Baton Rouge Lakes Master Plan
Designers hired by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation recommend dredging the lakes to improve water quality, installing a sediment bypass system to sustain the lakes for decades, and building shoreline amenities for the most popular outdoor destination in the parish.
Nearly 300 people attended a public unveiling of the master plan at Lod Cook Alumni Center. Over a year, many of them had provided ideas and feedback to the designers, both online and at public meetings.
Listening to the ideas were designers from SWA Group and Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects, which were hired by the Foundation to deliver a plan that solved two problems: The shallow lakes are silting up and will eventually turn into mudflats, and the popular destinations are used but not designed for recreation.
The plan recommends dredging and a sediment bypass system to improve water quality and sustain the lakes for decades. With the dredged materials, it recommends:
· Building separate bike and walking paths around the perimeter
· Forming wetlands in select areas to improve water quality and foster bird habitats
· Expanding Milford Wampold Memorial Park on Stanford Drive
· Adding promenades along Sorority Row and Dalrymple Drive
· Creating a gathering area at Lod Cook Alumni Center
· Building a new May Street Park and connecting the two lakes with a bridge to improve water quality and for boating, including races hosted by LSU’s rowing team.
· Shaping land for a future boathouse at the foot of City Park Golf Course
The plan and renderings are available at BatonRougeLakes.org.
Next, designers will deliver a final master plan in coming months. At the same time, the Foundation will search for funding to implement the plan.
The Foundation raised more than $750,000 from its fund donors to hire planners and engineers, and for community outreach. The plan was begun after consulting with LSU and city-parish government, which own the lakes, and BREC, which cares for the lakes and operates parks around them.
The plan was conducted in consultation with donors to the project and lake area residents, users of the lakes, LSU, the city-parish, BREC, Louisiana Division of Administration, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Nature Conservancy of Louisiana and The Audubon Society.