The Federal Highway Administration recently awarded a competitive National Scenic Byways grant for $113,160 to the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road for a public restroom facility at Holly Beach with the Creole Nature Trail Scenic Byway District providing a 20% match. This was the only grant awarded in the state of Louisiana from the total of 20 grants approved. In addition, the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center reopens this weekend, Saturday, May 20.
Due to the potential impact of future weather events, the grant is for a pre-cast concrete restroom that can withstand hurricane-force winds. The Cameron Parish Police Jury, with the support of the Johnson Bayou Recreation District, will provide sufficient property for the public restroom facility as well as water, electricity, utilities, permits, and maintenance required for this project at Holly Beach.
“The wildlife, outdoor experiences, beaches, birding, and coastal excursions along the Creole Nature Trail have been available for visitors since the storms of 2020; however, essential facilities, such as public restrooms, have made it more of a challenge for visitors wanting to spend the day exploring. We are grateful for this opportunity to address public necessities at Holly Beach,” said Shelley Johnson, chair of the Creole Nature Trail District Board of Commissioners.
Additionally, the Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge Visitors’ Center will reopen this Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The public is invited to tour exhibits and visit with refuge staff. Regular hours of operation will be Tuesday – Thursday, from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
“We are looking forward to inviting the public back to the visitors’ center so that we can provide resources and help interpret about the beauty of their wildlife refuge system in Southwest Louisiana. It’s been years since we have been able to interact with the public in a dynamic and impactful way, and we are thrilled to be able to reopen our doors,” said Shaun Ziegler, refuge complex manager for the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
The Creole Nature Trail is one of only 57 national scenic byways designated as an All-American Road in the USA. It encompasses more than 180 miles, four wildlife refuges, and is known as “Louisiana’s Outback.” The gateway to the western side of the trail is Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point, 2740 Ruth St. in Sulphur, La.
For more details about the Creole Nature Trail, go to www.creolenaturetrail.org or visit www.fws.gov for information on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.