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Conflicting meetings discuss the future of the EBR zoo

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BATON ROUGE - The future of the Baton Rouge Zoo has been a hot topic among BREC leaders and people who are against moving the zoo.

On Tuesday, BREC leaders presented information to residents concerning the blueprint of the proposed $110 million Baton Rouge Zoo and the $40 million re-imagine Greenwood Park.

The idea is to move the zoo closer into the Baton Rouge City limits, near a major interstate corridor. Meanwhile, the existing zoo property would be transformed into a state of the art park.

Residents also got the chance to voice their concerns during the public comment portion of the meeting.

"Greenwood Park is being dangled in front of the citizens in that area like a carrot in order that they will not opposed moving the zoo," one resident said.

"I encourage all of you that care about the zoo and care about this city to vote for moving the zoo, I think it could be a great asset for this area," another resident said.

At the same time as the BREC meeting, those against moving the zoo gave a presentation at the Baker City Council meeting. Councilwoman Chauna Banks heads the "Keep the BREC Zoo at Greenwood Park Committee," and said more needs to be done than just six meetings to inform the community.
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We want everyone in the entire parish to be involved and we felt that the six BREC meetings are good but they did not encompass all of the entire parish and that's what we want," Banks said.

BREC official Carolyn McKnight said she is willing to share what information they gather with the anti-move group, but said she hopes they are willing to do the same.

"My hope is that we will be able to collect her information, we'll certainly be willing to share our information with them," McKnight said.

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