Special program: Celebrate the year's longest night with a ranger-guided winter solstice walk. Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. Saturday, December 21, 6:00 p.m. Free but space limited; call 504-689-3690 ext. 10 for reservations.
The Barataria Preserve outside Marrero offers a taste of Louisiana's wild wetlands. The preserve's 23,000 acres include bayous, swamps, marshes, forests, alligators, nutrias, and over 200 species of birds. Boardwalk and dirt trails wind through the preserve; check out the trail map, enjoy a self-guided tour, or explore with a cell phone tour. Waterways can be explored by canoe or kayak; hikers and paddlers can check out the preserve map here. Exhibits at the preserve visitor center highlight how the Mississippi River built Louisiana's wetlands, the national importance of the area, and the relation between the land and its people. Kids can earn a badge with the Junior Ranger program. An environmental education center is used for field trips and special programs. The center's bookstore has books, music, children's books, and field guides on sale. Admission to the preserve is free. Click here for directions and program listings for specific dates.
6588 Barataria Boulevard, Marrero (near Crown Point)
Events and programs
Follow the link to learn about animals and plants in south Louisiana and remember that you can report all bird and animal sightings at the preserve visitor center to help with park research and management.
You can also follow the results of BioBlitz 2013 (May 17-18), a 24-hour attempt to inventory as many of the Barataria Preserve's plants and animals as possible. Find out about what BioBlitz learned and what the park will do with the information at the BioBlitz page.
Did You Know?
The Prairie Acadian Cultural Center takes to the airwaves every Saturday night, sponsoring Rendez-vous des Cajuns at the Liberty Theater right next door to the center in Eunice. The live show of Cajun and zydeco music is locally known as "the Cajun Grand Old Opry" and broadcasts at www.krvs.org