The public is invited on a journey, no suitcases needed.

The Recreation & Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC) will launch Expedition BREC Saturday, April 6, during Zippity Zoo Fest at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo.

One will need a passport for Expedition BREC, but it’s free.

“Originally it was going to just be a one-time thing at Zippity Zoo Fest, and it was going to be every department of BREC,” Erin O’Neill, one of BREC’s publicity and marketing managers, said. “At Zippity Zoo Fest, you have two days of just families, and moms with children, dads, everybody coming through the zoo. We usually expect 10,000 to 14,000 on average to come in that Saturday and Sunday, so we’re like why don’t we extend the offer to all of BREC, and what we’re going to have is each department of BREC will be there and they’ll have their own station and own table. When you walk in, if you choose to go on with the program, you’ll get a passport. There are different points for different activities.

“You’ll go by each table, so you’ll stop by the swamp (Bluebonnet Swamp and Nature Center) and you’ll learn about this cool new type of rock and then next station, you’ll be up by the observatory (Highland Road Park Observatory) and you can look through the telescope. We’re so excited about this that, with the other departments, this turned into an actual program and not just a one-day thing,” O’Neill said.

Expedition BREC will continue through the end of October.

“The focus is all of our nature based programs, all of our natured based activities and all the facilities. We’re also showing everything that BREC has to offer, to showcase all of BREC at this one event,” she said.

After this weekend, Expedition BREC will involve events and programs at all the BREC facilities.

“Basically the focus is to get people outside, moving, into more physical activity, enjoying nature,” Chad Brewer, another BREC publicity and marketing manager, said. “So really the focus is outdoor recreation, nature programs. So they can go to each of these events, and get their passport stamped and they’ll receive a certain amount of points depending on the level of the event.”

Attend one of the Swamp Nights at Bluebonnet Swamp and earn three points. Take a guided trail ride at Farr Equestrian Center, three points. Go on a scavenger hunt at Magnolia Mound Plantation, another three points. Participants can also earn a point just for visiting one of the BREC sites, even if they’re not taking part in an event. They should just be sure to get the passport stamped when they visit. One can register for Expedition BREC individually or as a family.

“At the end we’ll have a finale event, turn in passports, add all the points, and give prizes for three levels of points earned,” Brewer said.

Those who missing getting a passport this weekend, can pick up one at any BREC facility, online, or at Louisiana Earth Day Sunday, April 21.

For more details on BREC facilities, events, and a list of passport drop-off sites when the program ends, visit the websites, call (225) 272-9200 or email