Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Contact: Aleutia Scott, firstname.lastname@example.org, 504-382-7838
Jean Lafitte, Cypress Legacy Honor 700-Year-Old Monarch Tree
MARRERO, LA: Honor “the Monarch of the Swamp” at a special ceremony 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June
19, at the Barataria Preserve of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Representatives of the park, the State of Louisiana, the Louisiana Bicentennial Cypress Legacy, and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area will mount a plaque near the Monarch, an old-growth baldcypress tree estimated to be about 700 years old. The Monarch is located just off the Bayou Coquille Trail in the preserve, about a quarter mile from the Bayou Coquille Trail parking lot. The preserve is located at 6588 Barataria Blvd. in Marrero (near Crown Point). More information is available at 504-689-3690 ext. 10 or at www.nps.gov/jela.
Admission to the ceremony and to the preserve is free and open to the public.
Every Louisiana Bicentennial Cypress Legacy tree must be at least 200 years old and growing in a place currently protected from logging. With the support of the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission, the Louisiana Bicentennial Cypress Legacy (http://www.lapurchasecypresslegacy.net/) works to raise awareness of the value of swamps and the threats to their survival by linking old-growth trees like the Monarch to major events in Louisiana history like this year’s bicentennial of Louisiana statehood. According to Louisiana Bicentennial Cypress Legacy creator Harvey Stern, such landmarks create an ideal opportunity to link Louisiana’s cultural and historic heritage with stewardship of the state’s ecological inheritance.
“Jean Lafitte is honored that ‘the Monarch of the Swamp’ has been chosen as a legacy tree,” said Barataria Preserve Supervisory Park Ranger Aleutia Scott. “The Monarch is well known to the thousands of people who walk the Bayou Coquille Trail every year. It serves as a symbol both of the people and industries who built Louisiana’s past and of new ventures like ecotourism. The Monarch is a reminder that the swamps and wetlands now seen in a few places like the preserve once covered this entire area.”
The Barataria Preserve is managed by the National Park Service as part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. It contains 23,000 acres of forest, swamp, and marsh and is home to alligators, egrets, giant blue irises, and other delta species. Exhibits at the visitor center highlight Louisiana’s wetlands through videos, interactive audio and computer programs, and habitat dioramas. An environmental education center provides school programs and summer youth camps. Admission to the center and to most programs is free. The visitor center, parking lots, and picnic areas are open daily 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 397 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
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