Grants provide facelift for Walkiah Bluff Water Park
Published 7:00 am Friday, December 30, 2016
County officials say projects are essentially complete at the Walkiah Bluff Water Park in Picayune, including the installation of wastewater lines to the campsites.
County Engineer Les Dungan said funding for the project came in part from Temple-Inland, a paper company in Bogalusa, which released wastewater into the Pearl River in 2011 causing a major fish kill.
To compensate for the damage done, the company provided funding to make some improvements to the county park, which borders the Pearl River, Dungan said.
Wastewater hookups were installed for 15 camper pads and an on-site, underground wastewater disposal system, he said.
Previously, visitors had to retain their wastewater and carry it to a dump station outside the park, Dungan said.
The new addition will make it more convenient for visitors, he said.
The $54,000 project was contracted to Meyers Underground Utilities from Hattiesburg, Dungan said.
Bathroom and shower facilities have also been updated, Dungan said.
“It’s an ongoing project with the bathhouse,” Park Manager Bobby Robbins said.
Recent work to the bathroom facilities includes new fixtures, plumbing and electrical work, Robbins said.
The parking lot was resurfaced recently, Robbins said.
Though, updates to the old pavilion, which has been severely damaged, are not expected to take place in the immediate future, he said.
Construction by Hensley R. Lee Contracting to renovate a two-boat launch ramp at the park was finished in November, previous coverage states.
The $87,000 project was partially funded by a $65,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The remaining funds came from a 12.5 percent match from the Pearl River Basin Development District, which owns part of the park, and the county, according to previous coverage.
Overall, Dungan said previously that the new boat ramp cost the county $11,000 for $87,000 worth of work.
“This park was pretty nice at one time, but it was neglected pretty bad,” Robbins said. “Last February I went to work, and with the help of a lot of people, we’re getting it [cleaned] up.”
The park also has playgrounds, picnic areas, a baseball field and fishing facilities.
Current costs to park an RV at the park are $13 per night for those 62-years and older or disabled, $15 per night for those younger than 62, and $10 per night for tent camping, Robbins said, though he expects the fees to increase with the new amenities.
To reserve a camping spot for a tent or RV, call Robbins at 601-590-4633.