David Calhoun, ‘EB’ Brooks join Lafayette Central Park
INDReporter FRI, MAY 10 12:42PM by Leslie Turk David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
LCP is overseeing all of the processes responsible for programming, planning and design, construction, budget and finance, fundraising and public relations. It will eventually operate and manage the park via a longterm lease or cooperative endeavor agreement with LCG.
Calhoun is a Nebraska native and retired printing company executive who has lived in Lafayette since the mid-1990s. He has been involved with the Community Foundation of Acadiana for the past 13 years, recently completing a term as chairman. He is also a member of the board of trustees of Lafayette General Medical Center.
Almost from the outset, the CFA, like the grassroots group Save the Horse Farm, played a key role in supporting the effort to prevent development of the acreage and preserve the space as a park. Calhoun, whose home borders the horse farm property, was among the first CFA board members to encourage the organization's participation; CFA would eventually serve as a launch pad of sorts for the creation of LCP.
Brooks, a founding member of Save the Horse Farm, was named one of The IND’s “Persons of the Year” in 2006, an honor she shared with her best friend and Save the Horse Farm co-founder Danica Adams.
In 2005, Brooks and Adams, then students in UL Lafayette’s Renewable Resources Department, were in Dr. Griff Blakewood’s community-based planning class when they got word that the university was planning to rezone the horse farm acreage to a commercial classification and sell it. They became so emotional that Blakewood dismissed them from class. They quickly channeled their disappointment into an effort to kill the land-swap deal then-UL President Ray Authement was proposing and worked tirelessly toward alternatives that would prevent development of the property.
What the two accomplished over the next seven years was nothing short of remarkable, with City-Parish President Joey Durel eventually stepping forward to propose that the city buy the land and preserve it as a passive community park. Durel found a willing negotiator in UL President Dr. Joe Savoie, who was named to the top post at the university in 2008. Save the Horse Farm’s passion and fortitude paid off in 2012, when the City-Parish Council voted to buy the property in a cash and land swap transaction valued at $6.6 million.
Brooks has relocated to Lafayette from Houston, where she most recently worked as assistant public information officer for the city of Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department; before that she was planning and urban design project manager for Better Houston, a not-for-profit planning and policy group that encourages civic involvement to improve Houston's neighborhoods and overall livability. The 31-year-old is still pursuing dual master’s degrees in community and regional planning and urban design from UT Austin.
“It’s come full circle,” Brooks says. “I’m thrilled and honored to be working in this capacity. The Horse Farm is what inspired me to pursue degrees in planning and urban design.”
Both Calhoun and Brooks say the park will begin taking shape with input from the entire community. The next step, says Calhoun, is a visit from the Urban Land Institute, which LCP has hired to develop an independent and transparent process for soliciting and enlisting that broad community input.
Lafayette Central Park retains Urban Land Institute
INDReporter MON, APR 22 1:25PM by IND Monthly Staff Lafayette Central Park Inc., a local nonprofit charged with turning the Horse Farm property into a public park, announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement with the Urban Land Institute to develop an independent and transparent process for soliciting and enlisting broad community input in the programming of the park.
ULI, an independent global nonprofit, is a well recognized source for providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities.
“ULI is simply the platinum standard for excellence in land use and development,” Lafayette Central Park Chairman Lenny Lemoine said in a press release announcing the agreement. “It is essential to have both significant and broad input from the community regarding what they would like to see incorporated in the park. We could not have found anyone better than the Institute to formulate a process for obtaining this critical input.”
The scope of the ULI agreement does not include nor is it meant to include the implementation of the programming process, according to the release. It is meant to focus all attention at this stage on the development and articulation of the best process for obtaining the Lafayette community’s desires with respect to the programming of the property. This first step is to determine what the community wants to see on the property. After this programming phase is completed, an extensive master planning process will ensue to determine how and where the programming will be implemented on the property, the release notes.
ULI has committed a seven-person advisory service team to develop the recommendation for the programming process.
The team will includecTom Murphy – who will serve as the chairman of the team. Murphy served three terms as the mayor of Pittsburgh. Since January 2006, Murphy had served as ULI’s Gulf Coast liaison, helping to coordinate with the leadership of New Orleans and the public to advance the implementation of rebuilding recommendations made by ULI’s advisory services panel last fall. In addition, he worked with the Louisiana state leadership, as well as with leadership in hurricane-impacted areas in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to identify areas appropriate for ULI involvement. Murphy serves as one of seven ULI Senior Resident Fellows.
Richard Galehouse, AICP. Galehouse, principal with Sasaki Associates, is a planner and architect with more than 40 years of experience directing complex urban, new community, resort, institutional, and environmental planning and design projects. Galehouse received a bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Eriks Janelsins. Janelsins is president of the Oglebay Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation devoted to the raising of private funds for the welfare, maintenance, and future development of Oglebay and Wheeling Park. The private funds raised by the Foundation have gone a long way in creating one of the only self-sustaining public parks system in the United States. Prior to his current position, Janelsins was director of the Green School at the National Recreation and Park Association. The Green School conducts a two-year professional development program for park leaders to development sustainability and green infrastructure knowledge and skills to implement change in their communities.
Thomas Eitler, AICP. Eitler is responsible for all of ULI’s Advisory Service teams He is an urban planner and land use professional with more than 20 years of experience in comprehensive planning, revitalization, historical preservation, transportation systems, infrastructure planning, and sustainable design. He is an expert on US zoning law, municipal codes, and urban design and government operations. He has prepared and conducted dozens of community engagement plans, charettes, advisory groups, workshops and panels. Eitler has authored numerous plans, studies, strategies, articles and reports on urban planning, design, land economics, public administration and real estate development. He has participated more than 40 ULI Advisory Service Panels and has managed more than 100 panel assignments since 2006. He has directed urban planning projects in both the public and private sector in a variety of locations throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Three additional team members will be identified by ULI shortly.
Prior to making its final recommendation for the programming process, the ULI team will conduct interviews with a broad cross section of the community from June 10 through June 13. The details for such interviews are being worked through at this time.
Lafayette Central Park, Inc. to Manage Horse Farm Property
Posted: Feb 6, 2013 3:51 PM by Melissa Canone
Lafayette - Community Foundation of Acadiana (CFA) is proud to announce the creation of a new, nonprofit entity that will be responsible for the development of the Horse Farm property. This independent organization, Lafayette Central Park, Inc. (LCP), will successfully oversee the committees and processes responsible for programming, planning, design, construction, budget and finance, fundraising, public relations, and, ultimately, operations and management prior to a permanent transfer. (Please note that the name of this entity does not necessarily mean this will be the name of the park.)
CFA served as an honest broker and determined the optimum structure and course necessary to create an unparalleled space for current and future generations. LCP is governed by a Board of Directors who were selected by an ad hoc steering committee of CFA. The Board is comprised of individuals with integrity and a wide variety of perspectives, opinions, expertise and experiences, whose collective skills and objective vision will guarantee a successful completion to this unique community enhancement.
It includes a member who is a former equestrian who had the opportunity to ride on the farm, another who is a master gardener, another who is long-time resident of Lafayette, attended UL Lafayette and has spent significant time and resources through philanthropic community service, educators, business people and developers. These individuals all share a passionate commitment to creating a serene green space that will benefit the entire community and are volunteering their time and effort to that end.
Currently, the Lafayette Central Park, Inc. Board of Directors includes the following: Elaine Abell, John Arceneaux, Don Briggs, Dr. James Caillier, Reggie Dupre, Bill Fenstermaker, Gregg Gothreaux, Randy Haynie, Lenny Lemoine, Mazie Movassaghi, Allyson Pharr, Rodney Savoy, Richard Spoon, David Welch
CFA President and CEO, Raymond Hebert said, "There have been several iterations regarding this project. We are proud of the role Community Foundation of Acadiana has played getting it to this point. This will be great for Lafayette and Acadiana!" Lafayette Central Park, Inc. will provide ample opportunity for public input so that it can develop the park based on the community's overall interests. LCP is an independent, nonprofit entity and is not a subsidiary of CFA.
Community Foundation of Acadiana's core purpose is to connect all generous donors to the causes they care about. CFA is south-central Louisiana's premier philanthropic organization that benefits our region, with a particular focus on the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, St. Landry, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Vermilion. CFA has realized cumulative commitments exceeding $105 million and has made cumulative grants of over $55 million. Learn more at www.cfacadiana.org.