New views at Poole’s Bluff

Published 8:42 am Friday, May 15, 2015

Washington Parish District 1 Councilman Kenneth Wheat said he has heard nothing but positive comments from the public since the fishing pier at the north end of Poole’s Bluff was recently completed.

Some finishing touches — such as signage, planting of shrubs and grass, lighting and restrooms and a few other amenities — are yet to be completed. Construction on the fishing pier took approximately six months to complete.

Along with a $25,000 grant from Parkway Pipeline, the Poole’s Bluff Nature Project is being funded by an $89,300 federal Recreational Trails Program Grant administered through the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

A finished gazebo is at the south end of the park near the boat launch. A cement walkway connects the gazebo and pier. The Nature Trail is near completion.

“I went down there when it opened last week and talked to a family fishing from the pier.” Wheat said. “I asked if they had caught anything. “They said, ‘No, but we’re enjoying quality time and the peacefulness.’ I’ve had countless others who say the project was a good idea because the area is safer now than it was one or two years ago. I’m hearing there is a lot more pride in the area. Those are the comments I’m hearing.”

The fishing pier extends 50 feet over the Pearl River. It has a covered area and will be handicapped-accessible. A sign emblazoned with “Poole’s Bluff Fishing Pier” is in the works at the pier’s entrance.

“We are proud of this pier project. It’s the first of its kind in recent memory,” Washington Parish Director of Public Works Leo Lucchesi said. “This affords the public access to a convenient location for a scenic view or to drop a line into the waters of the Pearl.”

Washington Parish President Richard Thomas said he appreciated the effort at getting the pier completed.

I appreciate all the hard work on the project, especially with it not costing the parish anything” Thomas said.

Thomas said the Washington Parish Poole’s Bluff Nature Park Advisory Council deserves recognition. It included Malinda White, Luchessi and Wheat.

“This project has been such an enhancement to that area,” White said.

Much of the labor on the project was done by inmates from Rayburn Correctional Center under wardens Robert Tanner and Sandy McCain. Thomas said Northshore Technical College students also donated their expertise.

“It’s taken a while, but the fishing pier is completed,” Thomas said. “It was like the little train that was going uphill; it kept trying and eventually made it.”