BREC offering ways to enjoy this beautiful weather, including food delivery to parks

Michelle Southern: Weekdays 2pm-7pm

Did you know Baton Rouge has many, beautiful wide open green spaces? 225 Magazine put together a perfect guide to some of the most refreshing ways to unwind and enjoy the perfect weather we are getting this spring.

Additionally, BREC is working with local restaurants and food trucks to allow operations in parks.

They have modified the agreement for food trucks to operate in parks by substantially lowering the fee for a monthly permit, and are allowing brick and mortar restaurants to offer delivery service in parks across East Baton Rouge Parish.

The Parkside Pickup initiative currently includes Walk-Ons Sports Bistreaux, Newk’s Eatery Louisiana Lemonade and Ninja Snowballs, LLC. As their schedules will vary, the businesses are promoting them through their social media pages and neighborhood apps.

“We know this is a difficult time for businesses across our community and BREC leadership is currently working on several initiatives to help stimulate the local economy while still complying with CDC orders for physical distancing,” said BREC Assistant Superintendent of Recreation Brandon Smith. “Restaurants and food and beverage vendors have historically been there for BREC by sponsoring our programs and events, donating to amenities in our parks and serving our visitors and we want to do what we can to ensure they are able to serve as many customers as possible during this difficult time,” said Smith.

Restaurants and food trucks that are interested in participating in BREC’s Parkside Pickup initiative should contact Diane Ruggiero at druggiero@brec.org or 225-388-3007.

Here are some highlights of the 225 article about ways to enjoy the outdoors this spring.

Refresh yourself

BREC launched the Refresh project during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide online ways for adults and kids to learn about the outdoors, with informative videos, activity ideas, nature bingo and even meditation videos shot at Baton Rouge parks. Find out more at brec.org and at BREC’s Facebook page >> https://www.facebook.com/watch/BRECparks/2652909898323773/

Put in a kayak or paddleboard at BREC’s Milford Wampold Memorial Park, and take in the gorgeous lakefront homes from the water. Keep it casual on May Street, where you can feed the ducks or find a spot nearby for a picnic.

Highland Road Community Park
Though it’s most known for its recreational facilities, this park still has plenty of green space for a picnic and a winding paved path for long walks. On the south side of the park is the first of BREC’s Blueways paddle launch project. From there, you can float down Bayou Fountain to Bayou Manchac.

Greenwood Community Park
The Baton Rouge Zoo may be temporarily closed, but the park next door is a hidden gem with an 18-acre lake for paddling or just walking the trails along its edge. You can rent kayaks, canoes or paddleboards from the boathouse by calling ahead in the off-season (regular operations are June and July). There’s also a fishing pier at the far side of the lake.

The Botanic Garden at Independence Park
Take a stroll through a 15-acre botanical garden in the heart of Mid City. Begun in 1991 and managed by the Baton Rouge Garden Club, the space is located behind the Goodwood Library at BREC’s sprawling Independence Park. Along the walking paths, you can see gardens of irises, roses, day lilies, tropical plants and even a garden meant to attract butterflies—perfect for a late spring walk.

Hooper Road Park and Comite River Park
Just 3 miles apart on Hooper Road, these two parks are havens for mountain biking. You read that correctly. There are more than 10 miles of trails total between both BREC properties, meaning ample space to get dirty on the bluffs and through the woods near Comite River.

Frenchtown Road Conservation Area
At 496 acres, this is BREC’s largest park and conservation area. That means plenty of hardwood forest and the most roughing-it trails you can find in the parish. There are around 3 miles of primitive trails to take you to the banks of the Comite and Amite rivers as well as a sandy beach area along the Amite.