Entries from the ABetterShreveport blog relevant to the Coates Bluff Nature and History Trail
History of Coates Bluff (Compiled by Susan Keith, Retired Magnet High Teacher)
Fall 2005 – Jon Soul’s children began attending The Montessori School for Shreveport (MSS); Jon took notice of Anderson Bayou and lots of dumping.
Fall 2008 – Jon Soul began teaching in the MSS middle school; began exploring bayou & adjacent sewer easement/maintenance road with students.
Spring 2009 -- Organized a large community cleanup of the bayou.
Fall 2009 -- Started Outdoor Education Program at MSS; began using 1/2 mile "nature loop" with all ages at MSS.
Winter 2009 -- Met with Mike Strong to receive permission to continue using trail -- verbal permission and support granted.
Winter 2009 -- Established foot trail with ABetterShreveport (ABS) extending trail to Magnet High School.
Spring 2010 -- SPAR installed gate in southeast corner of Valencia Park for Magnet and Valencia Rec Center students.
Spring 2010 -- 2nd community cleanup of trail from MSS to Valencia Park.
Fall 2010 -- Invited the manager at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge to come give advice on invasive species control along the trail (specifically Chinese Tallow); he brought Mike Renfro, a private land biologist with the FWS; both were very impressed.
Spring 2011 -- Magnet students began using the trail with teacher Robert Trudeau; Valencia Rec Center began using trail during "Winter Camp."
Spring 2011 -- 3rd annual cleanup: "Hopewell Cemetery Cleanup & Watershed Protection."
Spring 2011 -- EB Williams Stoner Hill Elementary installed gate on fence line in order to access trail; 5th graders used trail for first time.
Spring 2011 -- ABS assumed role of strategic planner for Coates Bluff development; Centenary College hosted 1stCoates Bluff community meeting - David Rowe, Centenary's president presides; working groups formed (ex. education).
Summer 2011 -- 2nd & 3rd Coates Bluff community meeting(s): mapping and conceptual design alternatives for the trail to help stakeholders come to consensus on values, programming, and use of the space. Outlined a clear set of values, brainstormed programmatic needs, and built a volunteer base. Discussed activities, fundraising, and governance/maintenance options.
July 28, 2011 -- ABS met with FWS; FWS is ready to secure funding for the trail and provide guidance in best management practices.
Aug 15, 2011 -- 4th ABS Coates Bluff meeting: Present concept design and proposal to stakeholders for review.
Oct.11 -- Steph & Jon presented to Bird Study Group
Nov. 6 -- Bayou cleanup with Centenary Students
Nov. 12 -- Coates Bluff trail opening celebration (tables by MSS, ABS, Walter B. Jacobs Nature Park)
Nov. 18 -- Walked trail with Wes Wyche
Nov. 27 -- ABS advocacy event -- worked on access trail for Stoner Hill Elementary. Channel 6 showed up http://arklatexhomepage.com/search-fulltext?nxd_id=219567