Baton Rouge Lakes
City Park Lakes
—Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail —
The idea to create lakes from the old Perkins Swamp originated in a Chamber of Commerce meeting in 1933, when thousands of men needed work and the relocation of the LSU campus had created momentum for growth of the city southward.
The Baton Rouge Lakes were once connected to the Mississippi River when springtime flooding flowed over the natural levees just below downtown Baton Rouge, entering the swamps to the east of the river along Nicholson Drive and continuing on to what is now Old South Baton Rouge. The water would then return to the Mississippi through the area where Louisiana State University’s main campus is now located, or alternatively, flow southeast through Bayou Fountain and ultimately to Bayou Manchac and Lake Pontchartrain.
The idea to create lakes from what was known as the Old Perkins Swamp originated in a Chamber of Commerce meeting in 1933. Black Tuesday in October 1929 had ushered in the Great Depression, and by the early 1930s, Baton Rouge had the second largest unemployment rolls in the state (after New Orleans). Thousands of men needed work, and the relocation of the LSU campus from downtown Baton Rouge a few years earlier had created momentum for growth of the city southward. This sparked a decision to drain the swamp at City Park and create a recreational amenity that would expand the size
Today the Baton Rouge Lakes are a popular recreational destination, but they are also a constant reminder of the power of nature, which strives to return the area to swampland. Major challenges include sedimentation and a lack of adequate flushing from annual flooding. Just as human intervention created the lakes, similar efforts are required to maintain them at an appropriate depth and to keep water quality sufficient for habitat health.
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This site’s geology/geomorphology: Holocene alluvial deposits (natural levees, distributaries and abandoned channels) of small upland stream incised into Pleistocene coastal plain stream deposits blanketed by Peoria Loess; adjacent to Holocene backswamp deposits of Mississippi River.
Erected by State of Louisiana and National Park Service.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 30° 25.273′
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Land Grant College / Sea Grant College (approx. 0.8 miles away); Louisiana State Seminary of Learning Foundation Stone (approx. 0.8 miles away); Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (approx. 0.8 miles away); Delta Zeta Sorority (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Louisiana State University (approx. 0.8 miles away); Campanile (approx. 0.8 miles away); Historic City Park Golf Course (approx. 0.8 miles away); La Maison Française & The Honors House (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baton Rouge.
Categories. • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on December 10, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 10, 2017, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 178 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 10, 2017.