The Village adopted an overall Strategic Revitalization Plan, designed by the team from Code Studio from Austin, Texas, and Breithaupt atelier, a local Planning and Design Consulting Firm.
The name of the comprehensive plan is Harrisonburg, Vision and Action Plan. The community was very involved in the planning by working with the Team to give their input over a 3 day workshop. The hope is this overall plan will start to create Harrisonburg as a Destination Place for visitors.
The Riverfront Park Project is the first section of this overall strategic plan. This proposed project will include a tiered seating area attached or adjacent to the old Bridge Ramp. This will give visitors a great view of the River. The park will include a naturalistic splash pad, a multi-purpose athletic court, covered by a pavilion, natural areas, a clock tower, signage and wayfinding components, playground, picnic areas and the trail head for the overall Harrisonburg Vision and Action Plan’s recreational trail system.
Adjacent to the park there is a pier/dock area in the strategic plan. It replaces an older ferry crossing. This would be at the river end of Sicily Street. We are asking the Corps of Engineers to review this portion of the Vision and Action Plan since the Ouachita is a Navigable River.
The site for the proposed park encompasses this area where the “James Monroe” likely landed. We are proposing to name the park, Steamboat Park, commemorating this event and will display historical interpretive signage, describing that trip from New Orleans to Harrisonburg within the park. Interpretive Historic signage, within the park, will tell the history of the Village’s connection to the Ouachita and the Indian Mounds (located about ¼ mile away) that the eventual connecting recreational trail will pass.
Harrisonburg’s location on the beautiful Ouachita has given it an important role in Louisiana’s early history. A small fur trading station was located there prior to the Village. There is reason to believe that this outpost trading station dates around 1712-14, thus challenging Natchitoches and Montgomery LA’s claims of being the oldest in LA. So, at least Harrisonburg may be the 3rd oldest settlement in the LA.
The Daughters of American Revolution placed a commemorative plaque at the intersection of LA ‘s Highways 8 and 124. “This marker commemorates the Old Natchitoches-Natchez Road-Harrisonburg Road which connected the San Antonio Trace- El Camino Real with the Natchez Trace.”