Phase 2 is now underway at Moncus Park in Lafayette.
A ground breaking ceremony was held Friday, March 19 to unveil elements of the park's children's play area.
The celebration came with the announcement of two major gifts from Ochsner Lafayette General and Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center which have each sponsored separate play features within the park.
A total of $2.3 million donated by Ochsner Lafayette General will go towards the park's inclusive playground and main walking and jogging trail. The playground will reportedly feature nature-inspired structures and interactive pieces, surrounded by rubber ground cover that mimics a swamp.
“When we merged to become part of Ochsner Health, we knew it would grant us more opportunities to provide even more support within the communities we serve. We are honored to be a part of Moncus Park. Its natural beauty and rich history create an optimal landscape for improving the health and well-being of the people of Acadiana. The decision to support Moncus Park was an easy one; it aligns with our commitment to the region and our vision to make Louisiana a healthier state by 2030,” said Ochsner Lafayette General CEO Patrick Gandy.
Our Lady of Lourdes has pledged $1.5 million to sponsor an 5,100 square foot interactive water feature within the play area with a large alligator sculpture and pirogue play structure. Moncus Park says the alligator has “breathing” water arches for its abdomen, and the pirogue will create “waves” made with custom jets. Throughout the large wet deck, another set of custom jets shoot up water that mimic bald cypress “knees.”
“The Moncus Park master plan was designed listening to the wants and needs of this community. You asked for an interactive water feature and we’re thrilled to bring forward this incredible play area, specially designed for kids in Southwest Louisiana. We could not be more excited to share this outdoor gift with the families of Acadiana,” said Kathy Healy-Collier, President of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Moncus Parks says that an anonymous donor has sponsored a tree house designed and built by Pete Nelson and the crew from the TV show, “Treehouse Masters.”
All three play areas will be fully accessible, meaning that they can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of age or ability and themed to celebrate the magic of the Louisiana swamps.
The park’s second phase of construction began in March 2021, and is set to be completed before the end of this year.
This phase, according to the park, also includes a restroom facility, an amphitheater, and a Veterans Memorial which will feature brick pavers and seat wall inscriptions.
A new 4-acre lake, a great lawn, over two miles of new trails, a dog park, hundreds of tree plantings, as well as much of the infrastructure and utilities for future developments have already been completed since construction began on the park in 2018.
All elements within the park are part of a community-inspired, Council-approved master plan and have been entirely funded with private donations.
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