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New executive director for Atchafalaya National Heritage Area announced

Posted at 11:15 AM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 12:35:16-04

BATON ROUGE, La. - Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Atchafalaya Trace Commission announce the selection of Justin Lemoine as executive director of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. Recently, he was the Director of Implementation for the Center for Planning Excellence's Statewide Planning Initiative.

"We are excited to have Justin join us as the Executive Director for the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. The ANHA is the largest freshwater swamp in the country and a vast natural resource for our state. Justin's experience with shaping the future of areas through the use of natural resources will help further the mission of expanding economic and resource-based recreational opportunities while maintaining a healthier ecosystem throughout the 14 parishes that are a part of the heritage area," said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

A graduate of Louisiana State University, Lemoine holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the Robert Reich School of Architecture. In 2006, he began practicing landscape architecture, managing projects from residential landscapes, designs for larger public areas, to community master plans in Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, and Colorado.

"The ANHA is an integral part of the cultural experience of Louisiana and has helped to shape my education and career. The abundant natural resources and the people who have earned their livelihoods from them for centuries tell a story that is worth telling," said Justin Lemoine, Atchafalaya National Heritage Area executive director. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue to tell that story and help build a coalition of ambassadors for this incredible place we call home."

"Justin comes to the Atchafalaya Trace Commission and the 14 parishes comprising the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area with experience in planning, design, and place-making initiatives. As a native Louisianan from rural Avoyelles Parish, Lemoine knows the importance of bringing people together and we, as members, want to help him bring the vision to reality, continuing the practices already in place and the implementation of new projects," said Wilbert Carmouche, Chairman of the Atchafalaya Trace Commission.

Justin Lemoine has 14 years of experience in crafting responsive designs at all scales from residential to parks, planning, and large public plazas. Immediately after college, he helped to develop community master plans, worked on recreational master plans and amenity centers, developed community identity packages, and designed detailed native planting plans throughout central Texas. After moving back to Baton Rouge, Lemoine began to further develop his knowledge of native Louisiana plants and ecosystems. He has designed re-naturalized drainage that provide additional habitats for native flora and fauna, while helping to improve the environment. He has helped craft the design of stormwater management systems for schools, hospitals, and parks throughout South Louisiana, focused on conserving campus green space and recreating the region's natural ecosystem based on Louisiana hydrology and native plant systems.

Lemoine has served as the state chapter president and secretary for the American Society of Landscape Architects, Board President for the Mid City Merchants Association, Board Vice President for Baton Rouge Green, and is a co-founder of the Mid City Makers Market, a monthly pop-up cultural event that highlights local artists and makers and features local and regional food and music.

For more information on the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, visit their website at

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