December 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.

Reindeer Ride

Farr Park Levee

Welcome the holiday season with a unique nighttime family bike ride up the levy from Farr Park to downtown Baton Rouge to be a part of Baton Rouge’s Downtown Christmas Lighting Celebration. Participants will leave the levy trail head and join in a colorful bike parade through the downtown area, participate in the many fun evening activities and return together.
December 2
5:30-8 p.m.

Caroling in the Park

City-Brooks Community Park

Mark your calendars for BREC’s annual Caroling in City Park featuring a park lighting ceremony, candlelight caroling, roasting marshmallows and a host of other family activities for all ages to enjoy. Food vendors will be on site for this event.
December 8
5:30-8:30 p.m.

Woods Walk Hiking Series

Kendalwood 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.
December 9
noon-4 p.m.

Toys for Tots Challenge

Extreme Sports Park

BREC Extreme Sports partners with Toys for Tots on their annual toy drive to make sure as many kids as possible enjoy the holidays! This event features the highest ollie and highest BMX bunny hop contests along with more! Entry to participate is one unopened, unwrapped toy.
December 10
6-9 p.m.

Creole Christmas & Holiday Fair

Magnolia Mound

An annual event featuring seasonal decorations in the historic house, traditional songs in French and Spanish sung by local school children, period demonstrations, folk crafts and the annual bonfire to welcome Papa Noel.
December 10
1-6 p.m.

Sunshine Social: Ugly Sweater Christmas Soiree

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.
December 15
6-9 p.m.
$5 donation

Santa Road Show

Gus Young Park

Experience the holidays as Santa makes his annual stop at BREC. Bring your cameras to take memorable family photos as you tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Enjoy holiday games, crafts and other fun activities for all ages
December 16
noon-2 p.m.

Movie in the Park (in Spanish)

North Sherwood Forest 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. Sponsored by Amerihealth. Movie: Free Birds
December 19
6:30-9:30 p.m.

ZooLights

BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo

ZooLights is A mile-long trail through the Zoo; More than 50 illuminated display sculptures of animals and traditional holiday displays; A festive family activity, adding to the quality of life for residents throughout the region; The beginning of a new tradition
November 24-December 30
5:30-8 p.m.
Adults/Teens: $5; Seniors: $4; Ages 2-12: $3; Friends of the Zoo Members: $3 per person

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.

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.

Botanic Garden at Independence Community Park

Have you seen the beautiful new improvements happening at the Botanic Garden at BREC's Independence Community Park? You're probably wondering where the plants are for the new sections. Well they are coming? Most of the construction on the Botanic Garden section of this project is complete and now our team is working to layout the plants and complete the planting schedule. Keep an eye out for the completion of this project early 2018!

Beaver Creek Golf Course

Tournaments at Beaver Creek Golf Course just got even better! This #StrategicSaturday, check out Beaver Creek's brand new pavilion and tournament area. This pavilion replaces an older, smaller one. We're working to make your park system better every day!

Tree Planting at Doyle's Bayou Park

Improving your parks isn't always construction or new playgrounds. Last week, BREC Conservation facilitated the planting of oak & persimmon trees grown by students from Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church through the LSU Coastal Roots Program. The trees were planted at Doyle's Bayou Park to help us restore certain parts of the park back to natural areas.

North Sherwood Forest Community Park

How can you be anything but excited about the improvements happening at BREC's North Sherwood Forest Park? Changes include the playground, splash pad, tennis court, pond, pavilions and more. Work is getting closer to completion but these photos are exciting! So much new & awesome to be seen there - even the new trees!

>

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is one of our most popular locations and when we're having one of our awesome events, it can get pretty packed. Right now, we're working to improve the parking lot so next time you come out for a Swamp Haunted Hike, your experience will be much better. And we'll have a few other improvements too! Pardon our progress.

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.

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.

Timothy Newton, Park Opearations Operator 1

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    In January, it’ll be 4 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Longfellow. I enjoy keeping it up and a lot of people come here during the summertime. There’s always something going on over here.
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Death Valley. I like Westerns
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Crawfish, even though I’m allergic. I love seafood but seafood doesn’t love me.
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I ride horses. I have 4 beautiful horses of my own.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    Coming back to work after breaking my leg. I was so happy to be back at work.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    California.

Bethany Lerch, Outdoor Adventure Program Coordinator

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    11 months
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    It will be Forest Park once renovations are complete.
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Greys Anatomy
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Lasagna
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I am the youngest of my cousins on both sides of my family
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    Taking our summer camp group to go paddling at Fontainebleau State Park, the kids loved every second of the bayou we were on and were completely warm out by the end of the day. Success!
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Italy or Greece

Buddy Richard, Park Operations Electrical Tech

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    Jan 4 will be 2 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    That’s a hard one… Perkins. It’s set up really nice
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    Right now it’s a toss up between Gotham and Supernatural. Actually, my favorite is the new Lethal Weapon Show
  4. Android or iPhone?
    I prefer iPhone but right now I’m carrying an Android because it’s more user-friendly with the game I like to play
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Steak
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I like old, black and white movies. Laurel & Hardy. Abbott & Costello. A lot of old westerns.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    My first day of work – the people I met made it great. Everybody I met on my first day greeted me in a way that made me feel at home.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Back to Branson, Missouri. There’s so much to do there.

Cortia Olden, Finance Account Clerk II

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    11 years
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Forest Park
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    The Haves and Have Nots
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Mustard Greens and Cornbread
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I’m a BIG KID at heart- I love to have fun and eat lots of junk food!.
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    BREC’s very 1st Employee Appreciation Day.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Washington, D.C

Forrest Richards, Education Program Specialist

  1. How long have you been with BREC?
    1 year!
  2. Which is your favorite park?
    Farr Park, of course J-but I also really enjoy the City Park tennis courts and dog park
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
    I am an Office and Parks and Rec fanatic
  4. Android or iPhone?
    iPhone
  5. What is your favorite food?
    Vietnamese spring rolls or steamed artichokes
  6. What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
    I grew up competitively sailing around the Gulf Coast and I recently took up sewing to create accessories for my two cats, Bogey and Garbie J
  7. What is one of your fondest BREC memories?
    Watching students love horses and achieve lifelong goals is an everyday memory that drives me.
  8. If you got a week-long, all-expenses-paid vacation tomorrow, where would you go?
    Explore the Galapagos Islands

Site by Covalent Logic