Community Member

Common Ground Relief

New Orleans, Louisiana

Common Ground Relief cultivates environmental and community stewardship in Southeast Louisiana to help residents not only survive but thrive. It was founded in New Orleans in 2005 as a volunteer effort to provide disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The organization expanded its mission in 2007 when it partnered with a local general contractor to help build affordable and energy-efficient housing through the State of Louisiana’s Road Home program. CGR expanded its mission again in 2013 with a forward-looking vision “to create resilient Gulf Coast communities that are environmentally sustainable, financially viable and personally cohesive.” This soon led to a decision by leadership to focus on the restoration and preservation of Louisiana’s disappearing coastal wetlands. As a local leader for environmental resilience against recurring heavy weather and industrial encroachment, CGR provides an avenue for citizens to help protect and restore the natural beauty of the region.

Volunteers on Earth Day 2023, Common Ground Relief Facebook post

Common Ground Relief remains committed to its original vision as a grassroots organization devoted to community transformation and sustainability. Activities still include disaster relief, plus habitat restoration, environmental education, a plant nursery, and free pantry. Achievements include creating food and clothing distribution centers in seven of Louisiana’s southern parishes; building neighborhood computer centers that offer free tech support to local nonprofits; providing bioremediation services for mold and soil toxin removal; partnering with colleges from across the country for environmental volunteer projects; engaging more than 65,000 volunteers in post-disaster recovery efforts; and generating an estimated value of more than $40 million in volunteer labor. CGR has also established the non-profit Common Ground Health Clinic in Algiers, the Common Ground Legal Clinic in affiliation with the Louisiana Civil Justice Center, and the New Orleans Women’s & Children’s Shelter.

For more information:

Common Ground leader Thom Pepper leaves legacy of service to adopted city; memorial set for February –, December 2019

Q&A With Scott Crow – Anarchist and community organizer co-founded Common Ground Collective – The Austin Chronicle, August 2015

Common Ground Relief provides plants and volunteers for wetlands restoration –, July 2015

Common Ground’s Eighth Anniversary: A Model of Volunteer-Driven Rebuilding in New Orleans – Truthout, September 2013

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.


Charlotte Clark, Co-Director


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Erosion-Subsidence, Flooding, Hurricanes/Tropical Storms

Environmental Justice Concerns

Fighting Development/Destruction of Wildlife/Extinction of Species, Fracking/Oil and Gas Development/Pipelines, Logging/Biomass


Community Farm/Gardens, Community Organizing and Education, Direct Relief and Aid, Green Infrastructure, Nature-Based Solutions

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations