ABS discusses Earth Day Clean-up, Bike Routes, Waterways, and future Dog Park Alliance events
In attendance: Katherine Brandl, Carolyn Manning, Susan Keith, Maurice Loridans, Loren Demerath, Elizabeth Rosselli, Cynthia Keith, Feico Kempff.
TRAIL-CUTTING ON 4/22 AT 2:00
The group talked about the need for a workday in the coming weeks, while the weather remains cool. Other upcoming events: Makers Fair (April 14), Chimp Haven (April 21), and Downtown Clean-up Day (April 28) were discussed to best schedule the workday. The Clean-up Day is necessary to clean the vicinity after the Makers Fair because people leave trash as they walk to their cars. Because numerous members plan to attend the event at Chimp Haven, the group decided to meet Sunday, April 22 in the afternoon.
The April 22 workday will clean the portion of the trail left unfinished from Centenary’s Big Event. The volunteers will meet at the Montessori parking lot at 2:00 and cut through the woods on the northern side of the right-of-way with loppers. This represents the Bossier Parish bike route of the Coates Bluff trail system. The Earth Day event will focus on the trail. In addition, Maurice suggested that the group GPS the trail, and put the route online for individual download. The results would allow the group to show landowners our efforts. The group would need to find the appropriate “app” to use because under tree canopy satellites can only guess where the user is.
Maurice offered suggestions for potential bike routes to the Makers Fair, but the route depends upon one’s starting point. Texas Avenue is a good bike route because it was built before cars, and road conditions favor mules. If coming from the east side of town, one rides along Marshall, and the north side has Hawn Avenue and Grimmett Drive. The west end of town has Lakeshore Drive and Ford Street. While Milam Street is hilly, it is a good route. For those arriving from outside of Shreveport, Highway 80 remains a good path. Lastly, bike users near the lake can take the trails.
The group delayed discussing the fall tree tour because John Robert and Garrett were not present and the local bayous until Jon visits.
Loren told the group about a bicycle Ian Webb told him about, the Wave Bike. The bicycle is meant to propel a boat. Ian knew the designer, a man who wanted to build a bike-boat. The device is the length of a canoe but looks like a kayak. The device utilizes a propeller for mobility and a keel to maintain balance on the water. The device uses the racing position on a bike because it’s believed to be the most efficient. A Louisiana Tech art professor explained how such a bike could be built. The device beat the eight-men rowing crews, some of the fastest man-made devices on the water, when tested at a regatta.
Some suggested these bike-boats as options for local water tourism. Wave bikes would be manufactured and available for rent. The practicality of the device for local use was debated. Underwater topography makes paddlewheels rather than propeller a better option. The inventor has stopped manufacturing Wave Bikes, so the potential for these bikes is limited.
Members described their recent experiences on the local waterways. Maurice and Jon recently saw a bald eagle near the Isle of Capri, and there has been a mating pair on Cross Lake for decades. Jon debriefed Maurice on his recent trip down Bayou Pierre. The salvenium blooms on Bayou Pierre cannot be completely eradicated, and the phenomenon began as a single strand on someone’s equipment. The group discussed possible solutions for these problems. The group wants the waterways to remain boat-able.
VALENCIA PARK FUTURE?
The group talked about future plans for Valencia Park. Feico attended the Valencia meeting where the city’s bond money was discussed. The maintenance and liability coverage on the pool at Valencia Park uses half of the budget, so the pool is permanently closing. The pool could become a water feature or be torn down and the pool house used for storage. The closure of the pool saddens some members concerned about children’s access to swimming pools, especially during summer. The group thinks tearing down the building would be a waste and several alternative solutions were suggested. Feico suggested the building be used as a senior center. As Valencia Park has the largest community garden in the area, the pool house could be used to sell the garden’s products. The thick walls would be good for a cheese cave. The building could also be used as an interpretative center for Coates Bluff usage.
MORE DOG PARK FUNDRAISERS!
The group concluded by updating on the Dog Park Alliance. The Dog Wash at Marilynn’s was a success. The Dog Park Alliance will host a 5K-Dog Jog on May 26 at 8am. The two runs will start at the dog park. The 5K starts at Hamil Memorial Park along the river, and the event is looking for a sponsor. After the runs, there will be a Sniff out the Dog Park party after with vodka-freeze machines and live music. Cynthia expressed the need for volunteers to hand out water along the course and assist the event. Cynthia explained the changed address for the organization, one donated by the Shreve-city UPS store. Future correspondence can be sent to:
1214 Shreveport-Barksdale Highway
Shreveport, LA 71105
Several miscellaneous items were lastly discussed. Several issues concerning Centenary led to discussion. The group discussed upcoming changes to Centenary’s residency policy that will require undergraduates to live on-campus. These changes will need discussion moving forward. One member recounted her recent experience helping a female student access her dormitory; the school has some A.D.A. problems. Cynthia reminded the group of the Cross Lake Flotilla on June 2 at the American Legion on South Lakeshore Drive. Some suggested a similar event on the Red River, but this move would be time-taxing for Cynthia. Because fewer people live along the river, attendance and planning would be harder.
(notes compiled by ABS intern, Elizabeth Rosselli)