May 2018

On this page, you'll find information highlighting some of our events happening around the parish at BREC this month. You'll also learn a bit about what we've been up to in the way of accomplishing our strategic plan - Imagine Your Parks 2 - and some of the staff members that work hard to make your parks beautiful and put on the best programs possible. Enjoy!

Programs & Events

Check out some of our exciting upcoming events and programs. For a full list, visit our events calendar.

Derby Day

Farr Park Equestrian Center

Get ready for family fun and fast horses at Farr Park’s annual Derby Day event. Come dressed to impress but also to relax as you enjoy all the action of the Kentucky Derby live on the big screen outside the beautiful Farr Park Equestrian Center. You can bet on a good time complete with derby-themed activities for adults and kids, food (we hear crawfish is on the menu), drinks, music, mint juleps and more! Adults: $20 / Children: $10
May 5
4-7 p.m.

Pets N Paddling

Milford Wampold Memorial Park

What can be more fun than to give your family pet a nice boat ride on the University Lakes? This all-in-one event, in cooperation with the Friends of the Animals, is an annual fundraiser and pet adoption program. Make a contribution to Friends of the Animals and take your pooch out in a canoe, kayak, or paddle board. Trinity Episcopal Church will be available for overflow parking.
May 5
1-4 p.m.

Evening Sky Viewing Plus

Highland Road Park Observatory

Standard sky viewing offering supplemented with sky tour, marshmallow roast and physical science demos.
May 5
7-10 p.m.

Cinco de Mayo

Independence Community Park

Celebrate the Mexican holiday with authentic food, great music, children’s village, arts and crafts, information vendors, family games and more. Sponsor: AmeriHealth Caritas
May 6
1-4 p.m.

Zoo and Me Morning

Baton Rouge Zoo

Held the second Tuesday of every month, this program is designed for 3- to 5-year-old children accompanied by a parent or guardian. Programs are 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and will incorporate many exciting activities including a train ride, animal encounters, art projects, "Zooper" snacks and many other hands-on projects that you and your child can enjoy together.
May 8
9 a.m.

Swamp Flashlight Night

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

We welcome you to enjoy the Swamp at night by visiting us during our Swamp Flashlight Nights! Staff will be facilitating live animal encounters and running special nature films. Enjoy a leisurely night hike with your family and friends. The swamp trails can be really dark at night – so don’t forget to bring a flashlight. If you don’t have one, check out our gift shop for some options. Close-toed shoes and insect repellant are recommended.
May 18
5-9 p.m.

Sunshine Social: Prom

Milton J. Womack Park

Through a partnership with Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge, BREC is able to offer themed, monthly socials for adults with disabilities and their friends and family. There will be a disc jockey, snacks, door prizes, socialization and fun. Donation is used to support this program, including supplies and door prizes each month.
May 18
6-9 p.m.

Make it a Movie Night: The Incredibles

Independence Park Theatre

Enjoy comfortable indoor seating during our monthly free film series. Concessions are available for purchase. No outside food or drinks please.
(2004) Once one of the world’s top masked crime fighters, Bob Parr–known to all as “Mr. Incredible”–fought evil and saved lives on a daily basis. But now fifteen years later, Bob and his wife–a famous superhero in her own right–have adopted civilian identities and retreated to the suburbs to live normal lives with their three kids. Now he’s a clock-punching insurance claims adjuster fighting boredom and a bulging waistline. Itching to get back into action, Bob gets his chance when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a top-secret assignment.
Rated: PG – Parental Guidance Suggested (for action violence)
May 18
7 p.m.

Swamp Birthday Party

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Happy Birthday Bluebonnet Swamp! We’re celebrating 21 years of connecting people to nature on Saturday, May 19. Come hang out with our critters and enjoy a stroll on the trails. We’ll have live animal encounters, crafts, games, and birthday cake while it lasts. Best of all, admission is on us!
May 19
9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Your Parks - Better Than Imagined

See what we're up to in area parks as we work to make your parks better than imagined. Click the images to get a closer view of the park dveelopment. Visit our strategic plan page to learn more about what our plans are for your local park.

Spain Street Park

Spain Street Park is edging ever closer to being complete and it's a quaint neighborhood park. The new playground is in place, the new pavilion has fun colors, and the walks are being finished up. This is your parks better than imagined.

River Bend Park

River Bend Park is coming along quite nicely! This park is getting a new playground, new half basketball court (courtesy of Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar), new paths, a resurfaced tennis court, and improved drainage. A gem of a neighborhood park thanks to the efforts of the surrounding community to contribute to the improvements.

Longfellow Park

Construction is underway at Longfellow Park! This park is getting a new playground, new bleachers, added & improved parking, and drainage improvements. There will also be improvements to the walks in the park. Can't wait to see how this turns out!

Independence Botanical Gardens

In case you haven't heard, we're holding a grand opening for the Botanical Gardens at Independence Community Park on May 12 but for THIS #StrategicSaturday, we wanted to share a glimpse at the gorgeous updated landscape there. Will you be joining us next weekend to see it in person?

ADA Transition Plan

Want to help make your favorite parks & rec facilities more accessible for all? Take part in our American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan Survey and give us your feedback on improving our programs and facilities for all ages and abilities. Start the survey now at brec.org/adasurvey

Meet Our Team

Get to know a few of our staff members every month in various departments and say hi next time you see them at your favorite park. Check out the Staff Photo Gallery here.

Welton Armwood, Theatre Custodian

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    About 16 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    I would say Independence Community Park
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Lucas McCain – old westerns
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Catfish
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    That I’m a very nice guy.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    When I was working in the north part of the area and this little guy, about 6 or so, came up and asked me if I moved the bathroom. He said if I moved the bathroom, I was gonna be in big trouble the next day. I laughed about that for the next few months.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Vegas.

Julie Navarre, Park Ranger

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    I’ve been with BREC for 3 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Cadillac. It’s my favorite of the parks I go to when checking in on Youth 360. The kids see you, they’re not afraid of you, they talk to you. I enjoy keeping the kids safe.
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    SWAT
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Seafood
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    That I’m a giving person. I’m quiet but when you get me started…
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    When I worked the front desk at our main office and people were happy to see law enforcement at the front. It was nice getting to know all the different kinds of people that came through from all walks of life. They got to know more about the Park Rangers and what we really do.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    I would go to Alabama to spend a week with my son and grandson.

LaWanda Holden, Recreation Administrative Services & Records Manager

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    11 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    City Park and Gus Young (I grew up in those areas)
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    I do not watch TV
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Seafood
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I’m Shy
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    When the Recreation department gave to a family in need at Christmas
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Australia

Dominique Barlow, Recreation Manager

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    If you include the part time years 9 years. But Full-time 4 years in August
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Anna T Jordan
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    I have a lot of favorites. Grey's Anatomy, The Resident, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, The Good Doctor, The Walking Dead, This Is Us, Station 19 and Queen sugar.
  4. Android or iPhone?
    #TEAMiPHONE
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Shrimp/Seafood
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I love technology and fitness. I bowled for Southern University Bowling Team
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    My first year of summer camp as Recreation Manager when my co-workers and I brought about 8 camps together for Camp- a-Palooza at Anna T Jordon for team events and a talent show.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Hawaii

Harold Zanders, Park Operations Lube Tech

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    About a year and a half.
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    North Sherwood Forest
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Empire
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Crawfish Étouffée
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I love fishing.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    The employee Christmas parties.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    The Dominican Republic.

Ashlyn Lambert, Special Events Manager

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    One year at the end of July!
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    North Sherwood Forest; it was my first large grand opening to plan & the new renovations are SO great!
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Anything on Food Network
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone, 100%!
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Macaroni & Cheese
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I learned the Saxophone in 5th grade and I love to cook, but I’m not good at it at all. I also wish I was a baker/cake decorator.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    Making it out of the 13th gate escape room alive at our Staff Retreat! It was a great afternoon getting to know everyone in the Communications department more, outside of the office.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    A trip around Italy! Rome, Venice, etc. OR Hawaii! Maui, Honolulu…. A girl can dream, right?

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