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Tunica's River Park Scheduled to Opened In October  2003!
updated information Click Here

In October people will have a new place to experience the beauty and grandeur of the Mississippi River - the Tunica RiverPark. The $23 million public park is currently under construction on the river’s east bank near Robinsonville.

(An aerial view of the Tunica RiverPark showing the harbor, nature preserve and nearby casinos. The public park is scheduled to open in October 2003.) Architect's Renderings  and more information.    

   The new facility will feature a harbor carved out of the east bank of the Mississippi River. Above it will be a custom-designed 37,000 square-foot visitor’s center, with a 48-feet high observation platform and a spectacular view of the river. The harbor will have a custom-built floating dock, boat slips for vessels up to 80-feet in length, and one of the largest public boat ramps in the Mississippi Basin.


   The RiverPark’s main building will feature three large aquariums holding aquatic life native to this part of the river. Interpretive exhibits will focus on the relationship between the Delta and it’s wildlife as well as the levee system that holds the river at bay during times of flood. John Barry, author of “Rising Tide,” one of the most definitive works on the great flood of 1927, is assisting Tunica County with the presentation of the river’s story. 


   “We want to give our visitors the complete Tunica experience,” said Tunica County Administrator Ken Murphree. “The Mississippi River and the ecology it created have to be part of that experience.” Murphree said. “This new RiverPark will give people the opportunity to experience the land between the levees as it exists between Cairo, Illinois and Baton Rouge.”


   Design and construction of the harbor were approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to accommodate paddlewheel excursion boats, such as the Delta Queen and her larger sister ships. But visitors won’t have to wait for the New Orleans-based boats to cruise the Mississippi. The RiverPark will also have its own stern-wheeler, the 400-passenger “Tunica Queen,” which will offer up to five excursions daily, including a dinner cruise.  According to the Tunica Queen’s owner, Capt. Robert Lumpp, jazz and blues-themed cruises will be featured on Fridays and Saturdays.


   Back on land, more than 130 acres of adjacent woodland is being converted for use as a refuge where visitors will be able to see wildlife in its natural environment. “The deer in that area are already so tame they’ll walk right up to the side of the road and watch you drive by,” said Park Construction Supervisor Craig Mangum. “We think this will be a really great experience for people who don’t get much of a chance to see Delta wildlife in its natural habitat.”


  The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Levee Board, which provided approximately 130 acres of land for the project, will soon begin construction of public horse and walking trails designed to maximize the wilderness experience while minimizing the impact on the environment. “We’re very excited about this RiverPark,” said Levee Board CEO and Chief Engineer Kelly Greenwood, “ It gives us an opportunity to help tell the story of the Delta’s relationship with the river by providing an experience that was previously only possible by hiring a professional guide or joining an expensive hunting club. When you enter those woods, it’s like going back in time.”


  The project is a natural addition to the Tunica experience, according to Murphree. “Ever since people have been coming here, people have asked where they could go to see the Mississippi,” he said.  “When this RiverPark opens, they’ll have an opportunity unlike any in this area.”


The RiverPark is expected to create approximately 20 jobs and have a significant positive effect on the North Delta’s tourism industry. Tunica is currently the nation’s third-largest gaming destination.

Architect's Renderings  and more information.    



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