February 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.

Valentine's Movie Mixer

Jefferson Hwy. Park

Whether single or in a pair, love is in the air! Pick your potion- wine, beer, or soda-and enjoy the evening with appetizers, trivia, a movie and more.
February 2
6-9:30 p.m.

Make it a Movie Night: The Princess Bride

Independence Park Theatre

When the beautiful maiden Buttercup (Robin Wright) hears that her true love Westley (Cary Elwes) is dead, she reluctantly agrees to marry the loathsome Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon). After Westley returns to rescue Buttercup, the two begin an epic adventure filled with fencing, fighting, giants, monsters, miracles, true love and hilarity! Rated PG.
February 9
7 p.m.

Sweet Tart Art

Milton J. Womack Park

Parents, don’t buy valentines- take this opportunity to ignite a passion for art in your child. Students will utilize different printmaking techniques to craft valentines for classmates. All materials included to create up to 20 valentines.
February 10
9-11 a.m.

Adult Leisure Weekend Tea Dance- Valentine's Day Dance

Milton J. Womack Park

Enjoy live entertainment and light refreshments, while dancing to classic ballroom dance music.
February 10
1-3 p.m.

Flashlight Night at the Swamp

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.
February 16
5-9 p.m.

Sunshine Social: Mardi Gras Masquerade 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.
February 16
6-9 p.m.

Movie in the Park: Despicable Me 3

Jackson Community Park

Grab a blanket or lawn chair and join BREC for a family movie (Rated PG and below) under the stars. Enjoy free popcorn and punch. The movie will be moved inside the gym in the event of inclement weather. All movies begin at dusk Movie titles subject to change.
February 16
6:30-9:30 p.m.

Evening Sky Viewing Plus

Highland Road Park Observatory

Standard sky viewing offering supplemented with sky tour, marshmallow roast and physical science demos.
February 17
7-10 p.m.

Swamp Volunteer Day

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Come out and help us push back invasive plant species all over the Swamp! We will be targeting areas overgrown with invasive species in order to let our native plants thrive. Gloves and hand tools will be provided
February 19
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Black History Event

Independence Park Theatre

This annual ceremony brings people together from across the parish to recognize and reflect on the contributions that African Americans have made in East Baton Rouge Parish and around the world
February 22
6:30-8 p.m.

NanoDays

Highland Road Park Observatory

When reduced to the width of a human hair or smaller, ordinary materials often take on extraordinary properties. Nano-level science promises advanced information processing and storage, new medical treatments and much more. For another year, big things in the Universe take a backseat to all things tiny in this annual celebration of nanotechnology!
February 24
2-6 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.

Botanic Garden at Independence Commmunity Park

With the hard freeze we had this week, we figure you probably want to see a bit of green! The Botanic Garden at Independence Community Park is coming together. We'll have a grand opening this spring so be on the lookout for that!

North Sherwood Forest Commmunity Park

So we've been showing you these awesome photos of the improvements at North Sherwood Forest Community Park, and they're just about done. Which means it's official - North Sherwood will be our first big project ribbon cutting of the year in March. More details to come so stay tuned!

Howell Commmunity Park

The next big grand opening for 2018? Howell Community Park! This park has been getting some major improvements and renovations! Phase 1 of this project is wrapping up as the grass grows in and the bridge is built. Grand opening coming in April - stay tuned for more details!

Milton J. Womack Park

We have a walking loop in front of our main office and the area behind it is slowly looking more and more like a real park. We're converting the space to multi-use fields that includes improved lighting, paved pathways and a public restroom - which has officially been installed. Keep an eye on this project!

Spain Street Park

Development at Spain Street Park is coming along! The frame for the new picnic shelter is up, the walks are taking shape and you can even see where the new playground will go. Even the small parks make for exciting projects!

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.

Lionel Lanehart, Jr., Park Operations Foreman 1

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    5 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Farr Park
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    EMPIRE
  4. Android or iPhone?
    Android
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Steak & potatoes
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I love restoring classic cars.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    The day i met Mr. Karl Malone. NBA HALL OF FAMER. In Farr park RV parking lot
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Hawaii

Claire Coco, Special Facility Manager at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    Over 17 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Bluebonnet Swamp! (Obviously!) But there’s a special place in my heart for Blackwater Conservation Area as a memorial to those lost on 9/11, and for Greenwood Community Park due to its historic role during World War II. In its renovation, BREC did an outstanding job with architecture, interpretive signage, and landscaping improvements honoring Greenwood’s unique history.
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    The Big Bang Theory
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Sushi, Greek cuisine
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    My first professional certification, issued by the US Forest Service, was for Chainsaw Operator.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    During a holiday camp session, a very excited 10-year old boy took me by the hand as I lead the group out for a hike. I asked him about his enthusiasm, and he explained that this was his first nature hike... ever. He was overjoyed & brimming with excitement usually reserved for campers much younger than him. I was saddened that he’d not had this opportunity before, but I was also touched & honored to be guiding him on this momentous experience. It was an affirmation of why I enjoy my work - and a reminder that there are so many more that need to be reached. I probably don’t go more than a week without thinking about him. And that was many years ago!
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Well, since it is winter, I’d have to scratch Utah off my list (brrr!). Someplace on the warmer side, in the southwest... Tuscon, AZ has the biggest gem & mineral show in the country - that’s on my bucket list!

Norma Velasquez, Recreation Facility Supervisor

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    Total 14 yrs.
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Greenwood of course
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    The Originals
  4. Android or iPhone?
    Android
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Pasta & Broccoli
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    That I used to work in the Morgue and the emergency room department
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    When I volunteered to work the hot air event for BREC at the Pennington center is was the most beautiful thing I had seen in ages.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    To the Vatican city to visit the St. Peter’s Basilica Church. It’s the Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City ( a catholic church ) that’s where my heart has always been.

Greg Williams, Independence Park Theatre Artistic Director

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    11 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    LOL…honestly it is Independence Park Theatre. I know that sounds selfish…but it is.
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    I’m a bit of a sensitive soul. I love THIS IS US!
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone all day!
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Lasagna.
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I have a huge phobia of performing in front of people.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    I loved and still miss the Christmas decorations and holiday experiences BREC used to do in Independence Community Park when I started working here. We haven’t done it in over seven or eight years, but I would love to see it come back one year.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    New York…of course!

Sergeant Curley James, Park Rangers

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    6 and a half years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Saia is my favorite because I did a lot of work in the community over there when I was in the police department
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Gunsmoke
  4. Android or iPhone?
    Android
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Fried catfish. Fried fish.
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I was a music major in college
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    When on of my rangers stopped a guy from committing suicide
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. My son loved it.

Jennifer Poulter, BREC Art Programs Manager

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    12 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Bluebonnet Swamp
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Portlandia, The Andy Griffith Show, Rick and Morty
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Tacos with tons of sour cream
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    That I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    I love working with Camp Sunshine and helping at Sunshine Socials. It never fails to remind me that there are good people in this world doing important work.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    All over Europe, checking out all the artwork!

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