Independence Community Park - Improvements

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The new BREC “Play for All” Playground at Independence Community Park will be a universally accessible playground for people of all ages and abilities. By offering visual, tactile, and cognitive exploratory experiences, the playground will meet a range of developmental, mobility, and social needs for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers. The “Play for All” Playground will be the first playground designed through the principles of universal design. This means that the playground is designed to be useable by all people universally accessible playground in Baton Rouge.

We invite you to review our current progress by clicking on the links and updates below. As we progress through the stages of planning and design, we will be asking community members to participate in surveys and public engagement meetings. Please check back here for updates soon. We hope you will offer feedback and follow the progression of this unique playground!

Child in wheelchair interacting with interpretive music panel. Children with mobility challenges play on adaptive merry-go-round. Children with and without disabilities play on glider. Child interacting with color game panel
Children playing on spinner. Child with mobility device standing on elevated deck Children playing on group swing Children standing on elevated bridge


New Features in Current Project Improvements:

  • New Universally Accessible Playground

Project Updates and Timeline

  • June 2021 - Discovery Phase - Launch of public engagement process
  • June-August 2021 - Master Plan Concept Development Phase
  • August 2021 - Final Master Plan delivery and project phasing study for construction
  • November 2021 - Toposurvey is completed and Consultant presented Master Plan to committee & commission
  • February 2022 - Project in design stage and taking the Master Plan to a more detailed level of design. Will be asking for feedback from the community in Spring 2022.
  • June 2022 - Project in design development and pursuing additional funding options.
  • December 2022 - BREC continues grant applications to help with funding speciality playground equipment.
  • May 2023 - BREC's in-house CCD crews working on initial site prep.
  • June 2023 - The promenade walk is being formed in advance of concrete pour.
  • July 2023 - Concrete to be poured to promenade walk.
  • September 2023 - Connecting walk from Liberty Lagoon to Recreation Center / Tennis Center is completed.


Estimated Construction Start for Phase I of the Master Plan: 4th Quarter 2023


Previous Improvements


  • RENOVATED garden center

COMPLETED NOVEMBER 2018 (Click to view project timeline)

Project Updates:

  • DECEMBER 2017 - Bid issued
  • FEBRUARY 2018 - Notice to Proceed issued to Percy J. Matherne Contractor, Inc.
  • MARCH 2018 - Construction underway
  • MAY 2018 - Buildings metal roof has been removed, addition slab has been poured, addition framing complete, interior demolition complete, wall and framing underway
  • JUNE 2018 - Interior renovations underway
  • AUGUST 2018 - Painted interior, sheetrock installed, cabinetry and lighting in progress.
  • OCTOBER 2018 - Construction Complete
  • NOVEMBER 2018 - Garden Center grand opening held in concert with plant sale 


Phase one of the expansion served as the “front gate” for the Botanical Gardens from the East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library and BREC’s Independence Café. The butterfly and parterre garden feature a formal contemporary style that will complement the architecture of the library and café while expanding the formal geometry of the rose garden. The rich materials, furnishings, lighting and attention to detail help set the tone for subsequent garden phases.
The playground replaced in this phase, built in the late 1970’s, was the first of its kind featuring universal and inclusive play features. The renovation features amenities including a new 2 to 12-year old playground, outdoor fitness equipment, a large pavilion for rentals, two smaller picnic pavilions, flag pole, new picnic areas and other site furnishings. The new design increases the open space for the area allowing for more recreational opportunities. BREC is currently in the fundraising phase for another playground at Independence Park that will include inclusive features and will be installed near the tennis center and Liberty Lagoon waterpark.


  • NEW play area
  • NEW butterfly and parterre garden
  • NEW lawn garden
  • NEW library walkways
  • NEW granite millstone fountain
  • NEW twelve garden plots
  • NEW garden promenade
  • NEW garden and library walkways
  • NEW garden entry arbor
  • NEW 2-12 year old playground
  • NEW outdoor fitness equipment
  • NEW large pavilion
  • NEW picnic pavilions (2)
  • NEW picnic areas