Feds to help with Teche paddle trail

By Ken Grissom

t_news@bellsouth.net

Breaux Bridge – The planning resources of the National Park Service are being brought to bear on a proposal to create a paddle trail on Bayou Teche.

Also partnering on the project, which could include signs, maps and infrastructure like landings and campgrounds, is the Atchafalaya Trace Commission.

Stacy Palmer, who works out of the National Park Service office in New Orleans, told a group of “stakeholders” here Monday that she can help with planning and look for grants.

Debra Credeur of the Atchafalaya Trace Commission, a state panel that oversees the 14-parish Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, said her organization would also put its prestige and knowhow behind developing the trail.

Attending the meeting were Kristen Kordecki, watershed coordinator with the Acadiana Resource and Development Council, St. Martin Parish tourism director Dona Richard, Ray Pellerin of the Breaux Bridge Kiwanis Club, Port Barre Mayor Gil Savoy, Amy Liuzza and Amy Anaya of Pack and Paddle, Jennifer Ritter of the Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism at UL, and Frank Dupuis, owner of The Coffee Break.

Palmer stressed that the Park Service would not take over planning or constructing the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail but that it would help local interests with resources like landscape architects and in finding and securing grant money to help.

Credeur said the emphasis of the National Heritage Area is to link all the parishes with hiking, biking and paddle trails and other features that emphasize the cultural and historical resources of the region.

More meetings are planning in the near future.

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