Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dr. Davenport lectures on signage and discusses Cyclist's Manifesto


Dr. John spent some time in class today talking about the importance of signage for getting a space to used and then accepted and acknowledged as a city feature.

John noted how people can know a space with different names. The Anderson Bayou is also known as the Cedar Sykes Bayou. The space where Riverscape is developing was known as Lemon Farm, said Ricky Coleman in history lesson at the Bayou Cleanup on Saturday. He said when he was a boy a man named Lemon used to milk his cows there and his grandmother used to churn that milk into butter for Ricky's breakfast.

Turning to the Cyclist's Manifesto, John noted two themes:
1. Signs and Signifiers in the American Landscape.
2. "In love with the machine, out of step with society."

Who rode the bicycle to significant effects, how they rode it, the result, and what the social commentary was about the ride:

1. Hiram Percy Maxim
MIT grad, the first to strap a motor to a bicycle, contemporary with Henry Ford. At first wouldn't go over hills or any incline and was highly unstable. He becomes a lead engineer at a car manufacturer. Many others throughout the U.S. working on the bicycle idea as transportation, including Ransom Olds and Henry Ford.

Leads to "Maxim's Theory of Motor Madness" -- the bicycle leads to people asking for more roads and places to pedal; after the car replaces it, the bicycle doesn't start selling highly again until the 1970's. 1973 is the high mark in bike sales and still has been passed.

In the 1880's the League of American Wheelmen emerged. The bike is a luxury good at first, but becomes more affordable. The LAW become the "respectable riders," with others seen as less so, e.g., "The Rolling Hoodlums" -- two stripes of wheel jockeys. They're fighting over the symbol and what it means. Who should be riding it and what does it mean? Road surfaces improved at the result of the LAW's advocacy. After a group of cyclists was banned from New York's Central Park, cyclists then negotiated a place on roads. That was part of distinguishing themselves from the "hoodlum" types of riders, and helped define the streets as a public good.

Bicycle racing in the 1890's was seen as equivalent to NASCAR now. The racing is similar to Kirin racing in Japan that goes on now and is similar to Velodrome racing. (John shows a youtube video of a Kirin race -- excitingly close at the finish with dramatic crashes!)

2. Major Taylor
Professional cyclist who was African American in the 1890's (preceding the negro league in baseball); rode with success; but died penniless in a community hospital and whose invention of the steel wheel didn't take off.

3. Tom Cooper
National champion bike racer who was a vocal opponent of Major Taylor who also raced; Taylor was banned, attacked, ganged-up on, strangled, and knocked unconscious. The social commentary element of it shows how sport can serve as a venue for racial equality.

4. Francis Willard
A big figure in womens' suffrage, and rode a bicycle against the "better judgment" of men and cut off her blumers in order to ride. After crashing on her first ride she said she'd "tasted freedom... and it has done me no harm"...

5. Japanese Soldiers who fought on bicycles in World War II.

6. Dave Stoller
He challenged the cultural norms of sport; going European and risked being an "Italian bum".
On the issue of protest, "critical mass" is a movement of taking up public space and riding bicycles en masse. Though it has often been successful and peaceful, it has also led to disputes between motorists and riders. "Critical manners" is an alternative form of collective riding that is based on doing the same but without being antagonistic. Dr. Davenport says he realized today that he is Dave Stoller!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Coates Bluff Trail Now Cleaner and Well-Celebrated!

Thanks to all who helped clean and celebrate the Coates Bluff Trail this past Saturday!

About 40 people contributed to the effort, some on the Valencia Park Side, others on the Montessori end, to pick up trash that had long sat along the beautiful forested area between Magnet and Montessori.

The trail is now clearer and cleaner than it's ever been! (Check out that newly mulched path navigating a soggy section!)

BTW, the nature loop is a "must see". It starts at Montessori. Signs are posted to designate natural features such as native plant species and wildlife signs. Get out and walk it!

Thanks again to all who pitched in!

TO COME: SIGNAGE! (Thanks to John Davenport, Jon Soul, and Bill Day!)
NEXT MEETING: Monday April 5th for Friends of Shreveport Greenways!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Coates Bluff Cleanup & Celebration, Sat, Mar 27, 9 am to 1 pm

Coates Bluff Cleanup & Celebration

Choose from two locations (rain or shine)

A) The Montessori School for Shreveport – 2605 C.E.Galloway Blvd.

∙ Spring cleaning along C.E.Galloway Blvd.
∙ Self-guided nature walk & bird study tips from local experts
∙ “Greenway” education – learn the future of Shreveport’s greenways & trails

B) Valencia Recreation Center – 1800 Viking Dr.
∙ Spring cleaning along Coates Bluff trail
∙ Coates Bluff historians – join local experts and residents to discuss the little known history of one of Shreveport’s most fascinating areas

12 – 1PM: Free lunch and live music at Montessori

TO BRING: work gloves, long pants, insect repellant, sunscreen

Come help honor Shreveport’s past & create its future!
Brought to you by: Stoner Hill Action Group, Stoner Hill Eastside Brotherhood & Sisterhood Association, The Montessori School for Shreveport, ABetterShreveport.Org, SPAR, Centenary College

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Boardwalks to Built Friday at 3:00 in preparation for Saturday Clean-up and Celebration

The meeting last night was to plan for the big cleanup coming this Saturday. One of the outcomes was the decision to build boardwalks this Friday at 3:00. Meet over at the Montessori School if you'd like to help out.

In attendance at last night's planning meeting for Saturday's Clean-Up: Jon Soul, Steve Godfrey, John Davenport, Will Smith, Matthew Linn, Carolyn Manning, Cynthia Keith, Andy Goldthwaite, Loren Demerath.

Jon said he and Andy have established a loop trail with the help of Ed Leuch and Sarah Savage and others. This will people to see what a nice nature trial looks like. They discovered an old swithback trail going up to the southeast corner of the Stoner Lab school field.

On Saturday, we'll have signage, black containers, bananas/water/coffee/paper towels, two tables at Montessori and Valencia, tools, and a first aid kit.

In the ravine there's a lot of trash and large scale junk like appliances and the like. There's a large storm drain on the southern end of Viking and they can be labeled as needing intervention. "Tin can crossing" where a lot of cans and bottles are is getting flooded by run off from Galloway and Olive street and the water is going into the drain. Another drain off of East Washington is one Jon has also been monitoring. These impact the area and we could identify what needs to be done with them help with runoff and flooding.

Matthew mentioned that Jennifer Zumbado has info on all the drains.

Jon said SPAR has been very helpful asking what they can do. At our request they put in a gate on the southern fence, but we won't use that Saturday because the trail is on a hillside there and needs shoring up first.

We'll need to create signage on Viking and at the Valencia parking lot. Valencia will serve as the historical information center for the event and greenway. Jeff Girard will be a main person at that table. Other local residents including Will Smith will welcome people and help host the table. Will and Loren will print out some of the old historical maps of the area.

Matthew volunteered to bring coffee and Jon said he could use Montessori's coffee makers. Matthew will have coffee carafes at both tables. Steve suggested contact info sheets that could be at each table. John noted that Sarah Savage has been out with Ed Leuch and would be good at the Montessori table helping with nature trail educational stuff. Malari Coburn would be good at the Valencia base on historical stuff.

The city will provide a trash dumpster at Valencia, and Michael Hughes of Hughes Recycling will be providing as many garbage totes as we want as well as dollies and other collecting devices. We'll need someone at the dumpsters to help sort. Andy said the best strategy would be have people equiped with buckets and they fill their buckets up with trash at Tin Can Crossing and bring them back up to dump them in the larger recepticles.

John Davenport volunteered to be the sorter at Valencia.

Litter grabbers will be helpful that we may be able to get from Shreveport Green.

We'll have a training session and hazards talk that Andy can give about poison ivy, ticks, snakes.

Andy and others will start at the shed and gather up tools and take it to Valencia. Jon will be there early and will lay out the tools people will need.

Carolyn will bring a first aid kit.

Jon then went over the Montessori side set up:
Sevier Street will be blocked off as it was last year. The ridge along Galloway will be cleaned up, to stop the trend of people throwing trash into that brush and forested area.

Two tents will be across Sevier Street from the trail head. The bird watching group will have a table there. They'll be there early and will have walked it. They'll have literature on birding and how to get your family outdoors.

We'll also have a greenway flier table there. Food and refreshments will be at the adjoining tent.

Live music entertainment by Brittany Maddux will be from 11:30 to 12:30, and we'll have a hat out with a sign saying "donations for the entertainment".

Thursday or Friday afternoon Jon will be making rudimentary boardwalks over the soggy area about twenty yards into the trail for about a fifty yard stretch.

Discussion turned briefly to land adjacent to Centenary that has been used to dump tires recently, but could eventually be a section of greenway. We think that the land was sold from Centenary to a Mr. Rossbottom, who lives in Dallas and owns many of the video poker machines in the area.

The group then adjourned to print maps and scout possible building materials being stored from past theater productions that we might ask Don Hooper about for boardwalk use.

Jon and Loren said they'd be up for helping Jon build boardwalks on Friday afternoon at 3:00. Any others who'd like to help are welcome!

The meeting will be in two weeks on April 5th.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Orleans work-in-progress: the Lafitte Corridor, a rails-to-trails project

This video will give you the origins and scope of the Lafitte Corridor project, which begins "behind" the French Quarter and heads toward Lake Pontchartrain. Exciting and inspiring.

Thanks, Steve Godfrey.

Btw, Bud's Broiler is considered an insider's item, a Crescent City classic.

US govt policy: " Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes."

Bike to Work 05.18.07
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Found this blog post, says Mark Goadrich, from Ray LaHood, the U.S. Secretary of
Transportation, that might be relevant to A Better Shreveport's


From the article:

[...] we have formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities:

Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.
Go beyond minimum design standards.
Collect data on walking and biking trips.
Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are
protected (for example, snow removal)
Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects.

Thanks, Mark.

Details on March 27th Coates Bluff Event

Coates Bluff

Cleanup & Celebration


9AM – 1PM

9AM – 12PM: Choose from two locations (rain or shine)

A) The Montessori School for Shreveport2605 C.E.Galloway Blvd.

∙ Spring cleaning along C.E.Galloway Blvd.

∙ Self-guided nature walk & bird study tips from local experts

∙ “Greenway” education – learn the future of Shreveport’s greenways & trails

B) Valencia Recreation Center1800 Viking Dr.

∙ Spring cleaning along Coates Bluff trail

    ∙ Coates Bluff historians – join local experts and residents to discuss the little known history of one of Shreveport’s most fascinating areas

    12 – 1PM: Free lunch and live music at Montessori

    TO BRING: work gloves, long pants, insect repellant, sunscreen

Come help honor Shreveport’s past & create its future!

Brought to you by: Stoner Hill Action Group, Stoner Hill Eastside Brotherhood & Sisterhood Association, The Montessori School for Shreveport, ABetterShreveport.Org, SPAR, Centenary College


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Planning for Bayou Cleanup and Celebration at Last Week's ABetterShreveport Greenways Meeting

Great meeting last week. Kudos to Jon Soul for organizing and administering an effective agenda! Here are the notes:

In attendance at last week's ABS Greenways meeting: Matthew Linn, Jon Soul, Will Smith, Cynthia Keith, Feico Kempff, Loren Demerath, and Carolyn Manning.

Matthew Linn began the meeting by volunteering to provide coffee.

Cynthia described the conversation that began with the question answer period following the CAG broadcast with Rozeman and Aubry; one person recalled the old veteran's park up above the frisbee golf course area where the pond is and stage was; this new revival of that area could be looking down on the dog park that could be dedicated to veterans and veteran animals (animals have "served") and where vets and others could sit and relax while watching animals play--one of the most enjoyable past times.

Cynthia said she'd like to go up with a group of ABetterShreveport folks and have a picnic and outdoor meeting; to be at the site and imagine what could be. The group expressed enthusiasm for that idea, noting that it's really hard to see what a site can be unless you're there. The group discussed the past of the Veteran's Park (Joan Jett, B.B. King, etc.)

Jon circulated the agenda for the meeting, which included the vision, strategy, and action plan for the Coates Bluff Greenway and Anderson Bayou (formerly known as Sykes Bayou). The action plan included the cleanup.

The vision -- we imagine it to be a... . The principles could be to facilitate a healthy & connected community, stewardship of natural & historical heritage, place-based education.

Strategy to pursue --e.g.,actively support presence in S’port/Caddo 2030 Master Plan (Chapter 6 in the Master Plan is Green Systems, and green networks is throughout it), determine funding sources, explore planning partnerships...

establish & improve existing trails

community outreach & education

Jon often takes children down the trail and stops at a certain point and points to the flags extending to the north and asks them if any of them have a sibling and always one or two or more will say they do; he'll mention how the trail could eventually extend that far. Will and Jon said they'd seen wildlife including foxes and owls in the area.

Among the "To Do's":

identify sensitive areas (yellow dots);

Jon said the trail that goes along the Shreveport side (vs. the western "Bossier Parish" side) is more sensitive with water and erosion possibilities and should be a lower trafficked foot path. If we're considering doing more trail work, establishing a trail on the Bossier side... that's private land

The Shreveport side is on a slope, easily eroded, and is very wet and would require things like boardwalks or someting to route over lower floodable areas.

Jon reviewed the sensitive areas where there is water, flooding, and particular wildlife sites, such as the beaver lodge.

Jon also reviewed the areas that have a lot of trash, such as "Tin Can Crossing" or the section along the ridge of Galloway where there are no houses just to the north of the Montessori School. Jon wants to knock that out and make it clean before it sets a standard of a dumpable area (cited the Broken Windows phenomenon).

trash removal (orange dots)

Jon reviewed the tools and support we would need:

wheelbarrows, gloves, black containers

Jon would contact the city for a trailer; Andy Goldthwaite will contact Hughes Recycling; Someone would also contact BCOS and contact SPAR about the gate into Valencia park.

Will mentioned the history he had researched and said it was the Heart Ferry Road that went into the steam boat port between the Coates Bluffs knolls.

We will have an educational table and field guides and interpretters; Sarah Savage will work on making signs to post (simply; e.g. cardboard); Ed and Beth Leuch said they'd be willing to walk the trail and tell people about the flora and fauna in the area;

We have a name: "The Coates Bluff Cleanup and Celebration", March 27, 9AM - 12PM.
The flyer & more details will be forthcoming but basically --
cleanup & coates bluff education at Valencia park
picnic shelter for "base" and information
rec center for bathrooms/ water and bananas
use big double-gate for access to trail and "tin can alley"
cleanup, nature walk, greenway education, and food at MSS
tents/tables for "base" and info
MSS for bathroom/ hot dogs at 11:30

Next Greenways meeting will be in two weeks on Monday the 22nd, mainly to be used to further prepare for the cleanup.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Davenport's Greenways Class

Dr. Davenport lectured today on the structure and functions of riparian corridors.

Key ecological functions:
  • helps water quality
  • helps buffer against erosion
  • helps animals
  • stream organisms use organic material ("leaf litter") from riparian vegetation ("downed woody debris") helps add complexity to the stream channel and helps animals like amphibians lay their eggs in eddies and slow moving water away from the "flow".

Two characteristics of riparian ecosystems:
1. laterally flowing water rises and falls during growing season.
2. high degree of connectiedness, e.g., through flooding, or through animals feeding and foraging and carrying with nutriants and waste; energy is carried back and forth.

Might need to know what plants and animals live near a greenway before designing it and what their needs are.

Riparian vegetation reulates factors such as water temperatures.

River Continuum Concept: can have different order streams, going from first to second to third, etc.; faster flowing and less shade; in other places it could have a lot of shade and be very fast flowing if'it's a mountain stream and shade occurs early and late in the day.

1st order is smallest, and might not flow all year; two of the same level combining would make for a larger "higher" level stream.

When designing greenways we need to consider what species would persist, and what kinds of streams would be good for providing the basis of a greenway.

Also need to consider buffer width of greenways. Factors influencing buffer effectivenss include:
  • Invasive Species: can increase errosion due to sparse root network.
  • Sediment removal effectiveness
  • Nutrient and pollutant removal effectiveness
  • Floral and faunal community structure protection
  • Budget to research effectiveness of buffer (includes costs for scientists to go into the field to collect data, then to do the analysis in the lab; compuer analysis and modelling tasks also could be part of the budget.
Expensive to do, but might need to do conduct the studies in order to get funding.

Aha! The need to spend money to get money! Sounds familiar...

More soon y'all! And thanks Dr. Davenport! (They used the rest of the period to go over the midterm and talk about their research projects.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Planning Meeting Tonight for the 2nd Annual Bayou Cleanup

Tonight will be a planning meeting the 2nd annual bayou cleanup on Saturday March 27th. We had almost 100 people last year, and collected over 3 tons of trash!

This year, we go deeper into the forest, and there's a possibility of having different teams working on different tasks, including trail making. It's all part of continuing our work on making a greenway
trail through a beautiful and historic stretch of forest. It will serve our community for recreation and leisure, not to mention education, and even transportation.

So join us at 6:15 tonight at Centenary Square, room 206. (Across the street from George's Grill on Kings Highway; enter from the parking lot in back and you can't miss us.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seattle Presentation on "Green Zone Planning" in Alexandria

From Robert Trudeau:

"Green Zone Planning" was a presentation at a recent planning conference in Seattle; it was given by Alexandria, La, planner Patrick Moore.

Listen here to Red River Radio's Kate Archer Kent's report from Megan Wolcott on Moore's concept of weaving green belts into the fabric of a municipality.

Thanks Robert!

What do you think Shreveporters? If Alexandria can have it, how about us?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Funding Sources Identified at Last Night's Meeting

We had a good meeting last night with our downstate guest from the National Park Service Stacy Palmer. As it happens, both she and Matthew Linn provided us information on funding available for greenways. Here are the meeting notes:

In attendance: Carolyn Manning, Cynthia Keith, John Davenport, Feico Kempff, Stacye Palmer, Matthew Linn, Loren Demerath.

The group discussed the possible "Family Day on the Greenway" over Easter weekend, but Loren received word from Ian later that night that he's going to have to cancel it for this year. The group's discussion did raise the issue that Shreveport does not have a big Easter Egg hunt type of event and it could be an opportunity to have an outdoor event that would publicize linear parks, the dog park, etc.

It was also noted that having an organized ride would raises the level of bike culture in the city; people could pay $10 each for t-shirts and insurance; have different levels of riding; distances, etc.

Stacye Palmer said Bill Lane made a concept map of the greenway that we could use in our brochure and she'll be sending that on to us.

Stacye described our application for $20,000 challenge cost share, and described another opportunity as well: the Louisiana Recreational Trail Grant that could pay for our funding of MHSM to do the plan for us. Are needs at this point are largely for planning costs.

Stacye asked Carolyn to let them do some of the marketting with her. Carolyn's already bought a commercial grade printer for this purpose. But, long run, to get a grant to print the back of the brochures, and that means it'll be professionally printed on the outside and Carolyn would update it on the inside on her printer. Carolyn says she needs other eyes looking at the drafts; if we could sit around the computer and have a work session on finishing up the brochure and the powerpoint. She and Loren agreed to do that.

The group discussed the brochure; larger size makes it less likely to be thrown away; to be put at events, bike shops, give to stakeholders, caddo parish school board, etc.; make it look real. The tri-fold one will be easier to make and would just tell people about our group generally.

Feico asked about whether other organizations down state get a disproportionate share of money and Stacye said she didn't think so. Stacye described the Lafitte Corridor project that is the only other similar project going on in the state supported by the National Park Service and noted that they started before us and are further along. Feico said we could copy the Lafitte concept for having a Centenary to LSUS route.

The National Park Service has a memorandum of understanding that they use ASLA pro bono to do this sort of thing. It may be the same people as with MHSM. If we're going to pay anyone for planning, we want to use MHSM for it because they've invested in the process and would be well-qualified to assist us.

Matthew Linn reported on a funding opportunity for land aquisition; if non-profits can raise 20% of the money the federal government will pay the rest for parks and trails. (More money is available if its accessible to motorcycles, oddly enough.) Local expertise and help would seem to be available, since both the president of the state parks--Larry Raymond--and the president of the police jurors association--Carl Pierson--are both in Caddo Parish.

Matthew said at LSUS he's been working with Amanda Lewis under Gary Hanson, head of the Red River Management Foundation, and using information provided by Ardie Cisario and Ali Mustafa, as part of a group that might be named something like the Caddo Parrish Stormwater Drainage Cooperative on building web sites that would be used to vent information for what land has ever been flooded, and also for what land is used or desired to be used for alternative transportation via pathways; Matthew will be putting a resolution forward to have it endorsed by the Parrish. He'll also be presenting it at the Levee Board Office on Thurs the 11th at 10:00 at their offices on Grimmett; They'll be looking for endorsements from NLCOG, Caddo Parish, the city of Shreveport, LSUS, the Red River Waterway Commission, and others. It's patterned after a facebook/static website design that was put together by the DOTD. The general idea is that trails can exist on lands used for flood relief.

Bill Weiner's proposal would be an implementation of this. This group would hopefully be marketting it nationally. People would be able to interface with the web site to mark where they flood or would like to have paths.

From Matthew's Facebook page: "A Better Shreveport Members! 80/20 non-profit land purchase assistance through LASTATEPARKS.com or 225-342-8188 ask for Cleve Hardman max purchase per non-Profit is $100,000 land may be used for bicycle, roller skates, walking, etc etc. If you allow motorcycles max purchase price goes up to $200,000 deadline is May 1, 2010"

Next week will be a planning meeting for the cleanup event coordinated by Jon Soul and Andy Goldthwaite. The recommended routes map also needs finishing and the sharrows project can be pushed forward as well--a request needs to be made for paint, a time set for painting, volunteers signed up, etc.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Action on Greenways, and Encouraging Bicycling Discussed at Last Meeting

Just for the record!

Notes from the last meeting:

In attendance: Malari Coburn, Sarah Savage, Maurice Loridans, John Davenport, Jeff Welborn, Feico Kempff, Loren Demerath.

The meeting centered on how to increase walking and biking in the city:


Maurice described the "Urban Bikers" Saturday coffee run that he and Valerie and Cynthia and Carolyn did through Meet-Up. They biked from Betty Virginia around South Highland and up to the Naked Bean. Meetup hasn't seemed to work that well for recruiting people, but Carolyn said it gradually builds through a grapevine--starts with a few and eventually you end up with lots; part of what they plan to do on these kinds of rides is scout a few garage sales and estate sales and second hand clothing shops; Maurice noted they didn't have cargo capacity like he and Val did with baskets. Backpacks would do though.


Feico and Jeff had been talking about funding; The Community Foundation had said it would be willing to serve as umbrella organization for holding funds that people might donate to some sort of "Friends of Shreveport Greenways Foundation"; donors could take advantage of the tax benefits of that.

Loren relayed Jon's announcement that at the meeting on March 8 we would begin planning for the bayou and trail cleanup on Sat., March 27. He's asked Andy Goldthwaite to help him work up that plan. Andy was involved in the organization of the cleanup last year and does maintenance cleanup regularly. We (ABS) can then discuss/tweak the idea and assign tasks if need be."

Loren and Feico described the meeting with Mike Strong and how it was basically good news in terms of being able to use these unused, unoccupied spaces for trails. The cleanup and maintainence involved improves the value of the properties that surround these areas, and doing what we've done in terms of first getting nearby the approval and support residents and neighborhood associations is the appropriate thing to do.

Loren reported that Matthew Linn had researched for us the parcel of land running from Anderson Blvd. to E. Elmwood into the Madison Park area, and said it was owned by one resident and the city. The Centenary Environmental Association is interested in cleaning the trail there and making it a more attractive area to walk. ABS will ask for a map from the city to as part of researching who should be contacted to solicit approval for doing that.

Jeff mentioned that Gary Hanson at LSUS could map some of these trails for us with the backpack GIS rig he has access to, as Jeff Girard has already done for us at Coates Bluff; he suggested we might want to contact their department to ask for that favor of mapping that would also give the opportunity to train some of their people, as well as providing a service to our community.

Jeff noted that once if the trails are mapped, we can then give the city or parish the data of where the trails are then they can piece them together; Malari said providing crosswalks and signage could be the kind of thing that would help; Feico noted that when demand arrises it give something for the city to respond to; it was noted we can use the ABS site to show where the trails are and have them become unofficial-official trails.

We noted that Mike Strong had related in our meeting that he thought much of the land of the easements were state property; it was noted that we can go through Larry Raymond and ask him to be the liaison with the state; he could find out if they're state and how we can use them and how to tie them to the park. It was noted that we'd get more protection with the state involved than we'd get with the city. Experience with developing Bickham Dickson has shown that. It was also noted that we are proposing no permanent structures; even pavement can be "picked up" so it makes it easier to get permission to use the land.

Centenary student, Sarah Savage, said she has been in conversation with National Park people about the best ways to have non-invasive trail markers and educational tools, particularly for projects like ours that don't have a lot of money. Sarah has worked with the National Park Service in doing educational programs in the past.

Jeff noted that establishing trails by use creates a common property notion; what would especially help is a complete plan that develops and coordinates this so they're not separate pieces; Feico said they may be waiting for the Master Plan. Jeff said any of these trails in use can be woven into it the plan; we shouldn't let waiting for that stuff stop us from establishing trails.

Maurice asked if Tim Wachtel's suggested improvements came up in the meeting; Shelly Reagle has said those are part of their planned improvements, and they're in the budget documents Matthew Linn brought to a meeting recently.


Feico asked John how many students in John's class bike, and Sarah said probably none in Shreveport, though she does in New Orleans.

A lack of a working knowledge with how to bike around Shreveport was discussed. How would a Centenary student get to Walmart for example?

Jeff and Maurice said they'd seen the bike racks ready to put on the buses. People have been asking about when they'll be there for a year in this group. Maurice heard you'll need a certificate to show the driver you know how to use the rack to be able to use it.

Sarah said if we can show how and where to use bikes in Shreveport, it would increase use; a kind of bike orientation for incoming students would help; Maurice has noticed a lot of bikes on Centenary's campus aren't stored; many of the Regents donated bikes have rusted (until professors John Davenport, Troy Messina and others took them inside). The campus could offer storage in some indoor facility, such as the basement tunnel of Mickle Hall.

On the notion of using bike racks to increase ridership, Jeff noted that they had tried to use bike racks to do that outside of the downtown YMCA but it wasn't successful.

Maurice said he plans on opening a bike coop downtown someday that would offer a place to shower, store your bike, and a locker. It was noted that that kind of thing is the sort of active lifestyle ammenity that would attract young educated "creative class" types. Similar to the Cohabitat shared workspace and work community facility being opened by Blake Burris and John Grindley.

Back to making S'port more bikable, It was also noted that a street map of recommended routes would help; although there are very few bikes on campus, with no places to put them and it being a small, somewhat hilly campus, there are many places students travel off-campus. Sarah said a list of places to which you can ride your bike and where you can stow it or lock it would help. (Maurice noted that the Kings Highway Brookshires lets you lock your bike on the railing by the entrance.) Putting it on our web site "bikeSB.org" would be a way of publishing it.

Sarah said we could use "surveymonkey" to poll the entire school. We could ask how many student have bikes on campus; how many would if there were lanes on the streets? bike paths going from campus to Walmart? etc. We could also ask how Shreveport compares to their hometowns on biking and what they'd like to see here that they have at home.

2nd Annual Bayou Clean-Up Day Set for March 27th

Last spring, nearly 100 people collected over 3 tons of trash from Anderson Bayou. Now that bayou is unquestionably a more beautiful place.

This time, we're targetting the area further up the bayou towards the old Coates Bluff Cemetery and behind the Stoner Lab Elementary School. It's been labelled "Tin Can Crossing" for reasons that would be apparent if the camera were pointed to the right.

Details to come from Andy Goldthwaite and Jon Soul on other specific tasks we'll be undertaking that day.

As many of you know, we've already established a trail through the area, and we hope to make it a greenway trail that Shreveporters will enjoy for generations to come!

So, mark your calendars for Saturday, March 27th, to clean up a precious spot of natural beauty that languishes in our own city.