BREC - Baton Rouge, Louisiana's parks and recreation department - claims to have hired a company to do a study of about 327 people (according to one article) who were visitors to neighboring Greenwood Park and decided that those living within a three mile radius of the Baton Rouge Zoo were not the zoo's clientele--or that the zoo attendance of this insufficient sample warrants moving the zoo to one of three places in the southern most part of the parish. The study did not appear to sample the folks who lived in south East Baton Rouge Parish.
That doesn't appear to be an issue in their decision making which included a plan to contact local pastors to get their support in calming expected backlash from their congregations.
Another proposal attached to 'appease the natives' is to build a water park on the present zoo site. There is enough space for improvements to the zoo where it is WITH a water park at the neighboring property is BREC property and there is a wooded area nearby. The study also claims, as was reported on the local TV news, that it would cost as much to move the zoo as it would to make improvements to it where it stands. Still, with all of the improvements needed to the zoo - including better management and healthcare for the animals (one article reports that three animals died in a week and it is not unusual for rejected newborns to be allowed to die) - it would appear that cost efficiency would dictate that those improvements can be made at the present location.
It would appear to those of who live near and attend special events at the zoo that they are well attended as the lack of parking proves when cars are parked far from the zoo entrance on both sides of Thomas Road and sometimes in the parking lot of J.S. Clark Park about 1/2-mile away. BREC property surrounds the zoo with Greenwood Park and J.S. Clark Park, leaving enough already available land to expand and improve.
All-in-all, the citizens of Baker, City of Central, Scotlandville and Zachary deserve to keep this beloved family attraction in the area where it has been attended by citizens from all over the parish for nearly five decades now. People from other regions outside of the parish have contacted us and want the zoo to remain at this location as it is the closest one to them as well. We've heard from folks in Livingston, West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Southern Mississippi and other places. We've even heard from citizens in south Baton Rouge who do not want to support a move with their tax money or have another venue for increasing traffic to the area.
We, the undersigned citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish, and regions beyond, are making our wants known of the BREC officials, concerning the relocation of our beloved Greater Baton Rouge Zoo.
We would like for our zoo to remain where it is with all improvements in facilities, animal care, general management, and renovations made at its present location on Thomas Road.
The Keep My Zoo Where It Is petition to BREC was written by Kathy Michael and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.