Construction is gearing up for several parks in Natchitoches. Mayor Lee Posey and Edd Lee updated commissioners at the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission meeting May 19. Construction has begun on the Pierson Mallett Park on East Fifth Street and the City Park is in the second phase of the project. The third phase will possibly include a pavilion for shade. A stand alone project will address the need for public restrooms in the park.
Workers are creating a bus loading and unloading zone on Amulet Street and the NHDDC will create a pocket park on Second Street that will flow into the City Park.
Work will soon begin at the Ross Williams Park on Dean Street. The City will add a walking track, pavilion and basketball courts.
“Our parks are behind when you compare them to parks in other communities,” said Posey.
The City Pool will remain open through the construction of City Park. Posey hopes to add basketball goals on the sides of the pool, a volleyball setup and will look into creating a game area on the concrete space by the pool. Through these improvements, he hopes to bring more kids to the area for recreation.
“It’s all about getting people back outside and bonding with nature again,” he said.
In other news, Posey said the Dept. of Transportation and Development (DOTD) ran into a list of issues and bad weather that has put them behind on the South Drive project. Working nights, they plan to have the work finished for the first part of July.
Other items discussed at the meeting included:
- Sharon Gahagan said the tree service the NHDDC works with is prioritizing work on the trees on the riverbank because the erosion around their root systems has put them in a dangerous emergency situation. There are also two dead trees that need to be removed.
- Van Erikson said that NSU’s upcoming Freshman Connection will bring around 1,200 people to Natchitoches, including students and their families. With 450 kids already registered for the first session May 26-27, Van said the incoming freshman group is the biggest class the college has seen. Other sessions will be held June 2-3, July 23-24 and a one day session July 12.
- The NSU Foundation has 11 teams signed up so far for the Dragon Boat Races May 28 and hope to even the number at 12 for the races. The boats will be unloaded into the Cane River Monday at 2 p.m. and the practices will begin Tuesday.
- Sandra Dickens said the Historic District Business Association (HDBA) has confirmed the 610 Stompers from New Orleans as participants in the upcoming Christmas Festival parade.