The City of Natchitoches announces the Love Louisiana Outdoors Program grant has been awarded in an amount up to $400,000. The grant will rehabilitate Richardson Park and provide accessible recreation facilities for residents of all abilities, as well as deliver needed improvements for the 50-year-old park.

“Hearing the great news that the City of Natchitoches is a recipient of up $400,00 through the Love Louisiana Outdoors Program reminds me of two of the goals I set for my administration: improving youth development opportunities and aggressively seeking funding to help make capital projects a reality, said Mayor Ronnie Williams, Jr.” “The improvements afforded by this grant, written by the city’s Community Outreach and Grants Manager Nicole Gray, will positively impact the youth of Jackson Square for many generations to come.”

The project includes the addition of a walking trail, complete with LED lighting and bench seating, a new pavilion near the park’s front entrance, an inclusive playground for families with all abilities, ADA-compliant benches, new trash receptacles, and pedestal-mount barbecue grills. In addition, the project aims to add parking spaces to add in traffic congestion on the streets surrounding the park, removal of blighted structures, and the addition of upgraded bathroom facilities. Post completion of the LLOP project, the City will separately fund the addition of a basketball court.

“I’m excited about the improvements at Richardson Park. This project will spearhead the revitalization of the Jackson Square community,” stated Councilman Chris Petite, who serves District 3 where the park is located.

Revitalizing Richardson Park had been a decades-long dream for Jackson Square residents and community leaders. “It’s a great day for the City of Natchitoches and our Parks and Recreation Department,” said Parks & Recreation Director Kevin Warner. “The vision of former Councilwoman Sylvia Morrow to revitalize and update the park will come to fruition soon and we are excited that we will see her dream fulfilled.”

The Richardson Park project is expected to break ground later this fall, with an expected completion for next Spring. Randal Smoak of Cothren, Graff and Smoak will serve as Engineer for the project and is currently finalizing designs. For questions about the Richardson Park project, please call the Mayor’s office at 318-352-2772.