Plan Baton Rouge, the downtown revival plan, taught us that public engagement is central to the success of a master plan. Destination: The Lakes, the master plan for the lakes, will have an even broader civic outreach. Here’s how we got here and how we will proceed with you as a partner.

January 2013 - Bill Scheffy, a community activist, asked the Foundations’ civic leadership department to explore improving the lakes.

January 2013 – December 2013 – The Foundation researched the lakes and convened government leaders and lake advocates, discovering strong support for dredging and enhancing the surroundings. We also began getting commitments from our fund donors and others to pay for a master plan and engineering study.

April 2014 – Hired GEC Inc. to provide a bathymetric survey and geotechnical analysis of LSU, University and four connected lakes. The study tells us how much material has to be dredged and whether it can be used to build new amenities, such as walking paths along the shoreline. The report is posted in this site's reports section.

April 2014 – The Foundation hired the Center for Planning Excellence to provide public engagement during the planning process. CPEX will work in concert with the master planners.

April 2014 – On behalf of the Foundation, CPEX issued a request for proposals for the master planning. The RFP is available here.

May 2014 – The Foundation updated the steering committee and got guidance on forming a selection committee. The steering committee includes local and state government representatives, heads of civic associations, Foundation fund donors, and representatives of LSU.

June 30, 2014 – Finalists will present their credentials and preliminary ideas in a public meeting at the Manship Theatre. The meeting begins at 9 a.m., and public comments will be taken afterward at the theater.

July 2014 – With input from the public, the selection committee will pick a winner. The Foundation will negotiate and contract with the winning firm.

July 2014 – SWA Group is chosen as the master planning firm. SWA is working in association with Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects.

September 2014  –  The planning teams begin their work, touring the lakes to understand them and meeting with the constituents, including LSU and Mayor Kip Holden.