St. John 4-H Education Center possible

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 30, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish are still waiting to see if the proposed 4-H Education Center will be coming to Reserve, making it the only one of its kind in Louisiana.

“We are still not sure if the center will be coming to St. John Parish or not,” Monica said. “We have to wait until the legislative session to finish before we can find out about funding.”

Monica said if it does come to St. John Parish, it will be constructed in phases over the next three years.

“The center will be constructed through fund donations,” he said. “We are waiting to see if LSU will have enough money in their budget to operate and maintain the facility after it is opened.”

The center will be a $50 million educational and leadership facility after the third phase and will hold many different summer camps for kids, bringing them in from all over the world to St. John Parish, according to Monica.

LSU Ag Center Chancellor Bill Richardson said they will be spending the next 30 days working out the budget for next school year.

“Nothing new to report,” Richardson said. “I don’t think the center will be in St. Helena Parish, not because they didn’t want it, it is because of financial reasons. We should have an answer on whether or not it will go in St. John Parish by early fall in August or September.”

Originally the Parish offered 75 acres of land in Reserve off Airline Highway and an option to purchase 25 more acres nearby if extra space was needed.

“It will be 50 acres of land dedicated to the center,” Monica said. “It will be located in Reserve by Regala Park.”

Although St. John has made offers, they have competition. St. Helena Parish has also made offers to LSU Ag Center for the facility for 100 acres.

St. John Parish was considered for the facility for its convenient location between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

According to information provided by LSU Ag Center, a 4-H Educational Center is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

The center will be a multi-purpose, comprehensive and state of the art facility offering educational opportunities in astronomy, canoeing, Butterfly gardening entomology, forestry, gardening, lake ecology, microbiology, music and performing arts, outdoor living skills, plants, ropes and initiatives, shooting sports, soils, recreation and wildlife.