BREC dedicates trail marker to community leader Fred Benton Jr.
BATON ROUGE - BREC has partnered with Friends of Hilltop Arboretum and the Bartram Trail Conference to dedicate a Bartram Trail mile marker to Fred Benton Jr., a former community leader in the Baton Rouge area.
Benton was the bond attorney for the City for Baton Rouge for over 30 years. During his tenure, he worked to build new infrastructure around the city including new firehouses, schools, roads and bridges.
The marker at BREC’s Airline Highway Park, which was dedicated to Benton over the weekend, is the newest marker and commemorates Bartram’s travels along Bayou Manchac. There are seven markers in the Greater Baton Rouge area and this will be the second at a BREC facility, the other being at Magnolia Mound.
“BREC is so honored that another one of its parks is home to one of the Bartram Trail markers and we are so proud to place this marker at Airline Highway Park in memory of our friend Mr. Fred G. Benton Jr. and his support of the Bartram Trail," BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight said.
Benton was instrumental in the creation of the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial and Museum, the Louisiana Arts and Science Center, and the state park at the Tunica site.
He worked diligently with a team of black and white citizens to create the first black-owned savings and loan association in Louisiana. He also helped establish Port Hudson State Park, preserving the memory of the fallen soldiers and the park’s history.
He aided in the drafting of the legislation that created the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC), was awarded “Volunteer of the Year” by the Arts and Humanities Council of Baton Rouge, and was a recipient of the Golden Deeds award.
Benton passed away in February 2012, he was 87 years old.