West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana

West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana

The 11-mile corridor along the Mississippi River known as “the West Bank” in St. John the Baptist Parish is an intact cultural landscape in an area otherwise oversaturated with heavy industry and is currently being considered for National Historic Landmark designation by the National Park Service. The West Bank includes historic villages such as Lucy, Edgard, and Wallace, which was founded after the Civil War by Black soldiers who fought in the Union Army. Many descendants of people enslaved at nearby Whitney Plantation and Evergreen Plantation—sites nationally renowned for their interpretation of enslaved people’s experiences—still call the West Bank home and help maintain this unique culture and community.

However, port facility Greenfield Louisiana LLC has applied to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to build one of the largest grain elevators in the world directly within this historic cultural landscape. If constructed, the proposed Greenfield Terminal would be 275 feet tall, as tall as the Louisiana Superdome, and could tower over historic communities and buildings, disturb archaeological remains, and dramatically harm the St. John Parish community with negative visual and environmental impacts. The permitting of Greenfield Terminal could also encourage further heavy industrial development within this nationally significant historic area.

A coalition of local and national advocates, including many descendants of people enslaved in the area, have been engaged in public advocacy against Greenfield Terminal’s construction for more than a year. In concert with the National Trust, they are seeking either to convince the Army Corps to deny the permit or to persuade the developer not to build the terminal. Advocates hope that public support will increase pressure and draw national attention to this area’s undeniable history, culture, and significance.

What you can do: Ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny the permit for Greenfield Terminal.

West Bank of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana was placed on America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places List for 2023.