Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Path making planned for Saturday!

It's time to get outside! But first, notes from last night:

In attendance at last night's meeting were Jeff Girard, Steve Godfrey, Robert Trudeau, Jon Soul, Maurice Loridans, Loren Demerath.

Maurice reported on the degree of bulldozing that had been done at the Riverscape site, and how the greenery that the greenway would've gone through on the last portion of the route has been eliminated. While he was scouting it he ran into Carolyn Manning and mentioned to her that a new route would be appropriate that goes along the school and city side of the fence from Coates Bluff to the north towards Magnet High School.

Jon has talked with Monty Walford about the Coastal Routes grant he is working on. The idea would be to plant native species in a particular area. The planting would take plance largely during a community service and educational day .

Jon is seeking formal permission from the city to use the property around the bayou for educational purposes. Mike Strong has told him to send a him a map of where he's asking about. The group agreed this could be part of getting a foot in the door of that corridor for the greenway.

We discussed two different routes that would be possible. Looking at the Riverscape plat we saw how close the southeastern corner comes to the bike path tunnel. One route could go due east along the back edge of the development, yet through the trees. We could get Riverscape to help us ask for the land to be donated from behind them to the south.

Cecile Coutret said we need to find money to buy the trail land from Riverscape. Or they could donate some and get safe routes to school credit, etc.

Jeff said Coates Bluff qualifies as an abandoned cemetery. It's plotted on the Sanborn Insurance maps (http://sanborn.umi.com; http://sanborn.umi.com/la/3401/dateid-000007.htm?CCSI=3052n) back to 1910 or so. It was the center of a settlement that rivaled Shreve Town. Viking Drive used to be called Hopewell Drive, Jeff thinks. LA GIS has all the GIS data for the state. Very detailed; geo-referenced.

Larry Raymond is going to walk the site with Jon on Thursday at 1:30. Jon's trying to figure out how to break this into bite size pieces. This will help give us a language to use to talk about these things. We need to give Larry a way of talking and thinking about this that gives a way of preserving this. Jeff says it seems to be this would have to be wetlands. Development and what that means is significant; Jeff says it often has to do with "impacts". If there's federal involvement that's probably good in terms of minimizing forest and wetland loss and maximizing how it can benefit our community in terms of quality of life, education, alternative transportation and healthy lifestyles, etc. Jon's going to ask Larry to bring GPS.

The group concluded that we want to ask the city if our path can access Valencia Park, and, perhaps, to ask the parrish school district if the path can access school grounds such as the ball field adjacent to Stoner Hill Lab Elementary, and the track adjacent to Magnet High School. These would be improvements to an existing trail.

To further establish that trail going from Sevier St. north, the group decided that those who can would meet this Saturday morning and clear brush, while plotting the GPS coordinates up to the southeast corner of Valencia Park.

So, we appeal to all of those who'd like to help to meet at the Montessori School parking lot on Sevier St., this Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. If you can, bring something that could cut brush or sapplings, like loppers or machetes. On Thursday Jon and Loren will be going with Larry Raymond to preview the route.