A new modern-style park is opening in Lafayette on Johnston Street in the fall.
Though delayed by construction for additions to the park, Moncus Park will open in Fall of 2020. It will feature a dog park, children play area, walking trails and eventually an amphitheater. The environmentally friendly park features sleek irrigation techniques for rain runoff and hand planted trees.
Current Executive Director of Moncus Park, Elizabeth Brooks, has been at the front of the charge to keep the area, formally known as The Horse Farm, a community space. Though through its history The Horse Farm was used mostly as dairy farm, The University of Louisiana at Lafayette used the area as an equestrian center. When the university decided to sell to business ventures to transform the area an apartment complex or a Walmart, Brooks helped start the campaign in the mid-2000s to save The Horse Farm. After the city bought the land from the university in 2012, the nonprofit Lafayette Central Park Inc. signed a 99-year lease to ensure the land was used for the community and kept environmentally friendly.
Brooks vision led her to become the second Executive Director of Moncus Park in 2015. Since then, Brooks and her staff have overseen the start of the park’s construction. Brooks said the park will become a place for families and community events. Brooks sees the park as, “The Central Park of Acadiana: a destination spot for South Louisiana.” Though expansion and added construction will need additional funding, Brooks does not want the park to “become exclusive or become a place where you have to pay to enter.”
“We want to be for everyone in the community, not just for the well off,” said Brooks.
According to Officer Manager Chelsey Roberie, the master plan is centered around the park’s future add-ons and not the park’s current features. Two potential new construction projects are a covered pavilion with mosquito nets for farmers markets and a veteran’s memorial.
The park is located at 2913 Johnston St. Lafayette, Louisiana. For more information about Moncus Park, visit https://moncuspark.org/.