history by water, water culture

Celebrate National Park Week down in the Bayou

0 Comments 16 April 2011

Celebrate National Park Week down in the Bayou

National Park Week begins on Saturday April 16, 2011 and there’s no better place to celebrate than the famous swamps and bayou’s of Louisiana.

The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve (JLNP) in Louisiana is home to the Barataria Preserve (BP). The BP is 23, 000 acres of protected wetlands, marshes and swamps that connects directly to the Gulf of Mexico.

“Why would one want to celebrate swamps, marshes, and bayous for National Park Week?”, some might wonder.

Well, understanding the bayous in Louisiana is truly appreciating the history and influence of these slow-running streams, on culture in the area.

The term bayou is often associated with Creole culture. Acadians, descendants of French Canadians, were among the first groups to settle in southern Louisiana near Bayou Teche.

In fact, the term “bayou” is thought to be a derivative of the Choctaw Indian term”bayuk”, which means small stream.

Life by the marshes and wetlands in Louisiana certainly impacted the merging of different ethnic groups, language, and tradition.

This Saturday, the JLNP is opening its doors for Junior Ranger Walks for children, nature walks, kayaking and much more.

Perhaps the best aspect to enjoy the JNLP is that these wetlands were not directly impacted by the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010.

Devastation from the 2010 Oil Spill continues to negatively affect the lives of coast residents. Yet, the JLNP wetlands are still open to the public.

Will you be celebrating National Park Week this year?

Would you consider going to the JNLP?

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