Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Reclaim our parks!

Red River Trail
Red River Trail,
originally uploaded by jujuhoffpauir.
When I talked with town councilman Michael Long over the weekend about the dog park and Hamel, he suggested I call Jason Scott. So I did.

Scott believes the great river front area that stretches from downtown Shreveport to 70th street has the potential to whip us into shape. A healthy, vibrant place where locals and visitors alike ride bikes, skate, play Frisbee golf, meet fellow dog owners in the leash-free area dog park, eat lunch at the café on the river, and wade at the beach, is how he envisions the great park of Hamel.

Scott is an avid biker but is currently recovering from an injury. He said that one day (about four years ago) he woke up and realized that the trails and the park were not going to clean up themselves. So, Scott and friends began to clear the trails from poison ivy and fallen limbs, trash, and river debris, and continue to do so today (but not lately due to the injury and the heavy rains).

According to Scott, birdwatchers use the trail, too.

“How else are you going to see a flock of pelicans in Shreveport?,” Scott asked. “When you’re out in nature utilizing the trails.”

Pelicans are my favorite birds! Pelicans flock to Shreveport? Now I have something else to look forward to.

Scott personally patrols the area known for being shady and discourages lewd behavior from folks he grows suspicious of by simply asking them questions about what they are doing on the trail or on the beach or parked in the parking lot. He has had the local news team come out with hidden cameras to capture such interrogations and from the sound of it, this footage could be somewhat entertaining and/or disturbing.

His message to me was that we need to take back our parks! Progress has been made, but more can be done.

Scott believes a dog park community could only be a positive addition to the river front area.

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