University Lakes project could bring more recreational activities to Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) — Jogging, biking, or yoga is how many of you enjoy enjoying LSU Lakes.

“It’s nice and very peaceful and I think it’s going to really draw people here,” said Ashley Stevens.

With dredging underway to clean up the lakes, people are eagerly awaiting more ways to enjoy Baton Rouge’s great outdoors.

“(The plans) include the potential for more food and drink trucks and that sort of thing. Perhaps a more permanent setup at the beach in Baton Rouge. Certainly, we are looking for opportunities for more people in the water: kayaks, other water events, and that sort of thing,” said Rob Stuart, president of the LSU Foundation.

Stuart said they are working with BREC to bring more recreational activities to the lakes, which people like Von Jefferson want to use.

“It helps build that sense of community, and certainly some food vendors because after a run your boy is hungry,” Jefferson said.

But some people worry that the lakes are being oversold.

“I prefer to avoid the commercial aspects of it… they talk about selling food and I don’t want (the lakes) trashed or turned into a commercial operation. I prefer that it remains just a leisure park, ”said Ben Giamalva.

Giamalva is also concerned about security.

Project leaders said part of the first phase includes creating separate lanes for bicycles and pedestrians.

“I think overall it’s a great idea, especially the deepening and revitalizing of the fishery, the fish kills would stop and all that kind of stuff,” Giamalva said.

But the first step – cleaning the lakes – is what many who use the lakes look forward to the most.

The first phase of the University Lakes Project should be completed by the end of 2023.

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