Thursday, January 7, 2016

Behind Those Gates

is where we live. This is the entrance to Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Headquarters and Visitor Center situated in Lacombe, Louisiana. A few miles south of interstate 12.

For those of you new to our blog, we live on these 110 acres. It is just one of eight refuges in this complex with a total of over 270,000 acres...a mighty big place with miles to cover!!! Breton is on an island out in the gulf and it is the second oldest refuge that was established in 1904. Pelican Island in Florida is the oldest.

We arrived here just before the new year and this was our new years day dinner...cornish game hen, whipped potatoes, AND black-eyed peas.

Getting here at this time was pretty laid back what with most of the staff taking vacation mixed with the extra holidays...we worked only four hours...but this week we really got going.

Our home on wheels is the first one as you enter the volunteer campground. Each couple has their own government truck to use while on the job.

Headquarters are located in what once was used as a school and seminary retreat center for the Holy Redeemer Church.

In 1940, Governor Richard Leche lived here on the grounds and the place was known as Bayou Gardens for all the camellias, over 400 species, that were planted.

It is a wonderful, beautiful, and serene place with many nice trails to walk and contemplate.

The governors old house is now our law enforcement building, and just past that, walking the above trail, you come upon this cemetery where some of the priests are buried.

This used to be the church that has been turned into the visitor center.

This should be your first stop to learn more.

There is a bookstore/gift shop and many nice displays.

One of our duties here is to keep this old fountain running and free of leaves...a nice place to relax and savor the beauty.

Our first day this week was spent with this group picking up garbage. We did this for a few hours, then went on our way to fill brochures at Bayou Sauvage and while there we pick up more trash.

This is how much we helped with before we left.

There is this place called Fritchie Marsh where we had this waiting on us.

The couple that just left was supposed to be keeping this place cleaned up...what do you think????

We picked up 5 bags of trash, that old wicker chair, a tire, and a car battery. The sad thing is we did not finish as the rains came and sent us away for the day.

You can see how the eight refuges are scattered around.

Refuges belong to you and me and are paid for with tax payer dollars. Please support these refuges and get out to enjoy them. 

Until next time...


  1. Interesting.... Wonder why the last volunteers didn't pick up that stuff... or was it dumped after they left? At any rate, I think this Refuge has a great couple to take over... bet it will be meticulous soon! Don't think this is one we've ever visited, but it sure looks like a challenge to me ;-)

    1. They just left!!! I don't think they ever checked this place.

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  2. I visited there several times when the camellias were in bloom. It was a doable drive from Mississippi Sandhill Crane refuge.

  3. Looks like a beautiful place to spend your winter. I guess some people just don't think picking up trash is anything they are willing to do.

  4. Well we don't mind. It sure makes the place look better.

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  6. Brings back lots of good memories! I loved that volunteer spot! Byron is retired now but he was a great volunteer coordinator!

  7. Love seeing these pictures. I grew up in a Redemptorist parish in Baton Rouge and was lucky to have attended an ordination and a number of retreats at Holy Redeemer as a teenager. Even did my pre-Cana counseling sessions fishing these bayous with the late Fr. Tim Kerner.