Riverside Park is a 17-acre existing park corridor located along the Calcasieu River and adjacent to a low-income, minority neighborhood. The park, originally known as Fitzenreiter Park, was in disrepair and fallen victim to vandalism and illegal dumping when the City of Lake Charles commissioned Dana Brown & Associates to develop a master plan and design the project for implementation. The Master Plan focused on protecting, restoring, and enhancing the natural ecosystem along the river and the wetlands along the opposite edge of the long, narrow park, while providing a variety of recreational and educational opportunities. In developing the program and site plan, public workshops, user surveys, and meetings with City of Lake Charles stakeholders were employed to identify issues of concern and to develop a vision for the park. The problems identified include poor access, safety and security, and lack of proper facilities for public recreation. Taking all the identified issues into account, DBA created two alternative designs that were then presented to the community and City government for ultimate approval. The final design provides for education about natural systems, multi-use paths and nature trails, picnic areas and seating, new restrooms, play areas, fishing boardwalks, an outdoor classroom, an upgraded boat launch and docking facilities, a newly defined park entrance, security measures, and upgraded parking. The Riverside Park Master Plan established the vision for the park that has been fully implemented.
Lake Charles, LA
City of Lake Charles