Kingsland park reopening has ‘hopeful’ July 4 date; aid needed

Kingsland Community Park

In anticipation of Kingsland Community Park and its boat ramp reopening soon, the Kingsland/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce is taking steps to raise money and protect the public space so residents and visitors alike can enjoy Lake LBJ. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

After the October 2018 flood devastated Kingsland Community Park, the Kingsland/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce began a plan to both restore the facility and protect it.

The chamber is the designated trustee of the park, 119 Christopher St., which is currently closed for restoration. Officials hope to reopen the park in time for July 4 celebrations.

“We are hopeful but not certain,” said chamber President Susan Patten, adding that, until recently, the park was being used by contractors removing lake debris. They have since moved out but are paying to have the parts of the park they damaged rebuilt, restoring bulkhead and docks and repaving roads.

Recent work included the installation of a security camera, which was activated June 6, at the park’s boat ramp.

Last July, someone shot out the security lights and stole the locked “honor” box in which boaters deposit $10 for use of the ramp. The camera is for extra security and to ensure people pay to launch their boats.

“Historically, we know not everyone has paid,” Patten said. “We’ll now know who is and isn’t.”

The chamber has also created ways for residents and businesses to help fund the park’s maintenance.

For an annual donation of $100 or more, a person or business can become a Friend of the Kingsland Community Park. As a Friend, the donor receives six boat launch passes per year and will be recognized on the Kingsland/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce website.

For a $750 annual donation, a person or business can become a Patron of the Park and receive an access pass for unlimited boat launches. Their names also will be listed on the chamber’s website.

Another option is to become a Partner of the Park for an annual donation of at least $1,000. That donation can be a substantial and ongoing in-kind gift such as:

• printing and signage;

• tracking of Friends, Patrons, and Partners;

• maintaining the boat dock, ramp, or grounds;

• pressure washing concrete areas and cleaning the park building’s tables and chairs;

• providing trash service;

• capital improvements to the grounds and park building;

• and providing internet service to the grounds and park building.

Partners will be named on park signage and included in an advertisement in the chamber’s Kingsland Magazine. Boat launch passes and rental privileges for the park building will be based on the contribution.

The park building is ideal for weddings, anniversary and birthday parties, and other celebrations, Patten said.

This community-involvement program is important to ensure the park continues to provide residents and visitors a fun, safe place to enjoy Kingsland, she added.

“The park isn’t tax-supported,” she said. “It’s totally dependent on volunteers and donations.”

Contact the chamber at kingslandchamber@gmail.com or (325) 388-6211 or go to kingslandchamber.org for more information.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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