OUR OPINION: Thanks to the Golding Family for land donation

Published 4:00 am Friday, February 18, 2022

Riverfront Park has long been lauded as Vicksburg’s most popular city park.

However, that land is no longer safe. As she’s wont to do, the Mississippi River is merciless, and more often than not, there’s no amount of propping and digging and stabilizing that can keep the muddy water from claiming what it wants.

Enter the Golding family — specifically, brothers John Reid and Austin Golding, who decided to donate a tract of land on Oak Street for use as the new Riverfront Park.

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This land donation is beneficial for a few reasons. For one, it ensures the city of Vicksburg and Warren County won’t have to repay the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on efforts to repair the current park. It also means we won’t be without a park with a river view.

Thanks to the generous donation by the Golding family, the neighborhood in which the new park is located will be revitalized. It’s more accessible for residents and offers new possibilities for Oak Street.

The land could’ve been sold; nestled right on a bend of the Mississippi River, it’s got arguably one of the best waterfront views in Vicksburg. But instead of generating additional wealth for only themselves, the Golding family chose to establish something far more meaningful — and longer-lasting.

Our local leaders at both the city and county level realize the benefit of this land donation, and they should be applauded for their swift action in approving the land donation and setting wheels in motion for this next chapter of Riverfront Park’s legacy.

However, the new park is still a long way from completion. The next step for the proposed park will be the establishment of a community council to discuss what residents want to see at the new site. Once these community representatives are selected by local elected officials, the real fun will begin.

For now, all we can see is an empty lot. But give it time, and a little hard work, and you’ll be surprised at what can be accomplished.

The residents of Vicksburg, and future visitors to the River City, are grateful for the donated parkland and optimistic that the new Riverfront Park will serve us well.