Warren County Board of Supervisors appoints Riverfront Park advisory committee members

Published 2:46 pm Friday, May 6, 2022

The Warren County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to appoint five community representatives to serve on the Riverfront Park Advisory Committee.

As part of the planning process for the new Riverfront Park, set to be built on Oak Street on land donated by the Golding Family, Board of Supervisors President Kelle Barfield said it was imperative for the city of Vicksburg and the county to work together and involve members of the community early.

“The relocated Riverfront Park will be a tremendous asset to the entire community, so the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Board of Supervisors felt it would be important to get early input from members of the community as we redesign and build a park that appeals to as many different users of the space as possible,” Barfield said. “The committee will look at all of the options that we have in terms of assets as well as funding sources for those assets and that will provide important information.”

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Each of the county’s five supervisors appointed a representative from the community; Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and Aldermen Michael Mayfield and Alex Monsour did the same. From this group of eight individuals, two co-chairs were named, one for the city and one for the county.

Currently, the committee members ratified by the county are: Co-Chair Linda Fondren, Elizabeth Nelson, Janice Flowers, Michael Mathews and Dorwin Shields.

The city of Vicksburg’s appointees are: Co-Chair Fermika Smith, Mark Buys and Laura Beth Strickland.

“As co-chair for the County, I am excited to have the opportunity to work with a committee comprised of movers and shakers that will help this park be an inclusive community centerpiece for everyone, rich, poor, seniors and families, to enjoy,” Fondren said. “Imagine a community park overlooking the Mississippi River that would include various festivals and activities with programming that brings people together for joyful, meaningful experiences.

“I look forward to helping create an extraordinary park for all,” she added.

City of Vicksburg Parks and Recreation Director Patrick Daughtry, Warren County Parks and Recreation Commission President Dr. Casey Fisher and John Reid Golding will serve as ex officio members of the committee.

The former Riverfront Park was permanently closed in February of this year after a series of landslides rendered the site unsafe. Repairs to the location were deemed cost-prohibitive by the city and county, and the park property was abandoned. The city and county jointly operate and manage the park and share the costs of maintenance and repairs.

Later in February, Vicksburg’s Golding family donated 5.5 acres of land to the city and county to house the new park.

Nestled right at the bend of the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, the new park land overlooks Golding Barge Line’s offices.