Monday, February 23, 2009

Next meeting: Monday night at 7:00

The Greenways group, headed by Ian Webb, is off and running. They're meeting and working greenways as group devoted to that particular purpose. (If you're interesting in helping them, e-mail me at and I'll put you in touch with Ian.)

That frees up our ABetterShreveport meeting to work on other projects we've discussed already. Two of the most prominant are establishing bike routes with signs and/or street repainting with bike lanes. And another is facilitating and coordinating business and residential downtown revitalization efforts.

Centenary College is on Mardi Gras break this week, and a number of people are out of town, so we're going to push back our meeting one week. We're also going to try meeting for the first time in a while at night. We'll meet Monday night at 7:00, Centenary Square.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Meeting Tuesday at 8:20: Making the first greenway trail...

Continuing our every other Tuesday meetings, we'll meet this Tuesday the 10th, regular time and place: 8:20 a.m. at Centenary Square, room 206.

We'll talk about what we need to do to make our first pilot greenway happen.

We'll hear reports from the Bayou Cleanup project that took place this past Saturday, where many hands made light the work of removing much trash, including over 120 tires!

I'll also report on the feedback I got down at Tulane's Prevention Research Center on the greenways project. Jobs creation was an interesting topic that came up, as was ditch-covering on Canal Street!

Centenary Square is across the street from George's Grill. Enter from the back parking lot and you can't miss us. The coffee will be fresh and ready.

The Bayou Cleanup as part of the bigger picture...

Below is part of the Times' article on the bayou cleanup. Note Jon's reference to the bigger picture. This is really the first large-scale on the ground effort on what is likely to be the site of a future greenway. It's the beginnings of a beautiful path right now.:

"...The cleanup was the first step toward making the bayou an outdoor eco-classroom for students at Montessori and Stoner Hill Elementary as well as a more accessible public resource with walking trails.

"For years, Montessori Middle School teacher Jon Soul, who helped spearhead the event, has been observing the bayou and doing his part to pick up trash. As a Montessori parent and instructor, he felt it could be a great extension to the school. Among its inhabitants are blue herring and wood ducks, which is rare, Soul said.

"And they're striking. As far as wildlife goes, it's a valuable area. It's not really common knowledge in Shreveport that this bayou exists, so we would like to see there be a history trail that goes from Montessori to Caddo Magnet High that would connect us to Stoner Hill Lab and Valencia Recreation Center. There's so much to be learned from this area and connecting these four entities.

"We hope to be setting the groundwork for years of collaborative work and learning and for use as a place for locals to continue using with a sense of pride."

To echo Robert's post below, it was a wonderful event. Many thanks to Jon, Ian, Maurice, Andy, John, and all the others that helped. It's likely this will mark the beginning of a wonderful trail.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

125 discarded tires were part of the Clean Up haul at the intersection of Montessori, Anderson Island and Stoner Hill

At the intersection of Anderson Island neighborhood and Stoner Hill lies a bayou and a confluence of streets and Montessori of Shreveport, where a mass of people participated in a woods and bayou Clean Up on Sat, Feb 6. A splendid day was had by all, from the diggers, haulers, draggers, baggers, cooks and photogs to the musicians.

One index of the success: over 125 tires dragged from the underbrush between street and bayou. The city supplied the take-away container and Montessori parents supplied parking, music, hot dogs and much of the labor.

See more photos at

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tulane talk, Bayou cleanup, next meeting...

I wanted to report to folks that giving my talk at Tulane's Prevention Research Center was a good experience, in that I received a number of helpful suggestions for how we might move things forward. One of the highlights was chatting about capping the bayous after the talk and one person gestured outside the window to Canal Street, as evidence that it can work well. The trolleys now go up and down Canal Street over what was once an open drainage ditch. So, while it's not appropriate everywhere, capped bayous can work, and they manifestly have on one of Louisiana's most famous streets.

Our next meeting will be Tuesday the 10th, holding to our new 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month schedule. As usual, it'll be at 8:20 in Centenary Square's room 206.

One of the things we'll hear about is the Anderson Bayou cleanup being conducted by the Montessori School there in partnership with the Stoner Hill Neighborhood Association this Saturday. I recently hiked in that area with my family and it's a potentially beautiful area.