The City of Lake Charles’ Partners in Parks Nature in Focus initiative along with a member of the City’s Recreation and Parks staff received statewide recognition this week at the Louisiana Recreation and Park Association’s (LRPA) annual conference held in Baton Rouge.

Sasol, the corporate sponsor of the Nature in Focus experiential environmental education and conservation program, received the Merit Award in recognition of their grant to the Partners in Parks initiative. The Nature in Focus Program aims to connect park visitors of all ages to the abundant natural resources accessible at Tuten and Riverside Parks.

In July of 2018 Mayor Nic Hunter, on behalf of the City of Lake Charles, launched this citywide initiative aimed at combining private and public dollars to improve park infrastructure and expand programming. Since its inception, Partners in Parks has added more than $500,000 into City parks with no additional burden to tax payers.


“Parks are invaluable when it comes to quality of life for any city,” said Mayor Nic Hunter. “The Partners in Parks Nature in Focus program is just one example of our commitment to expanding opportunities for citizens of all ages to make their way outside and explore science and nature in their own backyard.”


City of Lake Charles Park Program Manager Irvin Louque also received the LRPA Young Professional Award.


Louque, a native of Paulina, La., moved to Lake Charles in 2008 to attend McNeese State University. A student of the university’s Honors College Program, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Conservation and Management, with a concentration in Wildlife Management. He also holds a Master of Science in Environmental and Chemical Sciences.


Employed by the City since 2015, Louque is currently the program manager for Tuten and Riverside Parks. He also oversees conservation and environmental education projects such as the current Hillcrest Park green stormwater infrastructure grant project.


“We are proud of Irvin and the recognition he has received at the state level,” added Mayor Hunter. “He is an absolute asset to the City of Lake Charles and if you haven’t had the opportunity to join him for a guided tour or one of his other free programs at Tuten or Riverside Parks you should definitely add it to your list of experiences to have in Lake Charles.


Individuals interested in investing in city parks may do so online by visiting