Following a celebratory ribbon cutting, parish children raced through the gate of the newly renovated Oak Grove Community Park on Saturday morning, signaling the park's opening.


Following a celebratory ribbon cutting, parish children raced through the gate of the newly renovated Oak Grove Community Park on Saturday morning, signaling the park's opening.

Designed by Reich Associates and built by Holly Construction, the park is located at the intersection of LA 42 and LA 73, just east of US 61. The first phase of the park renovation plan includes a spray park, two playgrounds, a pavilion, beach volleyball court, fencing, landscaping, wireless Internet access and other amenities.

Following the singing of the National Anthem by Madison Levy, Ascension Parish Councilman Chris Loar, whose daughter Evangeline officially cut the ribbon, addressed the crowd of parish parents, children and dignitaries.

“This is more than an individual effort,” Loar said during the opening ceremony. “Something like this, you learn in politics, if you want to get anything done, it takes a group of people who work together. This could not have been done without the parish president's support and the support of my fellow councilmen.”

Parish President Tommy Martinez lauded Loar for his efforts during the construction of the park. The park was proposed by Loar and park construction has been underway since late 2009.

“I certainly want to thank Chris for his persistence on this,” Martinez said. “The efforts of both he and the volunteers on this project should not go unnoticed.”

Loar thanked many area businesses who donated to the park and to all volunteers who showed up this past year to help with playground equipment construction.

He also thanked Parish Recreation Director Garney Gautreau and his staff for their work in getting the park ready for use.

Loar said renovations will be made to the present community center building on the grounds to reflect the Acadian-style architecture of a community store once on-site.

Loar said funding was secured by state Sen. Jody Amedee for that project and it will begin next year.