Barataria Preserve Environmental Education Center
6588 Barataria Blvd.
Marrero, LA 70072
(504) 589-2330, ext 10 | General Information
(504) 589-2330, ext. 14 | Reservations
(504) 689-3864 | Fax
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park
General Public Hours and Admission Rates: Only the Visitor Center is open to the general public. Daily, 9:00am – 5:00pm; Free (Donations accepted)
School Tour Hours and Admission Rates: Education Center is open by reservation only. Monday – Thursday, 10:00am – 2:00pm; Free
- Student to Chaperone Ratio Requested: PreK and K, 5:1; 1st grade and higher, 10:1
- Advance Time Needed To Make Reservations: Three weeks
- Number of Students per Visit: Up to 300
- Suggested Length of Time for Visit: Two hours
- Handicapped Accessible: Yes
- Grade Level Appropriate: K – 12th
- Lunch Facilities: Screened atrium and 10 outdoor picnic tables are available for picnickers. Fast food is available within eight miles.
- Gift Shop: A bookstore is on-site at the environmental center, and an educational sales shop is located at the visitor center.
- Bus parking available
Tell Us About It!
The Barataria Preserve, managed by the National Park Service as part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, is a natural area of approximately 20,000 acres featuring trails through bottomland hardwood forests, bald cypress swamp, bayous and marsh. The Barataria Preserve is home to alligators, egrets, deer, and other native delta species. The Barataria Preserve Environmental Education Center is available by reservation to schools and special interest groups. The Center offers a screened-in amphitheater, a wet-lab, a multi-purpose climate-controlled classroom, restrooms and boardwalk trails through the forest and swamp. The Center’s programs offer a hands-on approach to studying the environment. The Preserve also has facilities for the general public at the Visitor Center including films, exhibits, a bookstore, restrooms, self-guided trails, and free ranger-guided programs.
What Can We See and Do There?
Swashbucklers behold the precious environmental resources in southeastern Louisiana at the Barataria Preserve! Teachers can choose from over a dozen indoor/outdoor programs for their students. These two-hour programs, each prepared and presented by educators on-site, integrate discovery fun with research skill development. Elementary grade students spin fun with food web activities, and middle school students get wet looking for perpetrators in the program called “Vanishing Wetlands.” Younger kids use their senses to identify nature, and high school students use their know-how to determine applications for natural resources. The education trails are designed to give students easy access to the variety of plant and animal habitats in the park. Boardwalks wind through hardwood and palmetto forests and past a bald cypress swamp to Bayou des Familles, a complex ecosystem to explore.
How Do We Get There?
From Bus. Hwy. 90/West Bank Expressway, Exit 4B to Barataria Blvd./Hwy. 45. Travel south eight miles on Barataria Blvd. Follow signs to Education Center, Visitor Center, and Picnic Areas.
What Can We Visit Nearby?
Tulane University Museum of Natural History, St. James Cultural Heritage Museum
Louisiana State Educational Benchmarks and Standards
- K-4th grades: SI-E-A1, 6; SI-E-B4-6;LS-E-A1, 3; LS-E-B1-2; LS-E-C1-3; ESS-E-A6; SE-E-A1, 3-5; H-1C-E, 4
- 5th – 8th grades: SI-M-A1-4, 6; SI-M-B1-2; LS-M-A3; LS-M-C3-4; ESS-M-A4-5, 8; SE-M-A1, 3-4, 10; H-1D-M1, 6
- 9th – 12th grades: SI-H-A1-2, 4, 6; LS-H-D3-4; ESS-H-C3; SE-H-B1-2, 4-5; SE-H-C1-2; SE-H-D2-3, 5-6
Bad Weather! Now What Do We Do?
Be prepared and dress appropriately because this nature site has many outdoor activities. In really extreme weather, students work inside the education center building which is climate-controlled. Picnickers stay dry in the screened atrium.
What Can We Do In Class Before Our Field Trip?
When teachers make their field trip reservations, on-site educators will send a 20-page teacher’s guide complete with lesson plans and classroom activities designed specifically for the program selected. Take a look at the National Park Service website or www.gorp.com for pictures and information about getting ready for your field trip.
S-T-R-E-T-C-H Out Your Field Trip Benefits
Check out the traveling trunk, “Livin’ Down River,” about the culture of the Mississippi River Delta region for grades 3 – 6. Teachers can pick up the trunk at any Jean Lafitte National Park Visitor Center or have it shipped to their school.
Louisiana ecology, botany, geology, history