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Phase I Kicks Off on University Lakes Restoration Project

The lakes can be seen after initial completion in the 1930s as part of the Civilian Conservation Corp program. The open pastures have since filled in with residential development and LSU’s campus.
The lakes can be seen after initial completion in the 1930s as part of the Civilian Conservation Corp program. The open pastures have since filled in with residential development and LSU’s campus.
Photo courtesy of Louisiana State University
Photo courtesy of Louisiana State University
In the 1930s people in Baton Rouge enjoyed the new recreational asset, but this beloved recreation amenity was never designed to accommodate the thousands of people that now use the space on a weekly basis. Over the last several decades, the lake system suffered from pollution and erosion and struggled ecologically as it tried to revert back to a swamp land.
In the 1930s people in Baton Rouge enjoyed the new recreational asset, but this beloved recreation amenity was never designed to accommodate the thousands of people that now use the space on a weekly basis. Over the last several decades, the lake system suffered from pollution and erosion and struggled ecologically as it tried to revert back to a swamp land.
BATON ROUGE, LA — In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Sasaki is working on multiple projects that will have long-lasting benefits for the environment and for the community. In addition to working on Greenwood Community Park Master Plan and Implementation, Sasaki is also beginning work on the University Lakes Restoration Project, which has just entered Phase I.

Sasaki is leading the design and implementation of the project to set the lakes on a more ecologically sustainable and recreationally rich future. Sasaki's work, in collaboration with the community of Baton Rouge, University Lakes LLC, Louisiana State University (LSU), East Baton Rouge Parish, the State of Louisiana, BREC, Stantec, and CSRS will create a new legacy for Baton Rouge for the next 100 years. With this group of partners, Sasaki is working to make the lakes safer, more beautiful, and a more welcoming place for people and nature.

The University Lakes System was created by dredging and clearing the Old Perkins Swamp next to LSU’s new campus in 1933. The new lake system set the stage for the City of Baton Rouge to grow around this new, 10-mile-long recreational and aesthetic asset. This created a legacy that defined the physical and social context of Baton Rouge. However, over the past 100 years, environmental and infrastructural degradation created unsustainable maintenance conditions.

“Sasaki will be setting a long-term framework for the full reconstruction of the lake system, which will consist of dredging the lake bottom and reshaping the banks to create a more robust and sustainable ecological condition,” said Denver office Co-Director Anna Cawrse.

“At the same time we will be weaving in recreational amenities that support a diverse cross section of people,” said Denver office Co-Director Joshua Brooks. “This will be a major undertaking, but one that will result in a dynamic public realm amenity for Baton Rouge.”

Case  - CE
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ASCO Equipment

Phase I recently kicked off with due diligence in and around the lakes. Soon the team will be engaging with the community and generating concept designs for the 10-mile waterfront around the lake system.

SITECH
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SITECH Tri-Rivers
SITECH
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