Friday, April 30, 2010

If you love farmers' markets (and who doesn't?)...

Coming soon:
The Everything Green Expo & Early Farmer’s Market at the Everything Green Expo
Brookshires is shipping in special Farmer’s Market produce for sale in the parking lot of the Bossier Civic Center, Saturday, May 15 at 7 AM. Also, there is still space for local vendors in the parking lot - $10 for parking space to sell locally produced, grown or harvested items and art. About 20 of the 120 booths in the hall are available
. See for details or contact Marion Marks with questions at (318) 424-0880.


Ah well. We may try again soon. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You're invited to

“Trampin’ in the Park”

Saturday May 1 at 4pm

in Veteran’s Park

(Meet at the dog park banner in Veteran’s Park, across from the parking lot of the Frisbee golf course on Clyde Fant Pkwy)

(Forecasts say it'll be cloudy, bring an umbrella. We'll meet at 5:30 at the Barnwell Center if it's coming down.)

Join us as we tour Veteran’s Park. Relive past memories as we visit the amphitheater in the upper portion, learn about a new find in the hills, hear ABetterShreveport folks tell of their pedestrian and bike trails in the area and dog park updates.

We’ll travel down to the lower part for some tunes played by some that actually played on the amphitheater stage decades ago, along with some that wished they had.

We hope to have Dan Garner, Barbara Jarrell, John Howe, Amelia Blake, Loren Demerath, Fiddle Master-John Peck, Ron Cosby on the dobro, and Chuck Fulco on his harmonica jammin’ as we sing along and picnic.

Cheese and
special grape juice provided (shhhh, keep that part a secret). Bring a chair or blanket, something to munch on, and sit under the trees and enjoy an hour or two with us.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

ABS Meeting, Downtown Group, Master Plan Meetings, DDA lunch, all in one week!

Sure was a lot going on this past week! I'm working on summaries and will post them asap. No meeting this week (phew!) but in the meantime, we'll be working on getting paint for street painting and getting poison for that ivy. Last week, suffice it to say we worked on putting the town into downtown, and putting our feet and bicycles into tomorrow's transportation possibilities!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Low Income Housing, I-49, Coates Bluff Trail, Walking Youree & 70th Among Topics at Last ABS Meeting

In attendance: Lamar Wright, David Aubry, Susan Keith, Carolyn Manning, Sarah Savage, Loren Demerath

Sarah Savage described her work on the nature loop section of the Coates Bluff Greenway; how she had gone through the area with Botanist and Biology Professor Dr. Ed Leuch, how she is working on creating two guides for the loop, one for adults, and one for children.

Sarah also noted, as Jon did last week, the low lying sections of the trail near the water, and how natural barrier would help reduce erosion.

It was Lamar Wright's first time attending an ABetterShreveport meeting, and when asked what he thought would make Shreveport better, he said he'd to more places to ride his bike. Lamar lives around Youree and Milicent Way, and that area is difficult to ride around.

Carolyn expressed frustration that the link from Preston to Clyde Fant bike trail hasn't been built yet, and how she had heard it was scheduled to built over this winter.

The Urban Biker MeetUp group is working on meeting at the Robinson to have drinks then roll; sort of a pub crawl on the 22nd of April.

Carolyn said she recently walked from Kings Highway all the way to LSUS to see how dangerous it was and to see if it was possible; she said she received some unfriendly beeps and even got flipped off. She said Southfield is the last safe place as you walk south to cross Youree. Sarah said she's encountered the same sort of thing trying to jog around the Gilbert and Fern intersection, even getting flipped off; and walking from Centenary to Walmart and having to sprint across Youree at Kings.

Lamar noted a link from the end of Clyde Fant path to LSUS would be nice, and it was noted that such a path is in the SPAR plan. Lamar also noted, and others agreed that walking around the 70th and Youree area is all but impossible.

Loren asked David Aubry what he knew about the development of low and mixed income housing where I-49 would apparently go in the future, and David had good things to say about Mr. Harrington's success in developing, and most especially, managing low income housing areas. Mr. Harrington likes mixed income, and doesn't like any product where you could identity from appearances as a low income property, and Harrington insists that all who live in his properties must work--something that can accomplished, apparently, with diligent management. David noted that the funds for I-49 are not there yet. This is a "Hope Six" kind of project where organizations collaborate on the development. Carolyn noted that her brother quit his partnership to work with Harrington, and he's sold on him. The development he did in Texarkana has apparently been a real success and has helped transform a neighborhood. Carolyn has taken the Happi Homes class; a revitalization program for cities where people have to qualify for loans and the city will pay up to 10K for closing costs, and will also help with home repairs.

The conversation turned to Stoner Vista with someone asking who owned it. The housing authority doesn't own Stoner Vista. David said he wished they did, since he thought Huntington would clean it up. Places like that can be managed well or not well; caring or not caring about the behavior or standards that are happening. There are good property managers and bad ones; and good standards held for them and not.

It was said that if the PTA at Magnet were to write a letter to the chief of police, especially this chief, he'd do something about it.

Monday will be the next ABS meeting to talk greenways, bike lanes, and downtown development.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time Line and "Tramp in the Park" Discussed at Last Greenways Meeting

At the most recent Greenways group meeting of April 5 (a bunch of folks were there, but yours truly forgot to take attendance) Jon Soul went over a time line of tasks he thought would be appropriate for the nature loop trail and larger Coates Bluff Greenway, as follows:


Spring and Summer
  • add signage

    • signs at various points indicating where to enter trail and branches of the trail
      • John Davenport, Jon, and Mike Day are at work on those signs.
    • a sign to the effect that the nature loop trail is “maintained September through May” would allow people to understand that they would not be able to rely on the trail being maintained over the summer.

  • improve Valencia trail

    • the access point to the Valencia park needs work; either at the up-slope going to the new gate into Valencia park (thank you SPAR for installing that!)
      • Maurice Loridans said he was considering using a maddock to chip out sections and it make level that downslope.
      • An alternative would be to focus on the older double gate, though it apparently needs replacing with a U-latch; that gate could be decorated and to make the trail head entrance more visible from Viking Drive.
  • pollution control

    • a storm drain marking program is necessary to indicate where leakage appears to be happening.

      • on area in particular off the northwestern corner of Anderson Bayou has been reported as smelling bad and looking suspiciously bad.

Fall and Winter

  • to install screens

  • establish additional trails

    • including several, perhaps, to Riverscape


  • to hold a 3rd Annual Celebration and Project Day, either working on clean-up or trail maintenance.

Cynthia Keith and others were enthusiastic about holding a "Tramping in the Park" meeting on May 1st at 4:00 at Veteran's Park. The meeting would be part outdoor meeting, part picnic, and part reconaisance of the area for the purposes of a dog park and trail connections. Folks also talked about asking Barbara Jerrel to attend with her guitar and have a sing-along to remember when she played on the stage of the old amphitheater on the same bill as Otis Wheat.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Coates Bluff Greenway project video shows progress in the woods alongside old Pierre Bayou

Jon Soul, Feico Kempff, Loren Demerath, Carolyn Manning, Maurice Loridans and other members of A Better Shreveport are fashioning a trail that will become a greenway in East Shreveport.

While funding, surveying and the writing of specs are still being worked on, the group has removed trash and cut a path through the bottom alongside the Bayou Pierre channel.

Meetings have created a dialogue between the Caddo School Board, the City of Shreveport, the Caddo Parish Commission, Montessori School, Stoner Hill leaders and A Better Shreveport.

If you'd like to hike the trail or join the effort to build the greenway, email Loren Demerath at
Also, please say hello at or at the ABetterShreveport Facebook group page.

Listening to Feico: Andrea Masters-Everson and Jeff Everson.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Highland Clean-Up is this Saturday, lunch included!

This was sent from Dan Marcalus. Thanks Dan! Sounds great! Should be a satisfying experience for hearts and stomachs both!
"In conjunction with the Great American Clean Up being run city-wide. Volunteers from the Highland Restoration Association are participating in the Great American Clean-Up Saturday, April 10, by picking up litter and other debris in the neighborhood. Join us in this effort and meet at the Highland Center parking lot on Olive St at Highland Ave at 8:00 am. We will work until until 11:00 am, and lunch will be provided to those who help all morning. See you there!"