The cul-de-sac in Turner Subdivision in Solitude now features picnic tables, benches, a shade structure, and a slide while the West Feliciana Community Center in Independence gained a basketball court, benches, picnic tables, a shade structure, a playground and grills.
These pocket parks, also known as parkettes or parks on small parcels of land, are the result of a 2017 grant that the LSU AgCenter received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention High Obesity Program. West Feliciana Parish was one of three parishes in Louisiana chosen to receive funding because of its high prevalence of obesity at the time.
The LSU AgCenter in West Feliciana Parish hosted forums and coalition meetings in St. Francisville and Solitude. The coalitions discussed parish health needs and decided to use the funding to increase access to physical activity by adding parkettes and green spaces to the community.
The parish government and local council members supported the plan with the parish government providing the land where both parkettes now stand.
The projects met delays early on and COVID-19 also slowed progress, but with the help of the new West Feliciana Parks and Recreation director Jason Kinchen and coalition members, Sara Wilson-Rogers and Nicole Carter Harris, the projects were restarted.
Other West Feliciana Parks and Recreation staff members who helped make these pocket parks possible include David Cummings, Charlie Dixon, Herman Dixon, Scott Pittman, Robert Stevens, Mark Bryant, Casey Cleveland, Lorie Grezaffi and Erin Hoffman.
Turner Subdivision in Solitude now features a green space for fun, free physical activity. This pocket park resulted from a grant the LSU AgCenter received from the Centers for Disease Control High Obesity Program (CDC HOP). Photo by Layne Langley/LSU AgCenter
West Feliciana residents can now fire up a grill while the family enjoys this new playground structure at the West Feliciana Community Center. Photo by Layne Langley/LSU AgCenter
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture