Special ranger talk - Explore the preserve's human history 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 the preserve visitor center 1:00 p.m. on these Saturday, July 19, and Saturday, August 16. Free. (Learn more about the Civil War at the National Park Service's Civil War web page.)
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 museum store has books, music, children's books, insect repellent, field guides, and more 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
Wanda Lee Dickey
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?
Tourism has been big business in New Orleans for decades. Before the Civil War, the top must-see site on everyone's New Orleans list was its port, one of the world's busiest at the time. (Early 1800s guides for travelers actually used the term "must-see!")