Louisiana State Park Stays

Louisiana’s wildlife gives its visitors and locals a great opportunity for adventure. However, in order to start that adventure you have to find a place to stay. Look no further than Louisiana’s own state parks. Usually around $3 dollars per person to enter, Louisiana State parks are more than just parks. They are an outlet for adventure.

Many of the cabins are large enough to sleep six to eight people; lower prices ranging from $120-$175 make these cabins a great option for families who want a little get away. Or just for those looking to experience Louisiana’s wildlife in a different way. Check out the different amenities for the different parks, some even offer wifi!

Check out the reservation website for Louisiana State Parks to book your trip.

We are here to give you some more details about a few of the options from Louisiana Travel’s list of Louisiana State parks that offer cabins.

Chicot, Ville Platte

In 1939, Chicot was added to the Louisiana State Park system. Three boathouses, boat rental facilities, and a boathouse. Fishing is highly encouraged due to the waters being filled with red-ear sunfish, largemouth bass and more. There are also trails that fill the park, one trail being 22 miles long.

There are multiple different landings that include different areas. The East includes a barbecue pavillon and a meeting room. The South includes a water playground, picnic areas, and cabins. The north includes a primitive group camping area, campsites, and lodges.

Click here for more details.

Cypremort Point, Cypremort Point

Coming from the term “dead cypress”, Cypremort Point is located on Vermilion Bay and is a 185-acre park. It contains half a mile of beach that was man made. There are 6 cabins that are available to rent. Wildlife wont be hard to find due to the location of the park.

There is a 100 foot fishing pier that is available for guests to use. The boat launch is literally only a few miles off from the Gulf of Mexico. Redfish and flounder are common catches in the area. The beach also includes picnic sites which means pack your lunch and spend the day!

Click here for more details.

North Toledo Bend, Zwolle

Located in the town of Zwolle, the North Toledo Bend State Park is one of the two state parks that can be found on the Toledo Bend Reservoir. This reservoir is one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the country. Paddle Boats and canoes can be rented at boat launch; feel free to bring your own! The park includes 67 campsites and 10 cabins. Two trails can also be found, one being 1.5 miles and the other being 4 miles.

The park also includes a visitors center that houses an olympic size swimming pool. There is also a group camp that is available. This included a full size cafeteria kitchen, serving line, and cooking implements. This group camp also has 5 dorms and it can sleep 50 people in each bunk.

Click here for more details.

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Legislative Achievements for Education

Recently Louisiana has taken a huge step in furthering the education of the students in its state. Louisiana Believes outlines the achievements made for the education of Louisiana’s students. The class of 2018 achieved the highest graduation outcome, the highest in Louisiana’s history to be exact.  All of the hard work paid off and it showed at the Louisiana 2019 Regular Legislative Session.  John White, the State Superintendent of Education, released a statement starting off with, “It is a good legislative session when our state invests in our schools and when our schools demonstrate such academic returns on that investment.”

Not only did classes prove that education is worth investing in, but they helped state leaders improve even more. The pay for all public school teachers will be raised by $1,000. Teachers are not the only employees receiving a raise, school support personnel’s pay will also increase by $500.

$39 million was added to the education funding formula. This will provide the support that is always needed for public schools to operate. This will also be helpful to the employees that run the schools. $20 was dedicated to early childhood education. This is to help prevent pre-kindergarten programs and services from decreasing due to federal funds not being available. This money will also be used to help increase available slots in childcare for families that are working and low income.

High school students will also be supported. While enrolled in high school they will be able to earn college credits, helping them to further their education after graduation. This will also help high schoolers earn industry credentials for the workforce that can be used after graduation. Task forces will be created to help each of these efforts.

The Class of 2018 showed that investing in education is worth it. John White’s official statement said:

“It is a good legislative session when our state invests in our schools and when our schools demonstrate such exceptional academic returns on that investment. In recent weeks, our state announced that more students than ever before are graduating from high school, earning early college credit and industry-based credentials, achieving eligibility for TOPS, and enrolling in college.  As the session comes to a close, I applaud the Governor, lawmakers, and BESE for continuing that progress, and for heeding the voices of families and educators across our state.”

The 2019 Regular Legislative Session started on Monday, April 8, 2019 and adjourned Thursday, June 6, 2019. Education was not the only group to receive more financial help. District attorneys, assistant district attorneys, and judges pay was boosted. Also, a new law now allows young adults to stay within the foster care system until they turn 21. Services have only been given to those young adults in foster care until they graduate from highschool. Before that, young adult would be kicked out of foster care once they turn 18, even if they are not done with foster care.

Louisiana’s foster care system has not been invested in the past. Within 2 years of being in the system, one in five young adults end up homeless. One fourth of the young adults in the foster care system were in prison, a 2017 report shows. The report came from the Louisiana State Task Force on Youth Aging Out of Foster Care.

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Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance

Louisiana is known for many things, southern hospitality being one of the main ones. The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance is a Louisiana based consortium. It is made up of private, corporate, and community foundations and donors. It was founded to help with the issues of disaster recovery. It was also founded to help the levels of vulnerability and risks of repeating events be reduced.

This “first-of-its-kind” partnership has taken a different approach. This public-private takes a step back and focuses on the way long-term solutions that will help re-establish communities that are resilient and sustainable to the area. The organization has been functioning for 12 years.

Over those years Louisiana’s communities have experienced events that have drastically impacted those communities. In the past, Louisiana’s philanthropic foundations were often split which made it harder for foundations to work together during tragic events. However, after the floods of 2016, foundations were more willing to work together to help the community get back on its’ feet. On their website the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance says it “was created to support cross-sector collaborative efforts and communication, share knowledge and resources with the goal of improving recovery outcomes and increasing the resilience of Louisiana residents and communities.”

The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance uses its platform to not only help but also educate people on the impacts of disasters in the state. Investing into communities and using resources from multiple sectors, the LDRA also helps its partners as well. Over 170,000 dollars worth of grants were awarded on October 20, 2017 to help communities in Louisiana.

The Board of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance is made up of:

  • Lori Jill Bertman- Board President
  • Flozell Daniels Jr.- Board Vice President
  • Mark Stewart- Board Secretary and Treasurer
  • Kristi Gustavson
  • Michael Tipton
  • Advisory Board
  • Christy Wallace Slater
  • Bob Ottenhoff

The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance includes a section on their website including some of the Funders of the Alliance:

Some of the partners that are agencies of the State of Louisiana include:

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Louisiana and Its Hidden Surprises

Louisiana is full of adventure. It is, after all, Sportsman’s Paradise. We have everything from fishing and hunting to festivals and great food. There is never a dull moment in this beautiful state. You just have to know where to look. Movoto Blog recently posted 27 Crazy Things You Never Knew Existed In Louisiana. Here are three of those 27 with more information to plan you next trip around Louisiana.

The Abita Mystery House, it is also known as the UCM Museum. This museum is less than an hour away from New Orleans, in Abita Springs, Louisiana. It is a roadside attraction, created by the Louisiana artist John Preble, consisting of different exhibits he put together himself. Click here for an entire list.

The Museum is made up of over 50,000 objects that were found and recycled. The worlds Preble created are what any visitor visiting Louisiana wants to see, a haunted Southern plantation, a jazz funeral, and even a rhythm and blues dance hall. There is a general store and even a comb collection. The Museum is located in the historic district of Abita Springs.  The best part is that admission is only $3.

Avery Island, Louisiana not only offers the amazing opportunity to explore the factory that makes the famous McIlhenny Family Tabasco, but it also offers the beautiful Jungle Gardens. This outside attraction has a little something for everyone. The garden offers a variety of different attractions.  A large Buddha statue, is one of the main areas that visitors visit. The statue itself was found in a Manhattan warehouse and was sent by railroad in 1936 to the founder of Jungle Gardens, Mr. Ned. A shrine was created for the statue and is visited by local Buddhists who often use the area for a place of worship.

Another attraction within the Jungle Gardens is an area known as “Bird City”.  In the 1890s the egret population was beginning to fall due to plume hunters killing them to sell for their feathers. Mr. Ned raised and released 8 birds and 6 returned with their mates. Creating their nest, this was the beginning of Bird City. It was estimated that one hundred thousand birds were nesting in 1911. Imagine the amount now.

Jungle Gardens does not only host an array of birds; several different species of wildlife also wander the grounds. This area is perfect for bird watching, and Avery Island Jungle Gardens offers its own Bird Tour. You might even get a glimpse of a deer or alligator. The grounds alone are an eye full, but who wouldn’t love to see a deer grazing the grass. Over sixty-four different types of bamboo are also planted around and in Jungle Gardens.

Have you ever heard of a MudFest? Well Louisiana has exactly that. Located in Colfax, Louisiana with over three hundred acres .  The fest is open for three days, and visitors can enjoy an entire weekend dedicated to mud riding.  You do not even need something to ride, just pull up a chair and watch. Click here for admission prices. If you aren’t a fan of big crowds, you can check it out for non-event weekends and pay a much smaller admission.

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The Louisiana Oyster Trail

The Louisiana Bed and Breakfast Association posted an article talking about theLouisiana Oyster Trail. Oysters offer a lot more than most of us originally think. Not only do they offer health benefits for the environment but they also offer health benefits for humans. Oysters are high in omega 3 fatty acids, iron, protein, and other minerals and vitamins. They are low in cholesterol, fat and calories. They can even help improve energy levels and immune function. Plus, increase bone strength, tissue repair, and even help reduce blood pressure. All of this power in a little shell; and let’s not forget about the pearl making part. Oysters are one of the most versatile dishes out there and Louisiana is ready to show it’s visitors the options.

The valves alone in the oysters could cleanse the entire ecosystem; over 50 gallons of water can be filtered by them. And the place to find the best oysters around? Right here in Louisiana, named the number one producer to be exact. It is said that the Gulf of Mexico produces some of the best oysters in the world. Due to the Mississippi River flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, it lowers the salt content in the water. This actually changes the texture and taste of the oyster. This low salt content also makes the oysters have a creamy like taste and even their size is larger.

In 2012, the Louisiana Oyster Trail was created so everyone, even the locals, could experience the Louisiana oyster. Starting in Jefferson Parish and the surrounding areas, going as far as the Gulf of Mexico, this trail offers an unlimited amount of oysters cooked different ways. As of right now there are 22 restaurants who are involved with the trail. The oysters are served in multiple different ways. The classic half shell raw oysters, or try them grilled. You can also get them in a chowder, pickled, fried, deviled, creamed, and even pan roasted. This Trail gives it’s guest the most diverse oyster experience.

What about half fried shrimp and half fried oysters? Try the  Acme Oyster House’s Peace Maker. They offer raw and chargrilled oysters, meaning there is something for everyone. Or what about an oyster sandwich? Cafe 615 Home of Da Wabbit not only has an oyster sandwich but they also have a dish called Brochette Oysters. This consists of fried oysters that are wrapped in bacon and they are served with their remoulade sauce, that is house made.

The Boulevard American Bistro serves what is known as their Boulevard Oysters. Crystal aioli and creamed spinach on top of crispy oysters. Looking for larger portions? Check out Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant, also famous for their Creole dressing. Deanie’s has even won the Certificate of Excellence six years in a year on Tripadvisor. Want something a little more classy? The Restaurant des Families is a creole cottage. Try one of their Louisiana oyster platters.

The oyster trail is the ultimate way to fully experience the oysters Louisiana has to offer, while also exploring Louisiana’s culinary history.

Click here to download the Oyster Trail brochure. Click here to follow the Trail’s Facebook.

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Louisiana Non-Profits To Get Involved With

Louisiana is thankfully not falling in the nonprofit area. If you’ve been thinking about getting involved with a non-profit or foundation in our great state, but haven’t figured out which one is for you?  Our list of just a few worthy non-profits is broken down below.  Here are a few of the nonprofit organizations Louisiana has to offer, and here is the list of foundations. There’s a little something for all interests.

Arts Council of New Orleans

Located at 818 Howard Ave., Ste. 300, New Orleans, LA 70113. The Arts Council of New Orleans prides itself on being a nonprofit (private) organization that helps its’ community use art to transform it for the better. They also use their space and resources to support the culture and art within the community. Investing in local art/local artist and providing resources, the Arts Council of New Orleans gives its community a place to display the richness of the culture and arts that reside in New Orleans.

Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana

The Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana was founded in 1986 after the price of oil dropped so low that many people lost their jobs. The foundation was founded to help “diversify the economy into other industry sectors”. The Virginia K. Shehee Biomedical Research Institute was opened in 1994. Connecting to the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport, this state of the art building offers 56 research labs. In 1997, the InterTech Science Park plans were announced.The Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana has now become a “stronghold for economic development”. Click here to read the full history.

Community Coffee Company LLC Corporate Giving Program

Community Coffee Company LLC Corporate Giving Program, is a program that Community Coffee has developed to support: schools, military, growers, communities and relief efforts. The Giving Program expresses the desire to give back to the community that helped the Community Coffee Company get on its’ feet.  The full 2018 Giving Report can be view here.

The Food Bank of Central Louisiana, Inc.

The Food Bank of Central Louisiana, Inc. feeds over 22,000 people each month within the community. Five meals can be provided to a family for just one dollar donated. The best part about the Food Bank is that there are multiple ways someone can help out. The Food Bank accepts donations and they also need volunteers.

If someone is in need of food assistance, the Food Bank has a list of requirements in order to receive the assistance.

McNeese State University Foundation

The McNeese State University Foundation, founded in 1965, is a non-profit organization. Originally the foundation was established for student scholarships that would be given through endowments. However, since then the foundation has moved to also include endowments for faculty and chairs. They “seek outside resources” that are there to serve those who are eligible for the endowments.

Click here to read more about the foundation.

Harvey L. Foster Foundation for Science Education

The Harvey L. Foster Foundation for Science Education was founded in 2007, and is located in Mandeville, Louisiana.  However, that does not make it any less impactful. The foundation is rooted in the idea of getting students involved in science education. Funding under-funded science programs, the foundation serves St. Tammany, Washington, Tangipahoa, and Livingston Parishes located in Louisiana. The ultimate goal is to have more students pursue engineering and science degrees.

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