WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — Kiroli Park has re-opened after renovations began early this Summer for upgrades and safety improvements.

Paul Williams, a visitor, says he waited at the gate since 11:30 am.

“When they told me they were going to open the park at Noon today, I said I just have to be here. So, I waited. I went to the store. I got myself a cold drink and came back. I was the first person, but I came in the second person.”

Williams says he has been fishing at Kiroli Park for several years. He says he enjoys coming here to relax.

“I’m here to relax and enjoy myself. I’m having fun. If it nibbles all day to feed the fish, I’m good.”

Over 500 pounds of catfish have been re-stocked in the pond. Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of West Monroe, Stuart Hodnett, says this is just one of many upgrades for people to enjoy.

“We missed everybody coming out to Kiroli Park. We did some teroson, and did some things at the Dog Park, the Large Dog Park. It’s really nice, it’s still closed, and we also want the grass to grow a little bit more. We just planted the grass about two weeks ago.”

Although it remains closed at the moment, the Small Dog Park is now open. Hodnett says the installment of the new bridge is one of their main features.

“We don’t have to worry about any type of weight limits like we used to.”

Anne Louise Bonnette and her mom, Mattie Gorman, have been coming to the park for decades. They say they want to continue making more memories together.

“I told my husband, I’m taking momma. Because momma, she loves the park. She likes to feed the ducks, and walk around a little bit,” Bonnette said.

“And when we brought the grandkids with me, they loved it. And I used to drive them out here,” Gorman added.

“We did a lot of cleaning. We fixed the gate house, and some things were cleaned and painted. So, we keep it safe for everybody, and just keep it modern,” Hodnett explained.

Kiroli Park is open from 7am to 5pm.