Wrought iron lights for Lakeview park

Group wants to put up wrought-iron lights in Lakeview park

Mike Hoss

As dusk quickly turns to night, Celeste Toups is running around New Basin Canal Park with her boyfriend, but she says if he couldn’t have made it, she wouldn’t have come either.

“Getting off of school after work, I have to run home, see if I can get a quick run before it gets dark because the lighting’s really bad, and it’s just not safe running by yourself,” she said.

But that may not be a problem down the road, as the Friends of Lakeview organization hopes to put wrought-iron lights around and inside the park.

If you’re not familiar with the name “New Basin Canal Park,” you likely are familiar with the area. It’s the huge neutral ground space between West End Boulevard and Pontchartrain Boulevard, with Veterans and Robert E. Lee marking the top and bottom.

The $450,000 to $500,000 Light up Lakeview design is the first capital project for the non-profit, and all money will be raised privately to pay for it.

“It can be a beacon, to use that comparison,” said Glenn Stoudt, chairman of Friends of Lakeview. “I think it’s important. The reason it came to the top is because even though it’s in Lakeview, it can be used by people from all around the metro area, actually.”

After Hurricane Katrina, this park housed a pile of debris five stories high. Over the last three years the Friends of Lakeview have planted 500 trees here, and now it hope the lights will be the next stage in this parks symbolic turnaround.

“With the future plans we’ve got, we’ll transform what was a one-time symbol of devastation into a totally brand new park for our neighborhood,” said Al Petrie, president of Friends of Lakeview.

And one that highlights safety as well. “I think more people would want to walk later at night than now,” said Brittany James. “It would help a lot.” The lights, like the funding, will likely come in stages.

This Saturday there will be the first fundraiser for the light and lampposts. It will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Vicksburg Street.

from wwltv.com

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