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Residents weigh in on future of University Lakes Project; dredging could start by end of year

Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 11:14 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Changes are finally on the horizon for the University Lakes.

CLICK HERE for information about reimagining the lakes.

On Monday, June 14, people got a chance to weigh in on a 2016 Master Plan that would completely revitalize the entire University Lakes System.

As Monday ended, a sea of orange and pink lit up the sky, while those colors reflected like a mirror along the water of the University Lakes.

The setting sun created beautiful scenery that was reflected in the waters of University Lakes.
The setting sun created beautiful scenery that was reflected in the waters of University Lakes.(WAFB)

“We enjoy the peace, we enjoy the green, we enjoy just the quiet of it,” said Rodney Wood.

No matter the time of day, the spot is a perfect place for folks to get a little exercise and fresh air.

“When I run, I kind of, you know, soak all the views and everything in,” said Madalyn Mahfouz. “It’s peaceful, it’s quiet outside.”

On Monday, people were able to present ideas on their wish lists for the future of The Lakes to hopefully add some of those ideas to the master plan for the area.

Dozens of people attended the open house to give their input about the master plan for the LSU...
Dozens of people attended the open house to give their input about the master plan for the LSU Lakes.(WAFB)

“Once we get the lakes deepened, there are a whole lot of things we can do around making it more sustainable, also make it more livable for the people in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas, as well as the residents,” said Rob Stuart, president and CEO of the LSU Foundation.

Right now, the funds are there to dredge four of the six lakes, including City Park Lake, Lake Erie, Campus Lake, and College Lake, as part of Phase 1 of the massive project.

As money becomes available, the remaining lakes will be redesigned and more recreational amenities could be built along the lake’s edges and near some of the park spaces.

“It is time that all that algae is out,” said Metro Councilwoman Carolyn Coleman (District 10). “And then, once we do that, the other concern of mine is to be able to maintain that.”

The project will take a few years to finally reach its full potential.

But people are excited for what’s to come.

“That there would be lots of green, that it would continue to be a peaceful place where you can just come and walk and enjoy the quiet,” added Wood.

“I think the lakes have so much potential here. And any kind of upgrade or anything that they could add would make things so much better here,” explained Mahfouz.

Officials hope to start Phase 1 of this project (dredging the lakes) by the end of this year.

CLICK HERE for more on the timeline of the project.

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