March 26, 2002 - Blackwater

It may take a village to raise a child - but it took a city, a parish and the feds working together to raise our city's newest park.

Eight months ago when the hard work began, it was a scrubby, dusty, dirty dirt mine. Last July the bulldozers moved in and created the Blackwater Conservation Area. The unsightly Chinese tallow trees are gone. In their place are seedlings for 7,000 cypress, birch, sycamore and water oak, a mile and a half of walking paths and two big lakes which will be stocked with blue gill, large mouth bass and catfish.

Lt. General Robert Flowers, Chief of Engineers for the U.S. Army, explained, "The Blackwater Conservation Area not only provides a great ecological benefit, but it also acts during floods to reduce flooding downstream."

The park is dedicated to victims of September 11th. Gen. Flowers says, "I also lost some friends on September 11th at the Pentagon. It was a very tough time, and it is very fitting, since this project was underway during the attacks on September 11th, that it also be dedicated in their memory."

Before you ask - yes, fishing will be permitted in those two lakes. But you'll have to wait. The fish will need a few months to grow.