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Bucktown Harbor Vision Book Cover

What Makes a Great Lakefront?

One that is accessible…an edge you can see, approach, and get onto. A place offering an array of beneficial uses and activities for the community. A safe and resilient shoreline, capable of flexing, and, as needed, recovering from mother nature’s worst. A shoreline with a thriving ecology. A place that takes a moment to tell its story, delving into the memory and showcasing the spirit of its inhabitants.

A great lakefront is all these things, but most importantly it’s one that is used and enjoyed.

What helped ignite this planning effort? For anyone walking by or taking their boat onto Lake Pontchartrain, it’s clear Bucktown Harbor has left untapped its potential to be a better place. The true ignition point, however, was Jefferson Parish recognizing the clear need to (re)start a dialogue about how best this asset should be used and enjoyed. For this reason, the planning process was unabashedly community driven and represents the culmination of extensive public dialogue on what residents would like to see emerge over time along this 30-acre peninsula and harborfront.

How the Community Played a Role

Planmaking is about building public trust and working collaboratively to translate community desire into compelling, actionable projects. To advance these aims, the project team established a comprehensive outreach effort that included a series of public work sessions paired with a website and survey platform. This combination of meetings and online input yielded favorable results, both in terms of participation and clear community direction for the future of Bucktown Harbor.

The Bucktown Harbor public engagement process involved meetings and outreach across three formats: Project Steering Committee, community work sessions, and web-based outreach. Each played a vital role in framing project issues and guiding the planmaking effort.

Bucktown Harbor Interactive Vision Plan

Multi-Purpose Pavilion

Multi-Purpose Pavilion

The multi-purpose pavilion is the architecture and social anchor of the harbor and is the location of alternating programming and activities, inclusive of a seasonal farmers market, educational and other community activities. This facility also honors Bucktown’s fishing heritage and is a boost for local small businesses.

Expanded Marina, Commercial Fishing and Harborwalk

Expanded Marina, Commercial Fishing and Harborwalk

New marina recreational boat slips are added to meet the growing demand of boaters. A new dockmaster building centrally provided along with a recreational float and storage building. The commercial fishing zone is relocated and expanded. The Bucktown Harborwalk connects the eastern program elements, tying the marina to the open-air multi-use pavilion.

Kayak and Paddleboard Storage Building and Recreational Float

Kayak and Paddleboard Storage Building and Recreational Float

A 3,000 SQF storage building and related upland enhancements are linked to the recreational float. The kayak launch juts out adjacent to the Bucktown Marsh Boardwalk and nature preserve. The recreational float allows for hand-powered, in-water recreational activities.

Southern Passive Recreational Lawn

Southern Passive Recreational Lawn

This space is closest to the existing levee and residential areas and is intended to be a well-used, nearby park with amble landscape and facilities supporting outdoor classes, bocce ball, and other passive recreation activities. As part of the upland improvements, the lawn panel, landscape, a pavilion and pathways surrounding the southern passive recreational lawn are included.

Children’s Active Play Area, Lawns, Pavilions, Recreation Launch and Parking

Children’s Active Play Area, Lawns, Pavilions, Recreation Launch and Parking

Terraced lawn panels play with the land’s nuanced contours, creating tiered seating overlooking Lake Pontchartrain. The expansion of the planned recreational launch and waterfront overlook will provide waterfront access on the western side of the site, allowing for non-motorized watersports (like kayaks and paddleboards) to explore the Bucktown Harbor living shoreline. The children’s playground and water feature animate the central plaza linking Bucktown Harbor’s main districts, while the parking area expands +/- 260 spaces.

Western Sunset Lawns

Western Sunset Lawns

Sloped lawn panels, landscape, pathways and other elements surrounding the western coastline are part of this upland project. This space allows the public a point to commune with nature, view the lake and sky, witness changing weather patterns, and watch kites flying and fireworks exploding against the backdrop of Lake Pontchartrain.

Fishing Pier and Pavilion

Fishing Pier and Pavilion

A fishing pier cuts across the living shoreline to allow fisherman/pedestrian access through the marsh to deep water. A concrete pad and 800 SQF pavilion will be constructed at the foot of the proposed fishing jetty / pier.

North Great Lawn and Event Area

An open, sloped lawn area is situated in the northern portion of the site accommodating performances and special events. A harbor beacon terminates the jut out portion of the site, offering a notable landmark for boaters and land visitors alike.

Bucktown Harbor Living Shoreline

Bucktown Harbor Living Shoreline

The entire western and northern side of the site is dedicated to a living shoreline restoration with breakwaters, high-marsh shrubs, and mainland-fringing tidal marsh to create a natural, resilient shore. This allows the site to emerge as a model of environmental stewardship and coastal restoration.

Bucktown Marsh Boardwalk

Bucktown Marsh Boardwalk

A 950’ boardwalk has advanced into preliminary design and permitting and is awaiting additional grant and other funding to continue. Construction is anticipated to commence in 2019 and—like adjustment / removal of the existing project barricades—is considered a tangible initial outcome associated with the Vision Planning effort.

Bucktown Harbor Entry Enhancements

Bucktown Harbor Entry Enhancements

Entry enhancements will include enhanced signage, beautification efforts and expanding the entry for improved visibility and safe mobility for bike and pedestrian activities. A new levee crossing for cyclists and pedestrians is planned near the intersection of Orpheum Ave. and Metairie-Hammond Hwy. The extension of the Lakefront Trail between Bucktown Harbor’s entry and the 17th Street Canal will link the trail to Orleans Parish greenways.

Vision Plan Renderings

The following images characterize various key focus areas of the Vision Plan.

Bucktown Harbor Multi-Purpose Pavilion

Bucktown Promenade & Multi-Purpose Pavilion

Fishing Pier & Overlook

Bucktown Harbor Living Shoreline

Bucktown Marsh Boardwalk

Bucktown Harbor Marsh Boardwalk

Bucktown Marsh Boardwalk Overlook