Bay St. Louis Group Hopes To Bring New Park To Old Town

It has everything a peaceful park needs: trees, grass and a place to stop and enjoy nature. But it's all in what's normally a 10x20 parking space, in the middle of downtown Bay St. Louis.

"This is Parking Day. It's an international day where people turn one parking spot in a city into a temporary urban park. It's being held all over the country and even internationally in places like Madrid and London," Allison Anderson said.

Anderson is an architect who understands the need to balance buildings and nature.

"Over 70 percent of our space in the cities is gray infrastructure. It's concrete, it's spaces for parking and for cars, not spaces for people. We need more green space for people in our cities."

Anderson is one of the partners in "Unabridged Architecture." The firm is designing a beachfront park proposed in downtown Bay St. Louis, and the experts want to know what the people would like to see.

"Even some well maintained grass. With the slope we have, people can unwind, sit down on the slope," one person suggested.

"The idea of the waterfront park in Bay St. Louis is to provide access to the beach at the font of Main Street and to provide green space to keep that view open," Anderson said.

Anderson says a beachfront park would also boost the best Old Town has to offer, when tourists come to shop, dine and enjoy the view.

The city would have to purchase the land for a downtown park, but that site is also being considered for a marina project. Many residents are urging leaders to find a way to make room for both.