Considering a day trip to watch the Great American Eclipse on Monday?

If the weather cooperates, the Louisiana State Arboretum and Poverty Point World Historic Site will be hosts for solar eclipse viewings.

At the Arboretum inside Chicot State Park near Ville Platte, viewing will take place from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the nature center. Staff will provide information on eclipses along with games and crafts. 

While the path of the total eclipse will pass well north of the site, NASA maps indicate that the sun will be obscured by about 75 percent in south central Louisiana, a news release says. The eclipse is estimated to begin at 11:51 a.m., reach peak eclipse at 1:23 p.m., and end by 2:51 p.m.

Eclipse-viewing glasses will be provided by both sites on a first-come, first-served basis. Experts recommend that people do not look directly at the sun, even during a partial eclipse, the release says.

Admission is $3 per person to enter the park, with free access to the arboretum. The site is six miles north of Ville Platte on La. 3042, or three miles south of La. 106.

For more info, call (888) 677-6100, visit, or follow Louisiana State Parks on Facebook and Twitter.

Poverty Point's viewing will happen from noon to 3 p.m. on Mound A at the site east of Monroe.

Staff will provide information on eclipses and what they may have meant to the inhabitants of the area centuries ago, a news release says. 

The sun is expected to be obscured by about 80 percent in northeast Louisiana. The eclipse at Poverty Point should begin at 11:51 a.m., reach peak eclipse at 1:22 p.m. and end by 2:51 p.m. 

Poverty Point admission is $4. Ages 3 and younger and 62 and older are admitted free.

Poverty Point is located on La. 577 in West Carroll Parish. For additional info, call (888) 926-5292 or visit

Take a dip

The Louisiana Office of State Parks is adjusting the swimming pool schedules to weekends and Labor Day for the rest of summer, to ensure that certified lifeguards are present during pool operating hours, a news release says.

All pools will close for the season after Labor Day.

The schedule is as follows: Bayou Segnette State Park (Westwego), 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Chemin-A-Haut State Park (Bastrop), Lake D’Arbonne State Park (Farmerville) and North Toledo Bend State Park (Zwolle), all 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

State parks with water playgrounds include Bogue Chitto in Franklinton, Chicot in Ville Platte, Fontainebleau in Mandeville, Lake Bruin in St. Joseph, Lake Fausse Pointe near St. Martinville, Palmetto Island near Abbeville, Poverty Point Reservoir in Delhi, St. Bernard in Braithwaite and Tickfaw in Springfield. The playgrounds are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, through Oct. 31. 

State parks with designated beach swimming areas are Bogue Chitto, Cypremort Point east of Franklin, Jimmie Davis in Chatham, Fontainebleau, Lake Bruin, Lake Claiborne in Homer, Poverty Point Reservoir and South Toledo Bend near Anacoco. All beach areas are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, but do not have lifeguard supervision.

Out on the prairies

The Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society Fall Meeting and Tours will take place Saturday, Aug. 26, around Eunice.

Following the tours, the meeting and lunch is scheduled for noon at Rocky’s Restaurant, 1415 E. Laurel Ave., Eunice. The meeting will include an informal seed swap.

For more details, call Steve Nevitt, (337) 849-5593 or email

Follow Judy Bergeron on Twitter, @judybergeronbr.