Leo Ehrhardt Central Park
Mr. Leo Ehrhardt came to Simmesport during the building of the Simmesport railway bridge over the Atchafalaya River. While here he married Ms. Elanor Roberts, a Simmesport native, who he stayed with his entire life. After moving away briefly, Mr. Leo and Mrs. Elanor moved back to Simmesport in 1936. He opened a business on Old Highway 1.
He was elected to his first term as Mayor of Simmesport in 1940. For 52 years after that election, Mr. Ehrhardt was elected as Mayor for every term but three. When he decided to not seek reelection in 1992, Mr Leo Ehrhardt ended a 40-year stint as Mayor of Simmesport. Although he passed away in 1997, Mr. Leo’s presence is still felt in and out of Simmesport to this day.
On May 31, 2017, twenty years after his death, Mayor Leslie Draper, III and the Simmesport town council renamed a park in the center of the town as Leo Ehrhardt Central Park in honor of the long-time mayor. The Park is across Mission Dr. from the Town Hall and makes up 2.25 acres of wonderful space for public use.
The Town of Simmesport will be planning the dedication of this park in the coming months. At the January, 2018 Town Council Meeting the Mayor Draper presented to the Council possible plans for the park. This presentation can be seen in the link below. We would invite the public to comment and make suggestions about the development of the park. We will publish regular updates on events and happenings here and on our Facebook page.
Groundbreaking For Leo Ehrhardt Central Park
On Monday, September 17, 2018 the Mayor, Simmesport City Council and the organization RISE, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Leo Ehrhardt Central Park. At the event, Mayor Draper welcomed everyone attending the ceremony and outlined the plans to make the park a centerpiece of the community. Further, Mayor Draper reaffirmed his belief that the founding purpose of the park was to create a safe environment for the children of Simmesport. R.I.S.E. (Reinvesting in Simmesport’s Expansion) is a non-profit organization dedicated to economic and social development of Simmesport. They have already received several donations for the park, which is a feature project for the organization. If you would like to donate to the RISE organization, you can click on the donate button or you can go to PayPal and donate to email@example.com. More information and events regarding the Leo Ehrhardt Central Park will be coming in the future.
R.I.S.E Board of Directors
(l to r) Tisha Moreau (Treasurer), Foresteen Washing-Jones, Marvin Guillot, Marsha Strong (President), Shari Kirk, Carol D. Lindsey (Secretary)