JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Jefferson Parish leaders hope revamping the Bucktown Harbor area will help draw more people to the lakefront. The harbor is owned by the state and leased by Jefferson Parish for recreational use.
"I think we can all agree we don't have much out there. So to me, it's just such an opportunity. It's also an opportunity to bring the kinds of quality of life things that people have told us they want in Jefferson that we don't always have enough of. Things to get their families outdoors," Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken said.
"I think it would be lovely, because I think people enjoy being outdoors and especially near the water. You know, it just makes you feel good," Susan Fulham said.
The parish held a community meeting in January and again this week to find out what residents would like to see on the open green space.
"We have great lawn areas. One will be a pavilion where we can hold things like farmers markets and other community events. More shelters, a fishing pier where you can take your pole out and fish in the lake. All those kinds of things. We want to see people enjoying along Lake Pontchartrain," Van Vrancken said.
"I think people are much more attuned to eating healthy and fresh and trying new things, and I think that's what they would get at a farmers market," Fulham said.
Van Vrancken said they've already started on some of the ideas.
"One of the ideas is the boardwalk. So that's one of the first ones we actually have in design already. A boardwalk on the outside of a marsh area that will let you look at the lake, let you look at the marsh, and appreciate what's in that marsh area," Van Vrancken said.
During January's public input meeting, some residents voiced concerns about how plans would affect the levee and their boats docked on the piers -especially during hurricane season.
"We have spoken to the Levee District, we've spoke to a lot of the community partners, we've spoken to the State Land Office who actually owns this land that we lease. They're all fine with the plans and the visions that people have given us for this site," Van Vrancken said.
According to the Bucktown website, people are most interested in seeing recreational boating, fishing, and keeping the space open for kayaking, fitness classes and more.