Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Live Oak Planted at St. Landry Parish Visitor Center

    Local tourism officials and garden club members gathered Wednesday to plant a new live oak tree at the St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center, exit 23 on I-49. In celebration of Arbor Day, the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission received the tree donated by the Opelousas Garden Club, Washington Garden Club, Eunice Bulb & Blossom Club and the Sunset Garden Club. 
    “The commission is thrilled to have the addition of another live oak on the property of the new Visitor Center, but even more so the partnership it symbolizes,” said Celeste Gomez, director of the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission. “This gesture by the parish garden clubs, endorses the commission’s efforts toward sustainability and preservation.” 
    The first live oak that was planted last November was graciously donated by Mrs. Pat James. 
    The center's overall landscape reflects the various ecosystems found in and around St. Landry Parish. The design includes various grasses, Louisiana irises, bald cypress, palmettos and native flowering plants indicative of this area. 
    The Visitor Center was intended to promote green construction through its environmentally-friendly design and use of natural resources. By collecting rain water in a 1,500-gallon, galvanized cistern for watering plants and converting the energy generated with the wind turbine and the solar panels, a visitor can see how these resources are utilized. The facility is the only such "green" visitor center in Louisiana. 
    Since opening in May 2011, the Visitor Center has welcomed travelers, some from as far as China and New Zealand, to the rich music, food, history, culture and outdoor life of St. Landry Parish. The 4,600-square foot center features exhibit and display areas for tourist information, a meeting area, public restrooms and administrative offices for the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission. 
    The center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call (337) 948-8004 or visit Follow the center on Twitter @StLandryParish or on Facebook at St. Landry Parish - It's Gumbo for Your Soul.

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