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Upcoming Events

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"12 Days of…

Dec 21 - 23, 2014
There's holiday fun for the whole family in the historic Warehouse District… more

"Prospect.3: Notes…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

"The Victory Belles…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

“Dirty Dancing — The…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage is an unprecedented live experience,… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Dec 21, 2014 - Mar 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Brunch with Santa at…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
Join historical New Orleans characters at our annual Brunch with Santa and his… more

CELEBRATE THE BLACK…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
Get your fix of Emeril's famed contemporary New Orleans cuisine at the flagship… more

CELEBRATE THE BLACK…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
NOLA, the casual, funky eatery located in the heart of the French Quarter, is a… more

Celebration in the…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 03, 2015
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

Christmas in the…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 01, 2015
Celebrate the season in New Orleans' historic Warehouse District with dazzling… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 21 - 31, 2014
There's no place like New Orleans for the holidays during Christmas New Orleans… more

Holiday Home and…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015
Visit the festively decorated residence and courtyard of General and Mrs. L.… more

Joe Krown Trio feat.…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
Join us for the  Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter "Wolfman"… more

New Orleans Saints…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
The New Orleans Saints & Atlanta Falcons kick-off at 12 noon. more

NOMA & The NOLA…

Dec 21 - 21, 2014
In December, NOMA's iconic Great Hall will be transformed by The NOLA Project… more

Oak Alley…

Dec 21 - 24, 2014
Tour the historic grounds, Slavery at Oak Alley Exhibit, Civil War Exhibit and… more

Prospect.3 - Basquiat…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Curated by Franklin Sirmans, the Artistic Director for P.3: Notes for Now,… more

Prospect.3 - Keith…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
A selection of images from Calhoun and McCormick's extensive body of work on… more

Royal Teddy Bear Tea…

Dec 21 - 22, 2014
Little Princes & Princesses are crowned as they enter into our Magical… more

Self-Processing –…

Dec 21, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015
Before the instantaneous gratification of digital photography there was instant… more

"12 Days of…

Dec 21 - 23, 2014
There's holiday fun for the whole family in the historic Warehouse District… more

Audubon Louisiana Nature Center Restoration Begins Groundbreaking Ceremony: Friday, January 24, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts:
Frank Donze
504-212-5335, Cell - 504-232-7461
fdonze@auduboninstitute.org

Katie Smith
504-378-2693, cell-504-278-0542
ksmith@auduboninstitute.org
 

Audubon Louisiana Nature Center Restoration Begins
Groundbreaking Ceremony: Friday, January 24, 2014


(New Orleans, La.) - Audubon Nature Institute officials and a host of elected officials and community leaders will gather Friday to launch the restoration of Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, a project that will return the sprawling eastern New Orleans attraction to its proper place as a treasured green space for family recreation and environmental education.

Demolition of Hurricane Katrina-damaged structures has begun and plans call for construction to commence later this year on the first phase of a dynamic, new Nature Center on the 86-acre site in Joe Brown Park, with a grand opening of the project's first phase scheduled for 2015. The Nature Center's return represents a significant milestone in the recovery of the New Orleans east community.

"We're proud and happy the Nature Center is on its way back to New Orleans East," said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. "As a vital, engaged community resource, the new Nature Center is certain to inspire a deeper and enduring appreciation of our natural world for all who visit.''

The $8.4 million, Phase 1 restoration will bring back many of the popular features that were built in the years following the Nature Center's 1980 opening, including a planetarium, an 8,500-square-foot Exhibit Pavilion, a glass and steel greenhouse Botany Center, classrooms, interactive educational exhibits,  a network  of trails and covered boardwalks and extensive landscaping. The design will allow for exhibits to be moved easily to convert indoor space for community events.

Built three decades ago to address an urgent community need for environmental education programming, the Nature Center will take advantage of technological advances and new construction techniques that have become more environmentally friendly and hurricane resistant. The replacement facility will be constructed to meet today's standards while anticipating future community needs.

The Louisiana Nature Center opened its doors on March 23,1980, offering a scenic interpretation of the Mississippi River Delta and Louisiana Coastal Zone in Joe Brown Park. It was among the first facilities of its kind to receive and maintain accreditation by the American Association of Museums.

In 1993, the Nature Center's board of trustees approached the Audubon Nature Institute about a merger. Recognizing that the two organizations shared a commitment to inspire people of all ages to appreciate the natural world, an agreement was forged a year later to take advantage of Audubon's proficiency in development, marketing, finance and human resources.

Renamed "Audubon Louisiana Nature Center,'' the attraction thrived under its new structure, welcoming about 85,000 annual visitors including 45,000 students who were served by outreach programs.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath left the Nature Center under six feet of water for more than a month.  Its forests were severely damaged and its interpretive spaces were destroyed.  The Nature Center has remained closed since the storm as Audubon's leadership met with representatives of FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, city and state government and community leaders to map out a restoration strategy.

The city of New Orleans recently launched a major rebuilding effort in Joe Brown Park, restoring recreational areas and adding two new stadiums for high school football and track. The Nature Center restoration is an integral part of the master plan for the area.

The new, state-of-the-art facility will introduce generations of Louisiana and Gulf Coast families to the wonders of the fragile ecosystems that they call home.
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