TECHE Project to unveil new information kiosks
Breaux Bridge – The TECHE Project will reveal the first information kiosk for the Bayou Teche National Paddle Trail at a special 4 p.m. ceremony in Breaux Bridge on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at Parc des Ponts. An information kiosk will be placed at each of the 15 trailheads along Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya River from Port Barre to Patterson. These kiosks will orient trail users to the bayou and present the special stories of the 15 trail communities.
The TECHE Project is celebrating its 10 years of being the all-volunteer, non-profit organization representing the many assets of the Bayou Teche. In 2015, the TECHE Project received the exceptional designation of ‘National Water Trail’ from the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. This recognition is one of 21 such designations in the United States and the only one in Louisiana.
Since that time, the TECHE Project launched the ‘TECHE Renaissance’ comprised of various programs to increase the recreational use of the bayou and to enrich the boater’s enjoyment. Upon installing the information kiosk, the Breaux Bridge Trailhead will be the first completed trailhead replete with a floating canoe and kayak dock, public restrooms, and an information kiosk.
“Because it is the first information kiosk to be installed on the 135-mile paddle trail,” says Conni Castille, executive director of the TECHE Project, “it serves as a model for other Trail Towns.”
The information kiosk measures 4 feet wide by 5½ feet tall and holds two panels: an orientation panel and a community panel. The orientation panel depicts a bayou-long map, safety tips, and an inset map of each bayou town. The community panel presents stories about the locality, the bayou, wildlife and native plants, and helpful advice for exploring Bayou Teche and Lower Atchafalaya corridor.
“For many towns along the Teche and Lower Atchafalaya, this information kiosk serves as a primary ‘storyteller’.” says David Dahlquist, kiosk designer and TECHE Project Council member. “Our primary design objective is to provide information which is easily accessible, useful, and encourages to learn and do more in each town and all along the bayou.”
The Breaux Bridge information kiosk was funded by the St. Martin Parish Tourist Commission and St. Martin Parish Government. For the remaining 14 information kiosks, The TECHE Project is securing financial sponsorships from local governments, businesses and individuals.
The TECHE Project plans to adapt the content of the information kiosks to a digital version in multi-languages, especially French to honor our Creole and Cajun heritage. Where appropriate, the Chitimacha language will also be included.