The dream of a children’s museum for Baton Rouge seems to be coming closer to reality, thanks to a recent nudge from Mayor-President Kip Holden, who donated $10,300 of his own savings to pay for various building and permit fees for the museum. The Metro Council had refused to waive the fees for the museum, so Holden opened his checkbook as a gesture of support. Metro Councilman John Delgado said he will ask the council again to waive the fees, in spite of Holden’s donation.
The council’s actions seemed like another example of the mayor’s strained relations with council members, but we hope that the larger goal of getting the museum up and running isn’t lost in a political dispute. A museum for youngsters is something the whole community should support.
The Knock Knock Children’s Museum’s supporters recently broke ground for the facility at a site on City-Brooks Community Park property across from the lakes on Dalrymple Drive. The museum is a partnership between private donors and the East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Park Commission, or BREC. Museum backers have spent more than a decade raising $9.4 million to build the museum, and they still need about $3 million to complete it.
We hope they reach their goal. Residents can find out more about the museum and how to support it at knockknockmuseum.org.
Many other cities, such as New Orleans and Lafayette, have had children’s museums for years. These museums are often great tourist attractions, and they can be a good resource for local residents, too. These are the kinds of amenities that help keep and attract young families in our area.
City-Brooks is a crown jewel in the city’s park system, and the children’s museum’s presence there creates the possibility of a bright new chapter in the park’s history.
What the museum needs most of all right now is money. We thank the mayor for pitching in, and we hope others do the same.