Baton Rouge is a major city in Louisiana due to its location. It is the capital. It is also the second largest city in the state. Baton Rouge sits on the Mississippi River, which makes it an important port city. The city is also based on petrochemical and industrial businesses. Within the city limits of Baton Rouge is the Bluebonnet Swamp. A nature center has been built in the swamp to help educate tourists and residents.
The Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm. It is also open on Sundays from noon to 5pm. The center is located off of interstate 10. Admission is very reasonable at $1 to $2. Children under 17 get in for $1. The nature center does not allow pets, except on Dog Days when there is a special program.
The mission statement of the swamp states that the founders wanted to make a place in which they could have ecotourism and education. The center is meant to be a place of discovery for those who come to visit. Experiences can be had in a number of areas for learning. They are also trying to bring appreciation of natural resources about. To do this the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is 101 acres with a number of nature hikes as well as a building filled with exhibits. The exhibits are housed in a glass and wood building, so you can not only see the displays but also see outside. Outside there is 65 acres of cypress and tupelo swamp, and magnolia beech swamp. There is a 1.3 mile trail and boardwalk construction that takes a visitor in between the two ecosystems.
The boardwalk has been set up for handicap accessible areas. The swamp is more than the plants and trees one can learn about. There is also wildlife in the swamp. Bird species are of a particular interest to some travelers. There are Yellow crowned Night Herons, Warblers, hawks, and owls. Raccoons, foxes, bobcats, snakes, alligators, and turtles can also be spotted while on the nature trails.
The nature center will have temporary exhibits come through based on history, ecology, and culture. These exhibits add to the ones which remain year round. During the summer months there are adventure camps and other events individuals can attend. The swamp toddler adventure is a four week session in which one to five year olds with their guardians can attend. They are able to see the ecosystem including the animals of the swamp when they attend. A swamp night hike allows visitors to go through the park with a staff member. During the hike visitors can see lightning bugs and other animals which tend to come out at night in the swamp.
Dog days are about allowing pets into the park on a leash so that owners and pets can have a nice journey through the swamp together. There are other camps for children which the Bluebonnet Swamp hosts throughout the summer.