After the completion of its latest upgrade to the American Cemetery, the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission (NHDDC), received a Parks Project update at its meeting Thursday, Jan. 19.
The NHDDC established a Parks Project in 2012. Part of this included an ongoing commitment to the American Cemetery, which it considers one of the most historic and sacred places in the Historic District. Walking paths, entry gates, the retaining wall and most recently the main entrance gateway completes its commitment to improve access and safety.
The NHDDC, established in 1998, receives a portion of the hotel/motel tax collections for the parish. It assists in maintaining the historic oaks on the riverbank and Williams Avenue. It also pays for set pieces and the new downtown Christmas tree. It established and funds tours of the National Landmark Historic District. All of this is done with a budget of a little over $300,000.
In many of its projects, the NHDDC partners with numerous organizations in the area and sponsors numerous festivals and events. It consists of members from the following organizations: state representative, state senator, museum contents, Natchitoches Historic Foundation, Mayor-City of Natchitoches, Chamber of Commerce, Historic District Business Association, Cane River Waterway Commission, the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches, Natchitoches Parish Government, the Main Street Office, the Cane River National Heritage Area and Northwestern State University.
Currently, the NHDDC is working to finish up two park projects. One is on the corner of Amulet and Second Street on the far end of City Park. Weather has interfered with the completion of the amphitheater, but it will hopefully be completed within the next few weeks. Landscaping will then be completed.