Beginners bird walk - Learn to find and identify migratory birds by sight and by sound, then join the worldwide birding community with a lesson in how to use the park's eBird kiosk to report sightings. For beginners age 10 and up, but all skill levels are welcome. Walk is free but space is limited; call 504-689-3690 ext. 10 for reservations (let us know if you need to borrow binoculars or a field guide). 8:00-10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 29.
Starry night astronomy program - Join park rangers and the Pontchartrain Astronomy Society for star gazing and a night hike. Free. 6:30-8:30 p.m., Saturday March 29.
Ranger-guided canoe treks - Join a ranger to paddle preserve waterways and spot birds, wildflowers, alligators, and more. Not recommended for first-time canoeists or others who may have difficulty paddling through floating mats of aquatic vegetation. Free but reservations required; call the preserve visitor center 504-689-3690 ext. 10 for reservations and canoe rental information. 9:30 a.m.-noon, Saturdays, March 8, 15, 22, and 29.
Spring in the Swamp - Celebrate the season in the preserve wetlands with ranger walks, special activities for kids, and nature's annual show of blooming wildflowers, singing birds, and alligators on the bayou banks. Learn more here. Free. 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 5 and 6.
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 (learn more about preserve wildlife here). 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
US Fish & Wildlife Service
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?
Louisiana’s coastline is slowly disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico. Land in coastal Louisiana is sinking about one inch every 2 ½ years.