Lincoln Beach used to be one of the favorite spots for New Orleanians to get some sun!
We’re sure your parents or grandparents remember spending long summer days enjoying Lincoln Beach with friends and family. These days could be coming back soon, although there is no set a date for renovations to start.
Lincoln Beach was opened in the fifties, with swimming pools with diving boards, an amusement park, food and picnic areas for New Orleanians to socialize and enjoy the natural surroundings. After being one of the most popular spots in the city for the black community, it closed in 1964 and fell into disrepair. Sadly, NOLA residents have had few options for lakefront swimming ever since.
If you’re not too familiar with Lincoln Beach, this is one of the two beaches on Lake Pontchartrain. The lake covers 630 square miles and attracts diverse wild animals and marine life, including birds, clams, dolphins, bull sharks, and manatees.
After decades of abandonment, the city is finally listening and working on a plan to reopen the beach. It all started with pressure from community activists, pushing for the project to be approved. Volunteers have been getting together for years to clean the area, filling dozens of trash bags, and have even built benches and tables for visitors. In the last few years, the beach has been slowly regaining its popularity, with groups visiting on weekends even though access is prohibited.
However, visiting the sandy beach is very dangerous. Entering is currently unpermitted and unlawful. There is trash everywhere, including broken glass and rocks, poison ivy, and wild animals like venomous snakes and alligators.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell has visited the site and has even sent staff to help with each clean-up. The government published a site assessment, claiming “future use of the site may include recreation, ecotourism, education, historic preservation, rentable dock space, and special events or concert space”.
The next step is numbering out how much money it would take to make all the improvements needed to make it a safe place and officially reopen to the public. The rough estimate is 10 million dollars, money the city is still figuring out where to get from.
Would you like to visit Lincoln Beach when it’s redeveloped?
Featured image by Reggie Ford @reggieart.