Will include turf field, basketball courts, playground and picnic area
NFL Hall of Famer and Destrehan High star alumnus Ed Reed is back in St. Charles Parish, where he’s hosting his annual youth football camp at Destrehan.
Today, right before he kicks that camp off, he’ll be witnessing a dream of his come to life.
A ribbon cutting and groundbreaking ceremony will take place for Ed Reed Park in St. Rose today, starting at 6 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church (100 Second St.) The park will include a large 40X100 yard multipurpose turf field, two basketball courts, a playground, an open area for picnics and a walking trail. The park is being built on land purchased by Reed’s Eye of the Hurricane Foundation. The foundation has been working with St. Charles Parish officials to make the park a reality.
The park is being built near the streets of Turtle Creek Lane and Preston Hollow Road where Reed, a St. Rose native, grew up.
The athletic field’s turf is set to be installed in the coming weeks, then the construction of the basketball courts and children’s playground will follow.
Reed Foundation spokeswoman Courtney Aburn-Reisz said the target opening for the park will be in October, if everything stays on schedule.
“We’re really excited to finally have people on site for our park. (The ribbon cutting) is going to be a celebratory announcement to the community,” she said. “We want people to know that this thing is coming and we’re so excited for everyone in that community to benefit from it.”
Reed has credited park athletics among the major influences in his life. He’s referred to himself as a “park baby” when reminiscing about his youth.
The thought is the park provides access to safe facilities, positive programs and mentors. To that end, Reed and the foundation hope to use sports as a means to direct children down a positive path.
“To know this is something kids will forever be playing on is very special to Ed and very special to all of us.” — Courtney Aburn-Reisz
It’s been a feature project of his foundation, which directs its efforts at providing opportunities for positive advancement for at-risk youth.
“It’s something he’s always said gave him that outlet to stay off the streets and out of trouble and the chance to interact with people in a positive, healthy environment,” Aburn-Reisz said. “And that’s what Ed Reed Park will be doing for generations to come.”
Land for the project began being cleared in late January.
For Reed and the foundation, they’re elated to add a landmark to a community he has long felt has needed this kind of addition. The park in St. Rose Reed spent his days growing up in was eliminated in order to build houses.
“All of a sudden, we’re right there on the cusp of seeing it open,” Aburn-Reisz said. “St. Rose is really the only town in that area without a public park … to know this is something kids will forever be playing on is very special to Ed and very special to all of us.”
Ed Reed Park
- Park being prepped to open this Fall in St. Rose, near streets of Turtle Creek and Preston Hollow.
- State-of-the-art multipurpose youth sports facility will include a large 40×100 yard turf field, two basketball courts, a playground for children, an open area for picnics and cookouts and a parking lot.
- Reed, a St. Rose native, felt the park in the area was a need after the park he grew up playing in was eliminated. He hopes, through the park, to use sports as a hook to turn youths toward the path of fulfilling their potential in life and learning discipline and self-respect.