Gretna: A Small Town With Big Plans
Gretna had its origins in the late 1800s when the Gadsden County railroad expansion dispersed Black residents into less concentrated areas. Today, Gretna’s population identifies as over 85% African American.
In 2009, Gretna celebrated its centennial year. This marked a new era for economic development within the city and the formulation of Gretna’s second economic development plan to guide future development. The plan aspires to create a prosperous, livable, and sustainable Gretna that has the capacity to provide wastewater management for the county.
As one of the only areas in the county to provide this service, Gretna is in a prime position to provide wastewater needs to many of the rural legacy communities throughout Gadsden County. Gretna’s residents are very active throughout the community. Residents participate in winter coat drives and toy donation drives for children in need each year.
This display of care for the community has continued despite the adverse impacts of Hurricane Michael and the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Gretna has a very active senior citizen group which seniors lead in partnership with city officials. They often take trips to museums, local fishing spots, and overnight camping excursions. In October 2022, Gretna’s City Commission approved the purchase of a large passenger bus to accommodate more seniors. This purchase is another reminder of Gretna’s commitment to serving residents within the community and creating a Gretna that encourages people to age in place.