LAKE BISTINEAU, LA (KSLA) - After a decade without enhancements, Lake Bistineau will soon be undergoing a $1 million facelift.
Beginning later this Fall, crews will begin work on constructing a new beach, splash pad and a fishing pier for guests to enjoy.
"We're looking forward to putting a lot more money back into Lake Bistineau and making this place a lot more fun for people in Bossier and Shreveport," said Gene Reynolds, assistant secretary of Louisiana state parks and historical sites. "If we can keep fees that come into the gate, we're going to be able to put more money into Lake Bistineau."
Lake Bistineau is a place that literally hits close to home for Reynolds. He grew up fishing in the park's waters.
"It's where I learned how to bass fish, learn how to bream fish, set yo-yo's, that sort of thing," said Reynolds. "We need to get the cell phones and the computers out of people's hands and get them out in the parks."
Rebecca Sherrard is a native of Doyline, a small village just north of Lake Bistineau. She believes the renovations and enhancements to the park will boost the village's economy.
"When I was growing up, we probably had six or seven stores downtown, two or three gas stations, two bait stands that I remember, we don't have any of that now," said Sherrard. "It would be immense help to have things here [Lake Bistineau], so we can bring that traffic back through Doyline."
Clifford Melius, director of operations and facilities for Louisiana state parks, said Lake Bistineau innately has the resources necessary to become more lucrative.
"The resources we have here, not only the lake, but also the property, the natural environment we have here, makes for a wonderful state park and all we have to do is enhance that."
Melius said the state is saving money by handling the projects in house, rather than contracting out work.
"We're able to take the money and roll it over into the projects like we're talking about here at Lake Bistineau State Park and across the state for that matter," said Melius.
Melius hopes the park's coming improvements has families considering extending their stay at Lake Bistineau.
"Once they get here and they find out there's a splash pad and they find out there's a beach, they find out about all the wonderful trail systems here, then they might stay for two or three days."
Melius said the projects will likely be finishing next year.