LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - In October of 2018, the City of Lake Charles was one of ten cities selected nationwide to receive a $225,000 grant from the National Recreation and Parks Association to develop green storm water infrastructure.
“While COVID-19 and back-to-back hurricanes may have delayed this project slightly, we are thrilled to be here today to break ground on these improvements.”
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Hillcrest Park Improvement Project is the first step for the city as they plan to make significant upgrades to the park.
“So, we have the bioswale that runs almost the whole length of the site that’s going to capture water from the site, as well as capture some water off of the street.”
The bioswale will be able to hold 73,000 gallons of storm water, which will help an area that is prone to flooding.
“This community did experience flooding during Harvey and I believe during Hurricane Delta as well. So, it’s a really big need.”
The existing trees and the 20 additional trees the city plans to plant will help with runoff near the park.
“Right behind this site, you can’t really see it... There’s a drainage lateral that takes in all of that storm water from this community and if we can take a little bit of load off of that drainage then it can capture more of that storm water from the roads and other things while this site kind of takes care of itself and takes some of the storm water off of the roads.”
There’s a school nearby that city officials hope will eventually be able to utilize the upgraded park.
“And this setting could be an outdoor classroom for them. Then we could have functions out here because it defends us against the virus and a lot of things we’re going to be doing, we have to do it in open space. So, you’ll never know how far this will go.”
The City of Lake Charles plans to have the Hillcrest Park Improvement Project complete by the first quarter of 2021.