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A New Zoo!

New Entry Building

The main entry to the Baton Rouge Zoo will be relocated from its current access off Thomas Road to a brand new entry building from within the heart of Greenwood Community Park. The images below illustrate the layout and functionality of the entry building, the generous drop-off plaza between the ticket gate and parking, functions within the new building, and pedestrian circulation patterns.

New Orientation Plaza

Once inside the new entry of the zoo, guests will be welcomed into a broad Orientation Plaza featuring the globe fountain relocated from the present zoo entry, a meadow for small crowds to gather for performances or presentations, and a hierarchical system of pathways inviting visitors to explore the zoo.

New Animal Exhibits & Care Facilities

Brand new to the Baton Rouge Zoo will be Pigmy Hippos and Colobus monkeys combined within one exhibit. The hippos are aquatic and visitors will be able to view them through glass walls of their pool, while the Colobus will climb the trees and land features above the hippos. The giraffe exhibit will be modernized and enhanced with a new night barn and a new “eye-level” feeding station where humans can walk up a ramp to look a giraffe in the eye! Other improvements include new aviaries for birds, a new American hoofstock exhibit for bison and elk, and more. Many Phase One improvements to our zoo may not be so evident to visitors because they focus on modernizing the infrastructure for managing water. Presently, runoff from rainfall and sewerage are all combined in an on-site sanitary treatment facility. The improvements will remove the obsolete motes from our zoo, and will split stormwater management and sewerage treatment into separate systems.

The above are elements of Phase One improvements only. Many more improvements are envisioned for our zoo and will be realized in future phases. The zoo will remain open to visitors during construction of these improvements.

Adventure Playground

The existing playground within Greenwood Park will be heavily renovated, expanded and improved to provide numerous play areas and types for children and youth of all age groups. Drawing from public input obtained during the 2019 master planning process and further guided by conversations with stakeholders and BREC staff, the general layout and “themes” for play have been refined. This process and these ideas for the adventure playground are evident in the gallery of images below. Note that Phase One adventure play improvements will be concentrated in the lower half of the playground area, with future phases building upon these exciting improvements and eventually doubling the size of the play zone.

As the precise look, feel and experience of these new adventure play areas are developed, the design team will reach out to the community – to children and youth – to ask their opinion on specific choices for amenities, color palettes, and similar decisions.

Greenwood is YOUR park!

Bayou Promenade

The Bayou Promenade – a pathway along Cypress Bayou within Greenwood Park – is a key design element of the park master plan and functions to link the new entrance to the Baton Rouge Zoo with The Waterfront building cluster on the lakefront at the heart of the park. It will skirt the new centralized parking area serving both the zoo and the park. More than just a walkway, the Bayou Promenade will feature attractive architectural elements, seating areas for rest and contemplation, informative kiosks and views of the natural habitats, and more. As evidenced by the illustrations below, this promenade will become a cherished regional destination.

Entry Road

The entry road to Greenwood Community Park will be enhanced to improve its aesthetics and enable it to handle the additional capacity of zoo patrons, as the entrance to the Baton Rouge Zoo will now be from within the park. The juncture at Hwy. 19 will be improved to soften the turning radii at the traffic light which will remain. Tree plantings will be intensified along the park entry road to create a memorable experience, and continued along the route to establish a canopied scenic drive. Parallel parking will be incorporated in places along the route, and the road will be flanked by bike and pedestrian paths which are buffered from vehicles with plantings.

JS Clark Golf Course

With two courses and 27 holes, golf presently dominates Greenwood Park so much that many local residents are unaware that the green-space offers anything other than golf. In fact there is beautiful parkland within, and following studies by golf industry experts which were reinforced by strong general public opinion, the Greenwood Community Park Master Plan recommended a reduction in the quantity of golf holes on the 600+ acre site and dramatically improving the quality of a rebuilt 9-hole course. This will provide a fantastic playing experience for golfers and also frees numerous acres of the greenspace for alternative outdoor recreation programming which suit the interests and needs of a broader community of park users. These images describe an expanded and improved J. S. Clark 9-hole course.


A unique mini-golf entertainment venue was a strongly endorsed outcome of the public involvement process during the master planning of Greenwood Park. With only one other mini-golf facility in EBR Parish and the unique and exciting theming of this course, a mini-golf facility at Greenwood would also be a revenue generating component. The siting of this attraction along Hwy. 19 provides high visibility and will attract visitors to the park from a wide region. Character images of this proposed park amenity are provided below.

Plaza and Parking

The Greenwood Community Park Master Plan details a celebratory entrance to the park from Hwy. 19 generally following the existing park entrance road to a traffic circle which provides access to a new large parking facility serving both the Baton Rouge Zoo and Greenwood Park. Care is being taken to identify site constraints including desirable trees, wetlands, and existing park features. The parking aisles are being slipped in so as to preserve the desirable features. The aisles are aligned to radiate out from the new zoo entry, facilitating direct pedestrian connections from the lot to the entry plaza. Gaps between parking aisles will feature rain gardens and stormwater detention features, and some will include pedestrian pathways which are safely separated from the vehicular corridors – perfect for strollers! The entire parking lot is encircled by the access driveway allowing drop-off at the zoo’s entrance, and featuring a bus parking section on the east side of the parking lot. Also nearby on the west side is the Bayou Promenade, providing a safe pedestrian corridor north to Greenwood Park buildings and amenities.