Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend with Nick

Much to Maddie's delight, Nick came back again this weekend! Since we cancelled today's playdate (sharing with our friends is encouraged, unless it's a virus!), we had two days of FUN, FUN, FUN.

Nick is working on his social studies project. He picked the exciting topic, Louisiana State Parks. I am the official paper writing helper, so we often spend weekends in the office, fighting over wording. At least for this paper, we could visit some of the parks. It still ended up being a pretty boring list of the state parks, with a little bit about each. We did actually finish almost all of it this weekend, so we are pretty pleased with each other. His Dad is really proud of us and wanted this paper saved forever, so I am copying it to the bottom of this post. If there is anything you really need to know about the state parks, read away. Otherwise, sorry!

Maddie loved the time with Nick. She thinks her brothers are pretty wonderful and I think Nick may have actually been her first word. I know she said Nick & Michael (or something with the right syllables!) before she said mama.

When she was really little, she would just stare at Nick all weekend. Now she finds him to play or help her. She loves to lean against him so I tried to get a picture.

Louisiana’s State Parks

Louisiana’s State Parks are part of Louisiana’s Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. CRT is headed by the Lt. Governor. There are three kind of parks within Louisiana: the historical sites, the preservation area and the recreational parks. There are sixteen historical sites and one preservation area. This project is mainly about the twenty state recreational parks.
Louisiana's State Parks System began in 1934 with the passage of legislation creating the State Parks Commission of Louisiana, a state governmental agency charged with the "establishment, protection, and management of state parks and recreational centers

The state parks system began in 1934. In 1974, the State Parks and Recreational Commission developed a long term plan for making the parks better and larger. Since 1975, the state has spent $77 million dollars buying land and improving the state parks. Since 1995, the Office of State Parks has built new facilities and upgraded many others, spending more than $80 million dollars. In 2002, more than two million visited Louisiana state parks annually.

Bayou Segnette State Park is in Westwego near New Orleans and was established in 1934. It was swampland at one time and was changed to marsh by the creation of canals. It is 580 acres containing a boat launch, 100 campsites, 20 cabins, a group camp, a playground and a wave pool.
Chemin-A-Haut State Park in Bastrop, near the Louisiana-Arkansas state line, is 503 acres. It was created in 1935. The word Chemin-A-Haut is French for “high road.” It has 35 picnic areas, 5 group sites, cabins, a boat launch, rental boats, swimming, a playground, fresh water fishing from the shore and hiking.
Chicot State Park is found in south central Louisiana in Ville Platte and was added to the system in 1939. The 6400 acre park contains a 2000 acre lake, with record breaking fish. The hiking trails go completely around Lake Chicot. It has 200 campsites, a lodge, 27 cabins, a group camp, picnic areas and playgrounds, a swimming pool, a boat launch, a fishing pier and a dock with rental boats, a 400 ft. fishing pier. The only state preservation area, the 300 acre Louisiana Arboretum, is located near the entrance to the state park.
Cypremort Point State Park is southeast of Lafayette. The 185 acre park was created in 1970. Visitors can go sailing, windsurfing, pleasure boating, fishing, swimming and waterskiing. The park has a 100 foot fishing pier, fish cleaning stations, picnic tables, barbeque grills, covered picnic pavilions and outdoor showers.
Fairview Riverside State Park, near Madisonville, was established in 1963 and was named for the 1880s house located on the property. It is the site of the Otis House, the 19th century home donated to the state with the land for the park. Otis House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
Fontainebleau State Park, near Mandeville, formed in 1938, was originally named Tchefuncte State Park and Conservation Reservation. It is a 2800 acre state park, containing the ruins of a plantation sugar mill and brickyard. The property was donated to the state by the owner’s son.
Grand Isle State Park is located on Grand Isle, and became a state park in 1968. There are over 280 species of fish in this state park. Every year in July, Grand Isle hosts the Tarpon Rodeo, an annual saltwater fishing competition, the oldest fishing tournament in the country. This park is located on a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico.
Hodges Garden State Park in Florien was donated to the state in 2007. The 700 acre parks contains 40 acres of gardens and a 225 bass fishing lake. The lake water is also used throughout the park for waterfalls, pools, fountains and a watering system. There are hiking and biking trails and also has RV and wilderness camping.
The Jimmy Davis State Park in Chatham was established in 1996. It is located on a peninsula in Caney Lake. The park was originally named Caney Creek Lake State Park and the name was changed in 2003 to honor former governor Jimmie Davis.
Lake Bistineau State Park, on the western side of Lake Bistineau, is in Doyline. Lake Bistineau was created by a gigantic log jam in the Red River two hundred years ago. The park has a hardwood forest containing cypress and tupelo trees. The park offers two boat launches, hiking and biking trails, playgrounds, two swimming pools, a lakefront beach, camping, cabins, lodges, and excellent fishing.
Lake Bruin State Park became in a state park 1956. It is located in St. Joseph, is a 53 acre park, and has access to the 3000 acre Lake Bruin. The site was originally established 1928 as a fish hatchery. The park has three large fishing piers, a year round boat launch and a boat shed.
Lake Claiborne State Park, near Homer, was established in 1974. The lake was created by damning Bayou D’Arbonne. When the lake is at full reservoir level, it has a surface area of 6400 acres. Visitors to the park can go swimming, fishing, birding, boating of all kinds, waterskiing, camping and hiking.
Lake D’Arbonne State Park is in Farmerville was created in 1967. It is 655 acres, with a 15,250 acre lake. It has a swimming pool and a tennis complex, and 65 campsites, 18 cabins, 2 lodges and a group camp that sleeps 52. Lake D’Arbonne is also a good fishing location, with fishing piers and boat docks.
Lake Fausse Pointe State Park is located 18 miles east of St. Martinville and was established in 1974. This state park was once part of the Atchafalaya Basin and is 6,000 acres and was once home to the Chitimacha Indians. It is located near Longfellow Evangeline State Historic Site.
North Toledo Bend State Park is located in Zwolle and was created in 1976. This state park is located on Toledo Bend Reservoir. Toledo Bend is one of the country’s largest man-made reservoirs. This park is 900 acres and it is situated on a peninsula, which extends into the reservoir at the mouth of Bayou Miguel. This state park is located near five of the state’s historic sites: Fort Jessup, Fort Jean Batiste, Los Adaes, Mansfield and Rebel. The park has a boat launch with a fish cleaning station, boat rentals, fresh water fishing competitions and an Olympic sized swimming pool. It also has 63 RV sites, 10 vacation cabins and a group camp that sleeps up to 150 people.
Poverty Point Reservoir State Park is in Delhi, which is located near the Mississippi flyway. Visitors have good chances for viewing birds, and sighting black bears.
This park, created in 2003, was located on a 2700 hundred acre manmade lake, which was formed in 2001 as a water resource for the area and also as a recreational park. The park features 24 campsites and 8 lake front cabins, with a water playground. The north marina complex features a swimming beach area, a boat launch and a marina with 48 covered slips, as well as a concession stand, fishing pier and fish cleaning stations.
St. Bernard State Park, 18 miles southeast of New Orleans in Braithwaite, was established in 1978. The land for this park was donated by a local family in 1971. This park suffered the most damage of all Louisiana parks during Katrina, and was re-opened in December, 2006. It has a network of manmade lagoons and is located near the Chalmette National Historic Park, Jackson Barracks, and other historic sites and plantation homes.
Sam Houston Jones State Park is named for the Texas folk hero, Sam Jones, who traveled in western Louisiana and became the 37th governor of Louisiana. This park is 1,087 acres, and was created in 1944. There are three hiking trails and the most interesting is the old Stagecoach Road.
South Toledo Bend State Park was established in 2003 and is located in Anacoco. The area is a common nesting ground for the bald eagle. It is located near Fort Polk Reservation Center and has a 3000 foot surface nature trail.
Tickfaw State Park is located southwest of Springfield in Livingston Parish and became a state park in 1999. The park was the first state park devoted to natural resource education. Visitors can canoe on Tickfaw River or have fun at the water playground.
In 2009, there will be two new additions to the state parks system. These additions are Bogue Chitto State Park and Palmetto Island State Park. Bogue Chitto is located near Franklinton and Palmetto Island is located south of Abbeville. There will be fishing, camping, swimming and nature trails, and visitor centers at both of these parks. There will be continued upgrades to all the state parks, including new cabins at Bayou Segnette State Park and improvements to the Hodges Gardens State Park.
Since the start of the parks in 1934, the state parks system has greatly improved and expanded. Visitors to the state parks system, spending over $40 million annually, can now fish, hike, camp, swim, picnic and enjoy numerous wildlife, floral and vegetation habitats. This year is very special because it is the seventy fifth anniversary of the state parks system, and there will be special celebrations and events throughout the year. ((this can be a theme on the display board))

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