United in Play at Parc Sans Souci
Downtown Lafayette and United Way of Acadiana are partnering for SOLA Giving Day, 2021. Our joint project will focus on funding a new, all-inclusive playground. Located in Parc Sans Souci in Downtown Lafayette, the playground will tie into existing infrastructure, including the stage and splash pad, to create an activity hub where the community can naturally gather for daily activities. The community project aims to unite everyone of all ages, of all abilities, in play.
For Downtown Lafayette, the time to activate Parc Sans Souci with inclusive and accessible equipment is now. With several thousand residents and hundreds of businesses, it is Downtown Lafayette’s goal to maintain focus on the surrounding community, and more immediately, those that will continue to establish Parc Sans Souci as a neighborhood park.
For United Way of Acadiana, the partnership is aligned with the organizational goals and strategies focused around community collaboration – while helping to bring an amazing project to life. By serving people first, United Way of Acadiana is focused on solving problems which impact the growth and welfare of our community, of our neighbors. The park will provide a new space for the community to unite and it will create more opportunities for a better life for many of our families.
Family Friendly Fun
Parc Sans Souci will serve as a destination playground for the whole family to enjoy!
A variety of play equipment will help to enrich and extend play of all ages and abilities.
Working with Experts
Our work with park and placemaking experts take into account the proper spatial planning, safety measures, material considerations, maintenance plans, and flexibility for future expansion.
Fully accessible surfacing, similar to Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park, will ensure the best routing and infrastructure for play.
Transparent and open designs provide clear sightlines and comfort for all park guests.
“United Way of Acadiana is thrilled to partner with Downtown Lafayette for this exciting project. Coming on board as a philanthropic partner, we see it as our role to encourage and celebrate giving to make a positive change in our community.”
Why Parc Sans Souci?
CONTINUE THE TRANSFORMATION
In 1983, a pair of organizations dedicated to the revitalization and preservation of the city’s downtown district were launched – Downtown Lafayette Unlimited, a private non-profit, and the Downtown Development Authority. Our two organizations led the effort to develop the downtown parks network in the early 2000s, which include Parc de Lafayette, Parc Sans Souci, and Parc International. The parks were built out with longstanding, large-scale events like Downtown Alive! and Festival International in mind, while also recognizing the need for downtown-like amenities that future residents would expect. Today, Parc Sans Souci functions as the most family-friendly of all the downtown parks and caters to both active and passive users.
Now, nearly 20 years since being built, our parks are in need of upgrades to infrastructure, as well as new strategies and investment to increase activation. The DLU and DDA recognize their roles in facilitating small and large-scale improvements to these parks as a way to catalyze private investment across the district. A highly-functioning downtown parks network is critical for our region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy (Downtown Action Plan, 2014).
DDA and DLU recognize an opportunity to invite more types of users to the park during the week and on weekends, especially when there isn’t larger scale programming to draw them there. Prior to the pandemic, families frequented the Parc Sans Souci splash pad, which proves there’s a demand for unique amenities that cater to children and families, however, this is not an all-season play amenity and has been deactivated since March of 2020 for public health reasons. New skateboarding amenities have resulted in a noticeable increase in daily activity in the park and have provided teenagers especially a free activity at a time when cities across the country are struggling to cater to this age group in productive ways. Downtowns across the country are increasing their focus on retaining families, either as residents or shoppers. Our unique and distinctive cultural traditions, public spaces, and population, make for a perfect neighborhood park for downtown residents and a regional park for weekend visitors. Parc Sans Souci is the ideal destination for residents, workers, young professionals, college students, and visitors alike to gather as a community.