The Town of Haughton opened a new feature Monday aimed at helping veterans.
The Veterans Therapy Health Garden and Walking Trail, located at Joe Delaney Memorial Park officially opened to the community Monday morning.
“The veterans in our area will now have a place for reflection and healing at Joe Delaney Park. I know that Joe is looking down on us right now with a big smile on his face. I hope that our community will really enjoy the newest additions to our park,” said Mayor Jack Hicks.
The walking trail spans across the entire park and will have 10 six feet by six feet planters located strategically around its path, which will serve as the Veterans Health Garden. The trail will also accommodate wheel chair accessibility.
“This is a great honor. My family has been here since 1967, so we are Haughton proud. Anything that has to do with Haughton is great for the family,” said Alma Delaney-Warren, Older sister of Joe Delaney. “I think this will be a huge blessing. My youngest brother did 21 and a half years in the Army. So, this is like a breath of fresh air.”
The town hopes that the gardens and walking trail can be a place of relaxation and healing for those veterans who have sacrificed for their country.
“Research supports that spending time in nature is one of the ways to reduce stress indicators such as heart rate and blood pressure,” said Holland.
The gardens and walking trail were constructed through a joint effort of the Town of Haughton, Bossier Parish Police Jury, Trailblazer RC&D, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The funding that secured the start of the project is from a June 2017 Land and Water Conservation Fund Program matching grant totaling $250,000.
The Joe Delaney Memorial Park was dedicated Oct. 29, 2016. Delaney, a Haughton sports star and two-sport All-American at Northwestern State University, and a Pro Bowl running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, died June 29, 1983 while trying to save three children from drowning.
See more photos from the ribbon cutting below (all photos by Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune):