LAFAYETTE — Parc San Souci has been the go-to place for people living in Lafayette for nearly twenty years. It has served as a place to host events, play and listen to live music, as well as take an iconic photo, but the Downtown Development Authority believes that it's missing something.
"We know that the fountain is not on year round, and the letters are really meant to be a photo opportunity," says Anita Begnaud, the CEO for the Downtown Development Authority. "But we see a lot of kids trying to play on them and climb on them, so we see that there is a missing piece in the park, and that is play equipment for kids."
The new park will be designed to accommodate children of all ages, and with different abilities. Begnaud says they are looking into creating a rubberized surface that will be easily accessible for wheel chairs and people with walkers. The park will also include various play equipment that can be used by everyone.
"One of the pieces of equipment that we're looking at, and that we're really excited about, is a carousel that can fit a wheel chair, but it also has bench seating around it," says Begnaud. "So children can be on the equipment with someone that is in a wheel chair, a parent can sit with their child that is in a wheel chair, or even a grandparent."
Katie Culbert owns Wild Child Wines right across the street from Parc San Souci. Culbert is a mother and a long-time resident of the downtown area, and she says she is excited that a new park will be built and within such close proximity to her family.
"We have a two-year-old daughter, and we bring her here a lot, so we go over to the park quite often because she has a lot of energy and there is really only so much a two-year-old can do in a wine shop," says Culbert. "So to actually have a place where she can truly play, and play with other kids, is going to be fantastic for us."
While the park is geared towards children, Begnaud says that the equipment will be large enough for parents to partake in playtime with their children.
"We take her to other playgrounds, and it is pretty much a kind of thing where you have to let your kid play and you just have to sit back and watch," says Culbert. "So to be able to play too, with our child, as an adult is pretty cool."
Begnaud hopes that the new park will activate the open space in Parc San Souci in a positive way, by bringing more families to the area.
"What's really special about Parc San Souci is that it brings the community together," says Begnaud. "We want to make sure that this playground is going to do the same thing by bringing all ages, all abilities, together to enjoy playing in Parc San Souci.
While the construction for the playground is not likely to be completed until Spring of 2022, fund raising for the project has already begun. You can contribute by making a donation here.
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