St. Charles Herald-Guide

Massive upgrades planned for Rathborne Park

By Jonathan Menard - November 21, 2012

Rathborne Park has become a popular destination for residents in Luling and Mimosa due to its wooded walking path and playground, but new upgrades should draw even more to the park in the coming years.

St. Charles Parish plans to add a baseball field, tennis court, fitness stations, a pavilion, picnic tables, restrooms, trail lighting, bleachers and a parking lot to the area after receiving a $200,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The parish is required to match the grant with $200,000 to help with the improvements.

The parish originally requested a grant of $250,000 with a parish match of $250,000, so some of the upgrades might be eliminated, according to parish grants officer Holly Fonseca. Fonseca added that any of the eliminated items will be moved to a future phase of the project.

While the parish originally planned a basketball court at the site, the state instead approved the construction of a tennis court. Fonseca said that was due to the recent upswing in demand for tennis and the lack of a sufficient number of public tennis courts nearby.

The new upgrades have not been designed yet, so Fonseca said the project will not be completed until very late in 2013 or early in 2014.

Along with the above mentioned items, the park upgrades also include bike racks and water fountains.

Residents have already been enjoying the park site, which is home to the Rathborne Park walking trail, located at the end of Lakewood Drive. The trail is just over eight tenths of a mile long and has a blacktopped connection to provide easy access from Beaupre Drive.

Because a portion of the path runs through a wooded section, featuring palmettos and other greenery, itís easy to spot rabbits, deer, birds and other native wildlife. That means that nature enthusiasts, in addition to bikers, inline skaters, walkers and joggers, have found the trail a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of every day life.