Querbes Park in Shreveport will soon turn 100-years-old and community members are working to give the aging park some much needed upgrades.
The Querbes Park Foundation started two years ago. Its founder said they’ve made a lot of progress upgrading the park, but there’s about one-million-dollars worth of upgrades still needed to make the park what it could be.
James West oversees the foundation and has a personal connection to the park he’s trying to revitalize. He grew up learning to play golf at Querbes while his brother ran the tennis center.
“My mother was a tennis champion at Pierremont Oaks and played a lot of her tennis here at Querbes park. Generations of families have all had an experience at Querbes park,” said
James West, founder of Querbes Park Foundation.
He said when he moved back to Shreveport a few years ago he was sad to see how the park had deteriorated.
“Just neglect. Lack of an active budget, lack of active maintenance,” West said.
Since he started the foundation two years ago, they’ve completed a massive tree and property clean-up. But he said there’s a lot needed, from small repairs along the course to replacing facilities.
“I think this is the core of the most established neighborhoods in this town and if this park can’t be a model for these communities then we won’t have nice communities in the middle of our town,” West said.
The park is owned by the City and maintained by SPAR. The foundation partners with Shreveport Green. West is raising private donations for more park projects.
“We didn’t want it to be a golf foundation or anything specific. We see this park as a complete park from corner to corner. There’s a swimming pool, it’s a tennis facility, it has after school programs for the kids in this neighborhood, the community center. So it’s more than just a golf course,” West said.
He has a big vision for the park’s future by connecting it to bike and walking paths from Centenary College to Betty Virginia Park. He wants to preserve the park’s history while tapping into its potential.
West said private donations go directly back into park projects.
SPAR officials said they plan to revitalize the swimming pool after August. They also plan to upgrade the tennis facility but do not have a set timeline yet.