Shreveport park is now part of Red River National Wildlife Refuge

Local

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — A popular park in south Shreveport is now under new management.

In partnership with the City of Shreveport, the federal government has taken over operation of C. Bickham Dickson Park, which now becomes part of the Red River National Wildlife Refuge.

In 2019, the Shreveport City Council agreed to a 99-year lease of the Park to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Mayor Adrian Perkins said, “It will be great to get C. Bickham Dickson Park open again and accessible to the public. This collaboration is a great way to ensure the conservation of this park for many years to come.”

The Park has been closed off and on since 2014 mainly due to flooding. Discussion began in 2015 between the City of Shreveport Mayor’s office, the Director of Shreveport Public Assembly and Parks, and The Nature Conservancy of LA about the future of the Park. TNC recommended the NWR as a possible win-win alternative for managing the Park.

The purpose of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to conserve America’s lands and waters including fish, wildlife, and plants for the benefit of future generations of the American people.

Refuge Manager, Pat Stinson said, “We will open the Park, renamed the C.B. Dickson Unit, to fishing, boating with trolling motors only, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, bird watching, nature photography, and nature study, while camping and hunting will not be allowed.”

TNC is pleased to have been a part of building the partnership.

State director for TNC Keith Ouchley said, “This is what I love about working for TNC – finding solutions that make sense for the economy, the environment and the public. It’s a great outcome for the City, the NWR, the public and the natural resources.”

This week, the refuge manager will open the first parking lot. The second gate will remain closed as it will take a while to do all the clean-up such as removing debris, tackling invasive plants, and installing signage.

The Nature Conservancy, City of Shreveport, and State of Louisiana Department of Culture and Tourism are working with the Refuge on a grand opening event tentatively set for spring 2021.

The Headquarters Unit and Visitor Center of Red River National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Arthur Teague Parkway south of the Jimmie Davis/70th St. Bridge at 150 Eagle Bend Point in Bossier City.

Due to COVID-19, the visitor center is still closed but the refuge property and hiking trails are open.

For more information about Red River National Wildlife Refuge call (318) 742-1219, visit http://www.fws.gov/refuge/red_river/ or https://www.facebook.com/RedRiverNWR.

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