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New pedestrian bridge opens at Acadiana Park Nature Station

One of the side effects that COVID-19 lockdowns had on the environment: the sounds of nature - like birds chirping - became far more apparent, especially for people who live in cities.
Posted at 2:55 PM, Dec 13, 2021

A new pedestrian bridge at the Acadiana Park Nature Station gives visitors access to more hiking trails. The bridge connects trails on the south side of the Francois Coulee to trails on the north side. These trails were previously only accessible at the trailhead on Shadow Bluff Drive.

"It's an easy connection from the Nature Station (south of the coulee) to the north trails which are an extension of the hardwood forest with unique life in a more isolated natural woodland," Acadiana Park Nature Station Curator of Natural Sciences Kyle Patton said.

Installing a bridge has been a long-term goal since Lafayette Consolidated Government acquired the northern property 15 years ago. Acadiana Park is home to 150 acres and five miles of trails, 47 acres on the south side where the Nature Station educational building is located and 103 acres north of the new bridge.

"I'm so excited about the opening of the bridge. It'll open up a whole new adventure for all who visit the Nature Station," Parks, Arts, Recreation, and Culture Director Hollis Conway said.

The bridge was funded by a $167,500 Land and Water Conservation grant through the Louisiana Office of State Parks and matching funds from Lafayette Consolidated Government.

In the near future, guided tours, field trips, and night hikes will be back after being on hold during the pandemic. To stay up to date on events, visit the Acadiana Park Nature Station website at naturestation.org, Facebook, and Instagram.

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