any NORD pool (indoor or outdoor). They may also call (504) 685-3052 before they need the swimsuit so that NORD can ensure their size is available. However, there are multiple sizes at each pool for residents to select from daily. For more information about NORD’s pools, aquatics program and their free swimming lessons, visit nordc.org/activities/aquatics.


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