Special program: Explore the human history of the Barataria Preserve with "The Civil War Comes to Barataria." What was life like on a plantation before the Civil War? Why were Barataria's swamps a refuge for escaped slaves? What part did New Orleans play in the journey from the Civil War to civil rights? Find out at a special ranger talk at the preserve visitor center at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 22, and Saturday, July 20. Free. (Learn more about the Civil War here.)
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?
Vultures do not have many predators. If an enemy does approach, the vulture will face its enemy and vomit. This inventive bird also has a unique way to stay cool: it urinates on its legs. The urine also helps kill any germs picked up while standing on a carcass.