Located directly across from Emerald Hills Golf Resort is the famous Hodges Gardens State Park featuring over 700 acres of wild and cultivated beauty. It was originally designed and opened to the public in 1956 by oil and gas businessman A.J. Hodges Sr. The park’s gardens consist of a variety of plants and flowers, from a formal rose garden to a collection of Japanese Red Maple trees. The park also features one of the nations largest botanical gardens.
Effective Oct 1, 2017, the property will revert to the A.J. and Nona Triggs Hodges Foundation. The Louisiana State Parks Office is not aware of any future plans of the property. The foundation has decided to execute a clause in the contract that allows it to take back the park from the state.
Robert Barham said, “Hodges Gardens has fallen into disrepair because of state budget woes. Money allocated for operation and maintenance of the system’s 22 state parks has been redeuced by 40% over the past decade.” Robert is the Director of State Parks and Historical Sites in Louisiana.
Charlie Weems, an Alexandria attorney who represents the foundation stated, “The state did all it could,” and followed that up by saying “It’s just a casualty of the funding crisis.”