MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) – The City of Monroe and Carbo Landscape Architecture held a community engagement meeting at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo to gather input from residents on ways to improve our local parks.

Monroe Councilwoman, Kema Dawson, says it is essential to gather residents’ feedback to contribute to the city’s master plan project.

“We want everybody to be able to say ‘hey this is what we want in the park.’ We have layouts and maps to show what things are in a park right now, and how people want to change it. This is our way as a community to be able to give that input.”

The City of Monroe’s park master planning includes Forsythe, Charles Johnson, and Chennault Parks. Layouts and maps allowed residents to take a closer look, and share their thoughts on how they would like to use their parks.

“The Charles Johnson Children Park, I would love to see an old fashioned country store that sells merchandise that’s geared towards people who are walking, especially in the Summertime, ” said a resident, Brenda Joyce Williams.

Williams says these parks have plenty of space for water activities.

“Especially the Chennault Park, and the water that is out there and the kayaking, something to do on the water.”

Patricia Turner is another local, and she says she hopes local families could have a gathering place throughout the year.

“I want to see family-friendly events. We need safety. A place where everybody can come and congregate and feel comfortable. I believe Chennault Park is one of the most unused parks.”

Meanwhile, Dawson says the city aims to implement new playground equipment at Charles Johnson Park, and it will include amenities to assist people with disabilities.

“Some of the playground equipment is very old here and we want to make sure it is immediate and accessible for the handicapped children as well. Just to make sure that they have multiple options to play on.”

Once Carbo Landscape Architecture collects all comments and ideas, these will be taken into consideration and provide the city with a road map of implementable improvements for each park.