HAUGHTON, La. (KSLA) - You might notice some new sights in Haughton’s Joe Delaney Memorial Park.
The park was named after former NFL running back and Haughton native Joe Delaney. Delaney died in 1983 attempting to save drowning children in a pond.
“It was a dream of his to have a park here in his hometown and it just never came to fruition,” said Fire Chief Jimmy Holland. “The cards never played out to where that was going to happen, and then about five years ago we really started pushing it.”
Holland serves on the town’s park and recreation committee and says over the last couple of years they’ve been able to acquire grant funding, private donations and both the Bossier Parish Police Jury and the Town of Haughton put money aside for this park.
Holland says the walking trail is finished, and the next work will begin to add benches and three pavilions.
A therapy garden for veterans is also in the works too.
“We’re putting six by six planter boxes in that are wheelchair accessible to where wounded veterans can come out,” he said. “It helps them adjust to getting brought back into the community after serving and kinda gives them an opportunity to get involved and come out here and be a part of the upkeep of the park.”
Holland says they recently applied for a grant through Home Depot that would help build these boxes. He says in a few weeks they will find out if they were awarded the grant.
Harvey White takes his granddaughter to the park and enjoys seeing all the work that’s being done.
“It was way beyond my expectations of what was going to be here,” he said. “I figured well a few slides, and swing sets but no this is really I think above and beyond everybody’s expectations here so it’s a really nice park.”
He anticipates all of the work finished by the end of this year, and next year they have plans to start working on asphalting and expanding the parking lot.
Holland says they plan to hold a ribbon-cutting for the veterans’ therapy garden soon.