Joseph Meraux was among the largest known landowners in the history of St. Bernard Parish. When he died, he left his holdings to my aunt, Arlene Meraux, who devoted the remainder of her life to establishing the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Foundation to benefit the people of St. Bernard Parish.
In addition to the customary functions of most foundations, the Meraux Foundation also manages, maintains, and preserves extensive land holdings with diverse characteristics. It has a special responsibility to do this job wisely - to maximize both the immediate and long-term benefits for St. Bernard Parish.
Meraux Foundation holdings include levee protected lands, pastures, woodlands, historic structures and sites, canals, water bottoms, riverfront property, battures, bayou ridge sites, and non-levee wetlands and marshes.
Because each type of land poses complex challenges in its preservation, use and environmental protection, the Foundation’s job is an important one that must be carried out to improve St. Bernard Parish today and far into the future.
Looking ahead, the Meraux Foundation is committed to parish improvements utilizing smart growth and sustainable development principles. Potential improvements include community facilities, parkways, bikeways, recreation, restoration of historic buildings and sites, scenic areas, museums, battlefields, archeological sites, water sports, special events, agriculture, forestry, ranching, and solar and windmill farms.
Lands unsuitable for development will be made available for levee rights-of-way, buffer zones, dedicated open space, or natural wildlife and fisheries preserves.
All of this will be accomplished with the goal of improving local health care, economic development, education, environmental quality, and recreation and cultural offerings - carrying out the vision of Joseph and Arlene Meraux.
Let’s all work together to bring St. Bernard Parish back, and make it better than ever as a place to live, work, play, and visit.
-Rita O. Gue, niece of Arlene Meraux and President of the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Foundation