The 275-acre Baton Rouges Lakes system is a series of six lakes in central Baton Rouge adjacent to Louisiana State University, three major parks, and a diverse mix of neighborhoods. Recognizing opportunity in crisis, a newly funded master plan provides sound ecological restoration methods that will heal a dying lake system while reconnecting the region to its ecological and cultural heritage. No longer the epicenter of “cancer alley,” the Baton Rouge Lakes, as the centerpiece of Louisiana’s capital, have the potential to elevate the city’s identity to one based on best management practices, positioning man and water in equilibrium. Using nature as a catalyst for healthy lifestyles while providing habitat infrastructure for migratory birds and aquatic wildlife, the project will serve as a touchpoint for visitors from across the Parish and throughout the country to experience Louisiana in a new way. The first phase of work identified corrects water quality issues; phase two provides safe pedestrian, bike, and vehicular connectivity; phase three includes ten projects that produce recreational opportunities for a broad cross section of users. To guide the project toward implementation, a nonprofit Lakes Conservancy has been created.
To learn more about the effort from SWA Principal Kinder Baumgardner, please see his interview with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.