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St. John residents scouting paths to trail expansion

By Monique Roth
L’Observateur

LAPLACE — Larry Sorapuru is happy long-range plans for West Bank trail development are being included in St. John the Baptist Parish discussion.

“We don’t have any trails at all here,” Sorapuru said.

The life-long Lucy resident said the addition of water trails and outdoor activity options would provide exercise outlets for West Bank residents.

Sorapuru expressed his feelings this week during public meetings held about parish trail development.

He was not alone.

Parish Chief Administrative Officer Michael Coburn said the meetings — held Monday and Tuesday — were productive, with approximately 30 people attending the West Bank meeting and 20 more attending the East Bank meeting.

“We want to thank everyone who came to the public meetings to give their input on St. John trails,” Parish Public Information Officer Baileigh Rebowe said.

“Parish officials will begin processing and reviewing all of the feedback received and compile one large map with resident input.”

Rebowe said a second round of public meetings would be held in the next few months, and upon completion officials would begin funding identification.

Parish officials and National Park Service representatives facilitated the meetings in hopes of building upon the parish’s foundational efforts, which focused on bike and pedestrian trails, and develop a plan for a more comprehensive trails system.

Proposed plans would integrate cycling and pedestrian paths with nature trails, water trails for kayaking and paddling and trails for equestrian use, among other outdoor activities.