October 2017

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.

BREC-A-Boo Halloween Events

Greenwood Community Park

October 12
9-11 a.m. (For ages 6 and younger)
5:30-8:30 p.m. (For all ages)
October 13
5:30-8:30 p.m.

Forest Community Park

October 27
9-11 a.m. (For ages 6 and younger)
5:30-8:30 p.m. (For all ages)
October 28
5:30-8:30 p.m. (For all ages)

Gus Young Park - Sponsored by Martin Luther King Center, Councilman LaMont Cole and Representative C. Denise Marcelle

October 31
6:30-8:30 p.m. (For all ages)

Swamp Haunted Hikes

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Bluebonnet Swamp’s Haunted Hikes are designed specifically for younger children. This program is an alternative to the commercial haunted houses, which are geared more for teenagers and adults. Participants learn about snakes, insects, rats and other “creepy critters” as they stop at educational stations along the trail. No scare tactics are used during this program, and participants are welcome to come in costume. All participants should bring a flashlight, and because this program runs at night, all children must be accompanied by an adult. Back again from last year: Track down costumed characters to receive “treasures” then trek through the Swamp Graveyard to our Education Building for carnival games and spooky storytime. Join us at Haunted Hikes this year for tons of fun!
Games and Entertainment start at 6 p.m.
Trail opens at dark
All Ages
October 13, 20, 27
$6 per person

Make it a Halloween Movie Night

Independence Park Theatre

Paranorman - October 13
From the makers of “Coraline” comes the magically thrilling story of Norman, a boy who must use his ability to see and speak with the dead to save his town from a centuries-old curse.
The Witches - October 27
A recently orphaned young boy is taken to England by his grandmother. At their hotel, he stumbles across a witches’ convention plotting to rid the world of children.
7 p.m.

Trick & Treat Howl-O-Ween Party

Raising Cane’s Dog Park at Forest Community Park

Our howl-o-ween event for the dawgs! Get the costumes ready for our costume contest and visit with area animal organizations, shelters, partners and friends. Local celebrity guest judges will score winners for Best Large Dog, Best Small Dog and Best Family or Group Costumes. Prizes will be awarded to the winners!
October 20
6-9 p.m.

Sunshine Social: Monster Mash Ball

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.
October 20
6-9 p.m.
$5 donation

Farr Park Open House & Student Horse Show

Farr Park Equestrian Center

Bring the family to tour Farr Park Equestrian Center and enjoy a student-only horse show, games, prizes, petting zoo (10am-12pm), concessions, hay rides, riding demonstrations and more.
October 21
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Great Family Camp Out

Flanacher Road Park

Grab a tent and enjoy an evening being active with other families, make a s’more, sleep under the stars and wake up refreshed in a BREC park! Activities including slacklining, biking, kayaking, inflatables and more that will run from 4-8 p.m. Food is provided and no camping experience is needed. $5 optional tent rental with advance notice
October 21-22
4 p.m.-10 a.m.
$35 per family of five / $5 each additional person

Spooky Spectrum

Highland Road Park Observatory

Come visit–if you dare–as HRPO’s ninth annual family-friendly tribute to the bizarre and freakish takes place. We’ll delve into the eerie side of astronomy, physics and aeronautics with creepy science demonstrations, some of which we've never used. And don't forget the campfire stories. Strange sky phenomena, extra dimensions, extraterrestrials. Be warned–we want to make you think!
October 21
6-10 p.m.

Woods Walks Hiking Series

Frenchtown Road Conservation Area

Have you ever walked through a BREC park and wondered what type of trees you were looking at or what kind of animals live there? If so, now you can pick the brain of a BREC naturalist while enjoying a hike in one of BREC’s conservation areas. These guided hikes cover a different topic in ecology each month while exploring nature at alternating parks. Children must be accompanied by an adult. This program is free, but registration is required.
October 21
9-11 a.m.

Boo at the Zoo

BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo

The Zoo invites you to join us for Boo at the Zoo, a merry-not- scary trick-or-treating extravaganza. Children can visit treat stations throughout the Zoo, wander through the Hay Maze or explore our Enchanted Swamp.
October 21, 22, 28, 29
9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Regular zoo admission applies

Pumpkin Paddle Parade

Wampold Memorial Park

Get in the Halloween spirit by paddling in the dark along the shoreline of the University Lakes or watching the light show from the beach! For this fourth annual event, participants bring a voluntary contribution of nonperishable goods for the Baton Rouge Food Bank. Dress in a costume and add some lighting to your watercraft! Prizes will be awarded for the best decorated boats in various divisions. Bring your own vessel or rent one from the LSU URec or Outdoor Adventure (with advanced notice). Assistance provided by Paddle Baton Rouge. Cosponsored by SUBARU, Varsity Sports, Muddy Water Paddle Company and The Backpacker.
October 26
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Voluntary canned good contribution to paddle

Game, Set, Dine Adult Tennis Mixer

Independence Community Park Tennis Center

Three divisions: 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5 & above. Timed doubles format. Sign up individually
October 27
6-8 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.

North Sherwood Forest Community Park

This week, we've got another update on progress at BREC's North Sherwood Forest Park. The rainy weather hasn't been our friend but things are still coming along. Check out the photos of the renovated lake area. We can't wait - it's going to be beautiful!

Independence Community Park

Several parts of BREC's Independence Community Park are being upgraded but have you seen the new playground? What about the outdoor fitness equipment? Now you can work out while the kids play. We've also opened this area up a bit more for picnic and general rec activities. Stop by and check it out for this #StrategicSaturday.

Forest Community Park

The expansion and renovations of the recreation center at BREC's Forest Community Park have really started to take shape. You can see the project coming to life. Not only will this building look great when it's all done, but it'll also have heating/AC and new rooms. We can't wait until this project is complete! #StrategicSaturday.

Howell Community Park

Howell Community Park is one of our largest projects currently under construction. With the great weather we've had lately, the new Howell Park is starting to take shape. You can see the pond, new walkways, and the adventure playground. Can't wait to see the final product!

Jefferson Terrace Park

Jefferson Terrace Park is this week's #StrategicSaturday! This neighborhood park is getting new walks added to complete the walking look. Once the loops are complete, brand new outdoor fitness equipment will be added. Even the smaller projects at neighborhood parks are helping to give EBR more chances at health and fitness.

Lebrent Avenue Park

Lebrent Avenue Park is a neighborhood park in Baker getting a few updates and is this week's pick for #StrategicSaturday. New features includes a pavilion, playground equipment, benches, and a wood fiber safety surface at the playground.

Meet the Staff

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.

Jessica Guthrie, Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center Guest Services Coordinator III

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    I have been working for BREC since the Spring of 2011
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Bluebonnet Swamp of course!
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Don’t really have one currently… at our house my “littles” watch a lot of Disney Jr. Maybe in a few more years the adults will get the TV back.
  4. Android or iPhone?
    Either
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Seafood
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I am a certified diver, and I have dove on the Great Barrier Reef.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    I can’t say that there has been just one stand out, but there have been a lot of funny memories, great achievements, and interesting discoveries over the course of my time here with BREC. As I look back on these things, it’s the people involved that are probably my favorite. The BREC family is made up of some hard working, unique characters that I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    On an “adult vacation” to some beach, somewhere.

Pat D. Dogan, Information Technology Administrative Assistant II

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    August 25, 2014
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Highland Road Community Park
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    CNN/FOX – Both are entertaining
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Boiled Seafood and Fried Oysters
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    The career decision to transition from a Social Worker to become a BREC employee to help families on a larger scale and in a different capacity
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    I have two fondest memories: 1) The 1st Employee Appreciation Day I attended. It was phenomenal to see the level of excellence and 2) The resilience shown by staff during the Great Flood of 2016.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Canada

Mary Fernandez, Planning & Engineering Landscape Architect I

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    Close to 10 years!
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    I will have to go with Goodwood Park because I eat lunch there often. While there on my lunch break I enjoy watching people use the park.
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Game of Thrones. It’s funny. I refused to watch for years, now I can’t wait to get home to watch the next episode. …Winter is coming
  4. Android or iPhone?
    Android.
  5. What is your favorite food?
    french fries
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I like watching documentaries
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    My first memory of BREC was attending summer camp as a kid. It was an early form of BREC on the Geaux. A staff member would bring ping pong, box hockey and other games to the Westminster School grounds and we would play outside under the trees.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    I would hop in a car and travel to the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Stay at Pisgah Inn which overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Rachel Ragus, Finance Account Clerk 2

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    10/15/02, About 15 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Don’t have a favorite Park
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Anything on the ID Channel or Forensics
  4. Android or iPhone?
    Definitely iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Shrimp or Chocolate
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    That I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Mgmt
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    Finally getting a Gold Medal For Excellence Award
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Somewhere there are no people, no phones, no TV

Ronald Sensley, Recreation Manager

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    Full Time 3 years
    Part Time 3 1/2 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Hooper Road. I have so many memories from that park, as a youth playing sports like football, basketball, and baseball, now I manage the same facility/park I grow up in.
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Power, Snowfall, The Strain, Insecure and Ballers.
  4. Android or iPhone?
    Android. I have never owned a iPhone in my life!
  5. What is your favorite food?
    crawfish étouffée and catfish.
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    One day, I might want to run for Mayor of Baton Rouge but that's far from now.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    My fondest memory of BREC is going to the parks with my father and brothers. You can never get that time back spent with family and BREC gave us the green space to have that family experience and memories.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Bora Bora

Bobby Westbrook, Safety Technician

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    5 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    I travel to all of the parks – one is as unique as the other.
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Big Bang Theory
  4. Android or iPhone?
    Android.
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Anything seafood
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I have a law enforcement background and I was in 2 movies – The Toy with Richard Pryor and Blaze with Paul Newman
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    Every holiday we all get together as a group
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Las Vegas

Noor Abuhajah, Planning & Engineering Administrative Assistant 1

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    Overall, one year and 3 months.
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Frenchtown Road Conservation Area
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Seinfeld.
  4. Android or iPhone?
    I’m not too picky.
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Pretzels, even though they make me thirsty.
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I studied Criminology in college. Also, I’m number five of eight kids.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    I really enjoyed the P&E staff field trip to New Orleans City Park.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Las Vegas

Amanda Takacs, Conservation Naturalist

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    A little over 4 years now.
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Frenchtown Rd. Conservation Area. It really is an oasis with beautiful hiking trails.
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    I go through phases on Netflix but my teenage self can’t let go of Gilmore Girls…I have rewatched it twice so far..
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    I love all food equally :)
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I used to be an EMT with a wilderness card and I was certified to fight forest fires by the NPS.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    The Bioblitz last April that was held at Frenchtown was really awesome. We had students and scientists from all over the state come in and I ended up hiking in the dark with a mammal biologist climbing trees to set flying squirrel traps. We ended the night as a group around the fire and it was really great to see the scientific community coming together and bonding over an experience in one of our parks.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    New Zealand…might need longer than a week.

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