WALLACE, La. (WGNO) — Four historic Louisiana landmarks are in danger of being damaged by a proposed grain terminal in St. John the Baptist Parish, according to a nonprofit.
The grain terminal work, proposed by Greenfield Louisiana LLC, will consist of 50 silos.
Representatives with nonprofit The Descendents Project said Willow Grove Cemetery, a community-run cemetery active since 1919, is the burial ground of the ancestors once enslaved at the Whitney Plantation.
The plantation now stands as a slavery museum, which nonprofit representatives say is in danger of being impacted.
According to the nonprofit, a review from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that, “the visual and vibratory impacts will alter the cemetery’s integrity of setting, materials, and feeling, all important characteristics of the Willow Grove Cemetery.”
“To see it in black and white that the vibratory impacts are adversely affecting the remains of the community’s loved ones is especially disturbing. There’s no way to mitigate that type of adverse impact,” said The Descendants Project Co-Founder Joy Banner.
The Evergreen Plantation still holds 22 cabins constructed for the enslaved people on the plantation.
“We must not let Greenfield erase our community’s vital history. Telling the story of our ancestors is vital to a true telling of the American story and bolsters the economic health of our community through heritage tourism. We call on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny this permit,” said Banner.
On Tuesday, a Greenfield spokesperson issued the following statement:
“As expected, the Army Corps issued its findings regarding which historic properties could be adversely affected by the project, marking an important next step in the permitting process. Greenfield has been looking forward to getting to this point since the project was first proposed. The findings allow Greenfield to begin the process of working to mitigate impacts, ensuring environmentally friendly economic development can coexist with cultural preservation. We look forward to continuing to work through the process to advance the project.”