Tuten Park, a neglected 24-acre forested park in an urban area in the City of Lake Charles, received substantial damage from Hurricane Rita. More than 80% of its trees were damaged or destroyed by the storm. Invasive plant species began taking over the remaining trees, rendering the park unusable. As a result, the City officially closed the park and commissioned Dana Brown & Associates to prepare a master plan and to design major renovations and enhancements to improve both the quality of the park facilities and the experience for its users. The master plan addressed not only design and program issues, but also recovery management. In addition to the master plan, a resource management plan was created to aid in the ecological maintenance and continued recovery of the park prior to construction. In developing the program and site plan, public workshops, user surveys, and meetings with City of Lake Charles officials helped identify issues of concern to park users, adjacent residents, and neighboring Prien Lake Elementary School students and faculty. The problems identified include safety, education about natural systems and forests, multi-use paths and nature trails, additional seating, improved restrooms, defining the park entrance, and additional parking. The Tuten Park Master Plan provided a framework for the ultimate improvement of the park. Proposed improvements were implemented in three successive phases, with construction documents and construction administration performed by DBA. All phases have been successfully completed and the park is actively used.
Lake Charles, LA
City of Lake Charles