The 2017 National Public Lands Day is Saturday, Sept. 30.
Louisiana’s Office of State Parks and the National Environmental Education Foundation invite visitors to the state's parks and historic sites to appreciate and help preserve these attractions.
Several sites will host events that include trail and waterway cleanup. The day-use fee will be waived for volunteers who are participating in cleanup efforts, in conjunction with the mission of National Public Lands Day, a news release says.
Additional activities at the following parks include:
- Fairview-Riverside State Park, Madisonville — 10 a.m., Skulls, Skins and Scat programming to teach visitors about wildlife native to the area and how to recognize their physical traits and signs of movement in the park.
- Fontainebleau State Park, Mandeville — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., cleanup of the Sugar Mill Nature Trail, including trimming back intrusive plants, shrubs and tree limbs. Participants should bring clippers, snips, gloves, safety glasses and insect repellent.
- Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site, St. Martinville — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., volunteers and staff cleaning trails, removing litter and debris and conducting site beautification projects.
- Port Hudson State Historic Site, Jackson — 12:30 p.m., volunteers and staff removing litter from the banks of Fosters Creek. Participants are encouraged to bring rubber boots, water, sunscreen and insect repellent. Rubber gloves and trash bags will be provided by the site.
- Poverty Point World Heritage Site, Epps — 10 a.m. to noon, site ranger will lead an approximately two-hour hike around the mounds, showcasing the earthworks and nature found at the site.
National Public Lands Day began in 1994 with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers. Last year, 175,000 volunteers worked in more than 2,100 locations in every state, the release says.
For more information on NPLD, visit publiclandsday.org. The event can be followed on Facebook and on Twitter with #NPLD. For Louisiana State Parks information, visit LaStateParks.com, or follow Louisiana State Parks on Facebook and Twitter.
New mural in Opelousas
Downtown Opelousas sports a new mural paying tribute to the city’s 2020 Tricentennial.
The "Welcome to Opelousas" postcard mural decorates an exterior wall of the Delta Grand Theatre located on Market Street across from the Courthouse Square.
Painted by eight local artists, the mural depicts a retro postcard and features brightly colored letters. The letters highlight themes, including culture, food, history, wildlife, music and agriculture, a news release says.
The project was produced by area art educators Jerome Ford (Southwest Elementary), Cindy Pitre (Opelousas Catholic), Kathryn Guidroz (Port Barre Middle School), Michelle Reed (Magnet Academy for Cultural Arts), Kimberly Nelams-Becnel (MACA) and their students as well as professional artists Ted Bertrand, Sue Boagni, and Robbie Sebastien. Opelousas Main Street and Opelousas Tourism also worked in collaboration for the project.
The mural is part of a larger project, Tricentennial Opelousas, that will fill empty storefronts and walls of buildings in downtown Opelousas with artwork by local artists, students and the community.
The project is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts Office administered by the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Support was also provided through an Everybody Walk! grant, through America Walks which promotes walking and walkable communities.
Art event in Lake Charles
Gallery Promenade takes place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, in Lake Charles and Sulphur.
The Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana presents the annual gallery and museum showcase. More than a dozen galleries, studios, and art spaces will open their doors for an evening celebrating the venues across the Lake Area that work year-round to provide cultural resources, exhibits, and opportunities for both artists and residents, according to a news release.
For more information on Gallery Promenade, including locations, visit artsandhumanitiesswla.org or call (337) 439-ARTS (2787).
Go butterfly watching
Check out butterflies in various stages of life at Allen Acres' annual Butterfly Blast from 9 a.m. to dark Friday through Sunday, Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.
Visitors can view all types of butterflies, from skippers to large swallowtails. They'll also have a chance to tag and release a few monarchs. Stay until dark and see hummingbird moths, spider eyes and more.
Donations to help pay for butterfly plants.
Allen Acres is located at 5070 La. 399 in Pitkin, south of Leesville. For more information, call (337) 328-2252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.