Urban Design

YMCA Outdoor Education Center

2021 ASLA Louisiana Award of Merit | Analysis and Planning

The YMCA Outdoor Education Center sits at the center of the Greater Shreveport and Bossier City area and is adjacent to the Red River. The site is located within a two mile radius of seven neighborhoods, The Shreve-Memorial Library, twelve school facilities, and three major Medical Centers. This 112 acre track of land is an untapped natural asset ready to serve the community as a physical and mental health benefit. The bottomland forest, freshwater lake, and specimen Sycamore trees will provide the ultimate setting for respite, exploration and outdoor education.

The YMCA of NW Louisiana has invested in Cadence to serve as the master planner for the 112 acre Outdoor Education Center. Cadence completed an eight week visioning session with local stakeholders and YMCA leadership. This important step of site analysis, inventory, and gathering input from community members provides a strong foundation for the future physical design of the outdoor education center. Guiding principles for the project have been set in place. Early program offerings developed during the visioning process include, ropes courses, an open air chapel in the woods, various exercise trail experiences, kayak and paddle board launches, outdoor classroom structures and an iconic tower. Master Planning commenced in Fall 2020 and further community engagement will be an integral part of the design process, ensuring the design provides the community with an inclusive and robust outdoor experience for everyone.

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