Greater New Orleans Foundation Announces the Winners of the $1.2 Million-Next 100 Years Challenge 

October 20, 2023

Awards $1.2 million to strengthen infrastructure and hazard mitigation solutions and build a safer, more resilient, and more equitable Southeast Louisiana

Greater New Orleans Foundation President & CEO Andy Kopplin (far left) and Foundation Board Chair David Barksdale (far right) present a $100,000 check to the staff of Next 100 Years Challenge winner Sông Community Development Corporation. Sông CDC is one of ten Challenge winners. (Photo Credit: Chuck Billiot)

NEW ORLEANS – (October 17, 2023) Yesterday, the Greater New Orleans Foundation (Foundation) announced the winners of its $1.2 million-Next 100 Years Challenge, launched in March of this year.  

In celebration of its centennial year, the million-dollar Next 100 Years Challenge is a regional competition designed to inspire and attract plans for community-centered and cost-effective infrastructure improvements, including nature-based solutions, in 13 parishes of Southeast Louisiana that will reduce the threat from storms and other disasters. The Foundation awarded $100,000 each to ten collaborative teams that demonstrate strong potential to secure additional infrastructure dollars from the federal government, State of Louisiana, and other funders. Recognizing great potential in an additional five projects, the Foundation awarded $40,000 each to an additional five project teams to further develop their promising project concepts. With this addition, the Foundation has awarded a total of $1.2 million in our region.

To learn more about each project, visit

Sông Community Development Corporation is implementing a stormwater retention plan for Hung Dao gardens and an adjacent parcel of city-owned land. (Courtesy of Sông Community Development Corporation)

“We could not think of a better way to celebrate our centennial year than investing in the future of our region,” said Andy Kopplin, President & CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “The regional representation reflected in these winning applicants is a clear sign of a collective commitment to building a stronger, more resilient, more equitable, and more sustainable Greater New Orleans region in the decades ahead. The Greater New Orleans Foundation has been around for 100 years, and we are committed to creating a better Southeast Louisiana for us all for generations to come.”

Through our long-standing leadership and impact in disaster response since Hurricane Katrina and environmental programs like our work during the past decade of building the movement to live better with water, the Foundation works to establish strong partnerships between government, business, and nonprofits that effectively respond to our region’s greatest challenges. This strongly positioned us to launch the Next 100 Years Challenge, which continues that leadership.

The regional challenge competition invited applications from the 13-parish region including Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Washington.

The rendering above depicts the Terrebonne Parish Nature & Recreational Conservatory, which is a part of the Terrebonne Economic Development Authority plan for habitat improvements to enhance a 4,000-acre stormwater retention project. (Courtesy of Terrebonne Economic Development Authority)

Winners of the Next 100 Years Challenge and the mission of their corresponding projects are (in alphabetical order):  
  • City of Gretna – Creating a Healthy and Resilient Transition for Infrastructure and Neighborhood Growth: CHARTING McDonoghville’s Future​
  • Committee for a Better New Orleans – ​​Resilient Community-Designed Bus Stop Shelters
  • Friends of Lafitte Greenway – Greenway Flow Neighborhood Resilience Project
  • Jefferson Parish Ecosystem and Coastal Management – Community Oasis at Ree Alario Special Needs Center & Miley Playground
  • Sankofa Community Development Corporation – Sankofa Climate Resilience Project
  • Sông Community Development Corporation – Resilient Algiers – Hung Dao Gardens Stormwater Retention
  • St. John the Baptist Parish – A Multi-Scale Green Infrastructure Strategy for St. John Parish
  • Terrebonne Economic Development Authority – Terrebonne Parish Nature & Recreation Conservatory
  • United Houma Nation, Inc. – Hazard Mitigation and Tribal Resilience Hubs
  • YMCA of Greater New Orleans – Resilient Wastewater Systems for Plaquemines Parish

The rendering above depicts the City of Gretna’s plan to decentralize green infrastructure in the McDonoghville neighborhood. (Courtesy of City of Gretna)

Runners up of the Next 100 Years Challenge are (in alphabetical order): 

  • City of Westwego – Regenerative Westwego: A Blueprint for Small Town Adaptation and Equity
  • Healthy Gulf – ​New Orleans East Community Water Plan: Visioning Resilience
  • Restore or Retreat, Inc – ​Bayou Ferblanc Marsh Creation and Roadside Resiliency Enhancement Project
  • St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation – ​Resilient St. Bernard
  • Water Wise Gulf South – Scaling-Up Community-Led Nature Based Solutions in New Orleans

Jefferson Parish plans to implement features like bioswales, cooling centers, cooler spaces for children, and retention spaces at Mike Miley Playground, examples of which are pictured above. (Courtesy of Jefferson Parish)

The Daigleville School is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the first school in Houma where Houma Indians were allowed to graduate from high school in 1964. The United Houma Nation seeks to acquire this school for use as a satellite resilience hub and tribal history museum and cultural center. (Courtesy of United Houma Nation, Inc.)

Winning Challenge proposals presented sustainable, community-centered, cost-effective projects that protect against and reduce the risks from disasters and natural hazards in communities located in the thirteen Southeast Louisiana parishes. The Foundation team encouraged infrastructure plans at varying stages of development, from early-stage concepts to solutions that are proven effective, and offered robust technical assistance to help applicants prepare for the competition.

Winning projects submitted to the Challenge demonstrated community buy-in, commitment from local leadership, projected impact, and a wide range of benefits to under-resourced, disadvantaged populations located in the thirteen parishes in the Southeast Louisiana region.

The rendering depicts one of the Greenway Flow stormwater management concepts, a waterway source & cascade at Greenway Station. (Courtesy of Friends of Lafitte Greenway)

Project teams will use their grant awards from the Next 100 Years Challenge, funded through the Foundation’s Disaster Response and Restoration Fund, to refine their plans and help ensure their proposals are competitive for further investment.   The Foundation’s technical assistance team will continue to support winning teams as they turn the funding awarded by the Foundation into successful applications that can secure tens of millions in federal and state infrastructure dollars.

To support the teams in developing innovative projects and strong applications for federal funding, the Foundation hosted a variety of webinars and in-person workshops with subject matter experts.

Learn more about the Challenge by visiting


About the Greater New Orleans Foundation:  
With roots extending 100 years, the Greater New Orleans Foundation connects generous people to the causes that spark their passion. As one of the most trusted philanthropic organizations in the region, we work every day to drive positive impact by championing charitable giving, strengthening nonprofits, and leading civic projects in our thirteen-parish region. In addition to grantmaking, we convene people, resources, and ideas to create intelligent strategies and solutions to meet our region’s greatest challenges. We are proud to serve as a vocal civic leader with our partners to ensure an economically and culturally vibrant, sustainable, and just region for all. Learn more at

About Committee for a Better New Orleans (CBNO): 

Committee for a Better New Orleans (CBNO) is a non-partisan civic engagement nonprofit working to build an equitable, sustainable, and thriving City. We’re a convener, connector, and capacity builder for New Orleans’ grassroots; our programs and advocacy empower leaders with the knowledge, networks, and skills they need to drive progress for New Orleans. Learn more and get involved at

About Friends of Lafitte Greenway:  

Friends of Lafitte Greenway is the official partner to the City of New Orleans in planning, programming, and operations on the Greenway. We deliver high-quality programming, advocacy and improvements to make the Greenway great.

About Jefferson Parish Ecosystem and Coastal Management: 

For more information about Jefferson Parish, visit Residents can also receive regular updates by following the Parish on social media (@JeffParishGov) or by texting JPALERT or JPNOTICIAS to 888-777.

About Pontchartrain Conservancy: 

Pontchartrain Conservancy is a New Orleans-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to an environmentally sustainable, prosperous and resilient region. Our mission is to drive environmental sustainability and stewardship through scientific research, education and advocacy. Pontchartrain Conservancy consists of a board of directors representing Lake Pontchartrain Basin parishes and regulatory agencies. For more information or to get involved, visit

About Sankofa Community Development Corporation: 

The Sankofa Community Development Corporation serves as a catalyst for the development of a healthier and vibrant Lower Ninth Ward through community and economic development planning, and capital projects that offer fresh food access, outdoor recreation, land restoration, small business growth, and workforce development.

About Sông Community Development Corporation: 

Song CDC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of life of residents through their justice work in health, climate, environment, food, education, housing, workforce as well as the culture and arts. Song CDC is based in New Orleans East.

About St. John the Baptist Parish:  

For more information about St. John Parish, visit Residents can also receive regular updates by following the Parish on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or by tuning in to the government access channel.

About the United Houma Nation:  

The United Houma Nation (UHN) is the largest Tribe in the State of Louisiana, with the majority of our 19,000 tribal citizens residing along the coastal bayous of Southeast Louisiana. The UHN’s six-parish service area encompasses coastal Terrebonne, Lafourche, Jefferson, St. Mary, St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes. Our mission is to preserve our tribal heritage and to educate the community about our history. For more information on the United Houma Nation, visit

About YMCA:  

The YMCA is a 501c3 non-profit, a charity that has been part of Greater New Orleans since 1852. Today the Y reaches tens of thousands of lives in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, and Plaquemines Parishes. Our mission is “to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all”. We live our not-for-profit charitable mission daily by providing life-changing programs and services that enrich people from all walks of life in the areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. At the Y, we know that positive change only comes about when we invest in our kids, our families, our health, and our neighbors. If you’re interested in supporting our services, you can donate to the Y at To learn more about the YMCA of Greater New Orleans, engage with us on Facebook or visit the YMCA of Greater New Orleans website at