“A Place for the People” by Country Roads

Fifteen years later, Lafayette’s fight to save “The Horse Farm” culminates in a state-of-the-art central park


“Smack dab in the geographical center of Lafayette—of Acadiana, really—is a place. Its stream, the Coulée Mine, holds centuries of memories—deep in its soil—of its prehistoric hunters and their settlements, of magnificent creatures (the mastodon!) that no longer exist. For centuries, its sprawling oaks have watched, lazily, as immigrants, speaking a strange language, staked their claim. Beneath the hands of these newcomers, the land shifted, its wildness tamed in exchange for sustenance, emerging into a new era under a new name: “the farm.” And just as the strange modern world started to close in, buildings getting closer and closer together to hold the city’s growing masses, this place—100 acres of it—was reserved for its riches, purchased by the Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) for use as a dairy farm, and then, years later, as an equestrian center.”