VILLE PLATTE, La. (KLFY) The City of Ville Platte is asking for the public’s help in creating public gathering spaces and parks thanks to a non-profit grant.

“These will be located throughout the neighborhoods so people can come out of their homes and walk down the street to a pocket park,” Mayor Jennifer Vidrine explains.

The nonprofit E Pluribus Unum founded in 2018 by former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to combat social and racial inequities in the south, selected Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine as a member of its inaugural Unum Fellows class.

An honor for Mayor Vidrine as she is the only leader from Louisiana to be chosen among representatives from 13 southern states.

“This will be the only unity park system in the state and it’s right here in Ville Platte,” says Vidrine.

Ville Platte’s ‘Unity Parks’ project is aimed at constructing a centralized public gathering space called Gazebo Unity, with a series of “pocket parks,” distributed across the city.

Vidrine continues, “We will still do improvements to our big parks but this is something we want to give to enhance our neighborhoods.”

A series of planned community events will follow the creation of the central gathering space and associated areas.

Citizens are encouraged to also follow and participate in the designs of the parks.

Vidrien adds, “We have drafts of what they will look like. We want to know what they want in it, what they don’t want in it.”

Ville Platte will receive up to $75,000 in funding for support.

Mayor Vidrine explained the project is an acknowledgment of Ville Platte’s historical racial divide and its own homegrown attempts to bridge the gap.

“We want to be one. We want to be one in Ville Platte,” says Vidrine.