BRECís Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
10503 North Oak Hills Parkway
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
(225) 757-8905 | General Information
(225) 757-8905 | Reservations
(225) 757-9390 | Fax
General Public Hours and Admission Rates:
- Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00am – 5:00pm;
- Sunday, noon – 5:00pm;
- Age 2 and under Free
- Ages 3-17 $2
- Ages 18-64 $3
- Ages 65 and up $2.50
- Full-time college students with university ID $2.50
School Tour Hours and Admission Rates:
- Tuesday – Friday, 9:15am – 11:15am and 11:30am – 1:30pm; $2.00 per person
- Student to Chaperone Ratio Requested: 10:1
- Advance Time Needed to Make Reservations: Two weeks
- Number of Students per Visit: Up to 120
- Suggested Length of Time for Visit: Two hours
- Handicapped Accessible: To building only
- Grade Level Appropriate: PreK – 12th
- Lunch Facilities: Vending machines are on-site and picnic areas are off-site nearby. Fast food can be found on Bluebonnet Blvd.
- Gift Shop: Yes
- Bus parking available
Tell Us About It!
Going to the Swamp? It is a good field trip idea for teachers covering Louisiana topics and life science lessons. The BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center offers a truly unique opportunity for visitors to walk through trails in a natural swamp area. BREC is Baton Rouge’s Department of Parks and Recreation. All year round there are small animals, insects, and fish that move about the waterways, treetops, and grounds as visitors walk the easy trails and boardwalks. The scenery is characteristic of this part of the country and visitors can sense the quiet beauty of this natural habitat. The Exhibit Building houses touch tables, a working bee hive, live animals exhibits, wildlife carving exhibits, and a duck decoy collection. The building is climate controlled to accommodate year-round visitation.
What Can We See and Do There?
“Oh! I saw it!” squealed a preschooler who spied a brown rabbit scamper through the brush. “Man! Did you see that?” cried a teen who watched a snake wriggle through the shallow waters below the boardwalk. Trained naturalists give walking tours through the swamp, helping students see the many life forms, both plants and animals. Within a two-hour visit, students view an orientation video, take a guided walking-tour and participate in an interactive talk about native animals in the Exhibit Building and at the wildlife pond. Instructions for self-guided tours are also available. Special topics about the swamp environment and the impact of people developing the lands nearby can be requested.
How Do We Get There?
From I-10, exit Bluebonnet Blvd. travel south. Turn right on North Oak Hills Pkwy.
Bad Weather! Now What Do We Do?
Rainy day back-up programming is available, but it is recommended that classes reschedule field trips in cases of inclement weather.
Louisiana State Educational Benchmarks and Standards
- K-4th grades: SI-E-A1; LS-E-A1-3; LS-E-B1-3; LS-E-C1-2; SE-E-A5; G-1-E1
- 5th-8th grades: LS-M-A4; LS-M-C3; LS-M-D1; SE-M-A5, 7, 9, 10
- 9th-12th grades: LS-H-C4; LS-H-D4; LS-H-E1, 3; SE-H-A3, 8; SE-H-C
What Can We Do In Class Before Our Field Trip?
Have students make a list of all of the things they know about wetlands (i.e. types of plants and animals associated with wetlands). Discuss the definition of a wetland and introduce the different types (marsh, swamp, and bog). Learn about what makes each type of wetland unique and what they all have in common. Check out books by C. C. Lockwood or Julia Simms to find pictures of the different types of wetlands located in Louisiana. Have your students share what they think they’ll see during their visit to Bluebonnet Swamp.
S-T-R-E-T-C-H Out Your Field Trip Benefits
Take a hike around the school or a nearby neighborhood looking for an area that makes good wildlife habitat. Does the area contain a lot of trash/litter? Could it use more plants or trees? Discuss what could be done to improve the quality of that habitat and get permission to make it happen. OR, find out what it would take to create an area valuable to wildlife (bird feeding area, pond, bat house, etc.) and have the students participate in building it. Have older children use the area to teach younger students about the value of wildlife habitat in urban/developed areas. Consult nature staff for additional ideas for your wildlife area or for more assessment opportunities.
Nature, habitats, green spaces, Louisiana cultural & natural history, animal behavior, adaptations, life cycles, food chains, plant/animal classification, pollution, observational skills, recycling, regional/global wetland issues, watersheds