Tuten Park nature trails re-open after more than a decade

Updated: Jun. 16, 2019 at 4:39 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - This weekend marks he re-opening of the Tuten Park trails and nature sanctuary.

The gates at Tuten Park have been closed for nearly 12 years, according to Irvin Louque, the City of Lake Charles Parks Program Manager.

“It closed in 2007 we lost a lot of canopy after Hurricane Rita, which allowed a lot of sunlight to hit the ground cover, and it just got really overgrown," Louque said.

Four years ago, community partners began the process of rebuilding the trails. Now, you can enjoy 4,000 ft. of new nature trails, an outdoor classroom, Cajun Prairie restoration, a wildlife pond and 14 acres of habitat set aside for wildlife.

Louque said the restoration is not only good for the wildlife, but also for everyone coming out to enjoy it.

“With how busy all of our lives are, it’s really good for our mental health and well being to just come out and spend some time where it’s quieter, and you’re out among trees, and nature," Louque said.

That draw had people already hitting the trails over the weekend, excited to experience a piece of nature in the midst of a growing city.

“Come here for your health," Willis Hoffpauir, a park goer, said. "If city living is too stressful for you, you don’t have far to go to get away. I mean, we can barely hear traffic on Nelson Road, the trees are a great buffer, it’s cooler out here under the shade.”

The park features monthly bird walks on the first Friday of every month at 9 a.m.

There will also be a Pollinator BioBlitz from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on June 21.

Tuten Park is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. until 7 p.m.

The park is closed on Monday.

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