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New park opening Saturday at site of former university farm | Entertainment


LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A new park is opening where a university farm once operated in south Louisiana.

Saturday is opening day for 100-acre (40-hectare) Moncus Park in Lafayette, news outlets report. Formal ceremonies are scheduled Jan. 8.

“Enjoy the space, tell your friends come out,” J.P. MacFayden, executive director of Lafayette Central Park Inc., told The Daily Advertiser. “We want to see people out in the park. We’re doing our jobs when people are out there and enjoying it.”

The park was named in 2016 for oilman and philanthropist James Moncus, who made a major donation to it. He died in April.

Moncus Park currently includes a dog park, a fully stocked catch-and-release fishing pond and 2 miles of walking trails. Future plans include an inclusive playground, splash pad, amphitheater, veterans memorial and treehouse.

As those are finished, they’ll get their own ribbon cuttings.

The park already has held a 12-day Christmas festival.

For many years, the land was a dairy farm operated by the University of Louisiana, according to the park’s website. After the school’s equestrian center was located there, it became known as the Horse Farm.

Danica Adams and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks started a community campaign called “Save the Horse Farm” after Adams was suddenly evicted from a house on the property in 2005. The university was considering sale to developers of a strip mall or residential development.

The City of Lafayette bought the area of rolling hills for $6.8 million in 2012 to create a public park. Construction began in 2018.

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