Lafayette residents discuss placement of park features.

Dozens of Lafayette residents filled a meeting room at the Rosa Parks Transportation Center downtown over the lunch hour — 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to be precise — to offer their input on what they want the Horse Farm to look like when design and construction is complete.

“Personally I really was expecting this kind of turnout, but it’s still really impressive to see this much interest in the project, and this is just our first meeting,” Elizabeth “EB” Brooks told us appreciatively. Brooks is the director of planning and development for Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit created to shepherd the project from pristine 100 acres to premier public green space.

Participants gathered around about a dozen tables and used green and red stickers — green for “yes,” red for “no” — to mark areas on aerial maps of the property spots where they would like to see (or not see) certain features; the features corresponded to a number which participants wrote onto the dots. So, for example, if a participant liked the idea of a playground or water feature or garden being in a certain part of the park he or she would place a green dot on that location and write in the corresponding number for that feature.

Brooks’ group will take the maps from this current series of community meetings (see below for the remainder of the schedule), digest them and come back to the public in mid November for another round of meetings, followed by a Dec. 3 meeting to finalize the basic design of the park.

Elizabeth "EB" Brooks

“Hopefully we can break ground late next summer, early fall and within 14 months — summer of ’15, fall of ’15 — have a ribbon cutting, at least of phase one of the park,” Brooks added.

Here’s the remaining schedule for the current round of community-input meetings:

Today, 6-8 p.m. at the South Regional Library
Thursday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Heymann Center Ballroom
Thursday, Oct. 24, 6-8 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Center
Friday, Oct. 25, 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Fletcher Hall Auditorium
Saturday, Oct. 26 from 8 a.m.-noon at the Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market at the Horse Farm


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