Cassidy Corcoran, 10, and her little sister, Brooklyn, 8, lined up their shots for a golf game of sorts on Saturday, lobbing golf balls through goalposts on the Great Lawn of the BREC Zachary Community Park.
“I love it,” Cassidy said of the park. “We’ve been fishing three times already, and I caught three big fish.”
Cassidy and her sister joined the dozens of people who meandered around the grounds on the park’s first official day of operations.
Officials recently completed the first phase of construction on the $1.9 million park, which sprawls across 43 acres off La. 964.
Visitors to the park can now enjoy basketball and sand volleyball courts, walking paths, fishing piers on a large lake and a modular skate park.
The Great Lawn will play host to festivals and sporting events, said Chad Brewer, spokesman for the East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Park Commission.
Saturday also marked the grand opening of the Raising Cane’s Dog Park within the Zachary Community Park as well as the official start of the big park’s phase II of construction.
The Zachary Community Park is one of 12 community parks developed and funded through the “Imagine Your Parks” tax that East Baton Rouge Parish voters approved in 2004.
Kiesha Arceneaux said she voted that year for what she would like to see constructed in the Zachary park, and now some of those features have come to fruition.
“I voted for the dog park and the splash pad, and then to see it actually happening is just wonderful,” she said. “I just can’t wait until it’s finished.”
Phase II of construction at the Zachary park will bring a recreation facility and park signage. The final phase will add a children’s playground, a splash pad and extended walking trails.
Dan and Donnice MacDonald strolled along a walking path with their dog, Ponchi, taking the pooch on his first visit to a dog park.
Dan MacDonald, originally from Baton Rouge, said he was eagerly awaiting the opening of the park, which sits across the street from his house.
“It’s a nice place to bring the dogs and kids, and it will bring property values up,” he said. “Zachary is a nice place to live. It’s definitely up and coming, and a park like this was needed in the community.”
Three parks currently undergoing renovation or being built in Baker, Central and Zachary all have brought quality BREC recreation to the northern parts of the parish, Brewer said.
“We serve the whole parish, and we want to make sure the parks are spread throughout East Baton Rouge,” Brewer said.
Staci Etue said she recently moved to Zachary from Baton Rouge, where she lived close to the Raising Cane’s Dog Park at City Park.
“I was waiting for something like this to be built,” Etue said of Zachary’s new dog park. “It’s very relaxing. I’ll definitely be coming here often.”