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BREC plans $1 million nature center

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BATON ROUGE - The Frenchtown Road Conservation Area, sitting between the merger of the Comite and Amite Rivers, could soon get a major upgrade for visitors.

BREC, the East Baton Rouge Parish park system, plans to build a $1 million nature center to accommodate the three miles of trails already there.

"Frenchtown is actually a very popular park but I think a lot of people are a little afraid of it," said BREC Naturalist Amanda Takacs.

The park lacks basic amenities like running water, bathrooms and shelter from storms. BREC had planned to convert an old house at the park into a nature center but it was severely damaged in the 2016 flood.

The agency now plans to build an elevated, multi-story facility in its place with FEMA paying eighty percent of the cost. BREC already operates a similar and popular nature preserve at the Bluebonnet Swamp Park.

"We refer to it as the swamp in the city. It's close to home and you can experience nature in a comfortable setting," said Tacaks.

Bids for the Frenchtown nature center go out in a month. BREC hopes to open the facility by the first half of 2020.


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