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A Facelift for Facen Park

A Facelift for Facen Park

Mar 20, 2024

Want to see how a little seed money can positively impact a community?

Last year, the LSU AgCenter used their LHCC Community Grant funding to transform a neighborhood park in West Monroe. The goal? To provide residents with a safe, inviting space for play and physical activity.

So why did the LSU AgCenter apply for this grant? Two 2021 community health needs assessments revealed that 31% of the Ouachita Parish population was not getting adequate physical activity. Additionally, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease were identified as some top health issues in the parish. The LSU AgCenter decided to partner with the City of West Monroe and address these issues by implementing a policy, systems, and environmental change approach to revamp a space that was already designed to promote health and physical activity: A.G. Facen Park. At the time, Facen Park was a small pocket park that was utilized by neighborhood residents, but was in need of major renovations.

With the help of other community organizations, volunteers, and LHCC funds, Facen park received a major “facelift.” Old, broken swings were replaced with new ones for toddlers and younger kids. A funnel ball game was added for older children. Picnic tables and concrete play spaces were made over with playground stencils and bold paint to make the park more attractive and inviting. Colorful signs were added near sitting areas to demonstrate easy park bench exercises. They also added a bike rack to encourage kids to bike to the park. Despite challenges with weather and supplies, they were able to successfully remodel the park. Community members were so proud and elated, that they held a block party at Facen park shortly after its remodeling.

Going forward, the City of West Monroe has agreed to maintain the park and handle any repairs needed in the future. Because of this project’s success, the LSU AgCenter is currently making similar changes to Brian E. Smith Memorial park, another neighborhood park in West Monroe. As a LHCC Community grantee, they were able to make changes to their neighborhood and help make “the healthy choice, the easy choice” for their community members. Interested in becoming a LHCC Community Grantee? Community grants are released during the summer. Please sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on future grant opportunities.

Want to learn more about this project? Watch this recording.

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