IYP 2004-2014: Conservation Parks
Blackwater Conservation Area
Total Project Cost: $64,000
Blackwater Conservation Area opened in 2002 and is one of BREC's renowned conservation areas. The Comite River traverses along the parks’ western edge. This naturalized recreational site offers two large fishing lakes, nature trails and pavilion with restrooms. Recent additions include a visitor clean up station, ADA accessible concrete pathway leading to an accessible fishing pier with benches and Cypress Trees were planted. BREC continues to preserve the local habitat through invasive species removal and native tree plantings with the help of volunteers and local organizations.
Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
Total Project Cost: $1,925,000
Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is a 103 acre facility dedicated to conservation, education, recreation and tourism. It houses an award-winning, 9500-square-foot building filled with live animal exhibits, photographs and natural artifacts. To expand programming at the facility additional land adjacent to the site was procured in 2009. The existing building was repurposed as BBS Education and Conference Center. The facility contains multipurpose rooms, an assembly area, an area for overnight and extended stay educational programs, ample storage for art and educational supplies, a kitchen, and offices. The interior classroom and work space was coordinated with an exterior classroom/work area. The building is being carefully integrated with the overall Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center Master Plan.
Comite River Park
Total Project Cost: $40,000
Comite River Park located south of Hooper Road near Blackwater Conservation Area is also a conservation park. The naturalized recreational site adjacent to the Comite River features unique hilly terrain which makes a popular spot for riders to traverse 5 miles of mountain bike trails. Recent additions include a bicycle cleaning station, ADA accessible pavilion, new trail signage, and improved parking area. BREC continues to preserve the local habitat through invasive species removal and native tree plantings with the help of volunteers and local organizations.
Frenchtown Road Conservation Area
Total Project Cost: $1,540,000
Frenchtown Road Conservation Area or "The Land Between The Rivers" is the largest Park and the largest Conservation Area currently operated by BREC. It is 496 acres of Bottomland Hardwood Forest including Small Stream Forest and Spruce Pine Hardwood? Flatwood Forest habitat; both of which are locally and globally ranked as rare or imperiled habitats. The property is home to a diverse spread of flora and fauna including several species of state conservation concern and countless migratory birds. Frenchtown currently has over 3 miles of trails which wind around the north and central parts of the park including access to the Amite River Beach, several Amite River overlooks and access to countless Cypress?Tupelo sloughs. Basic signage directs visitors around the park’s hiking trails. More trails and amenities will be developed when the Park Master Plan is finalized.
Tristan Avenue Park
Total Project Cost: $3,000
Tristan Avenue Park is now a Conservation Area. In 2010, the antiquated play equipment was removed to allow the site to return to its natural state. The park’s entrance is located at the end of Tristian Avenue in Baker and has a BREC signage, a picnic table, and a small grassy area set on the edge of the woodlands. The 32.6 acre site features bottomland hardwood forest that is fairly mature with some moderately large magnolia and beech trees that backs up to White’s Bayou.