Each of the 16 Bayou Teche National Water Trail towns will have a new means of telling their special stories.

Leonville, LA, August 1, 2019:  The TECHE Project, St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission, SLEMCO and the Town of Leonville will unveil the information kiosk for Leonville Park and the Bayou Teche National Water and Paddle Trail at a special 10:00AM public ceremony on Tuesday, August 13 at Leonville Park, Mistric Street, Leonville, LA.  Information kiosks will be placed at each of the 16 trailheads along Bayou Teche, the Lower Atchafalaya River, and the Atchafalaya River from Port Barre to Berwick.  These kiosks will orient water and land trail users to the Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya River and present the special stories of the 16 trail communities.

The TECHE Project celebrated its 10-year anniversary of being the all-volunteer, non-profit organization representing the many assets of the Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya River.  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.

The St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission and SLEMCO are the primary sponsors for the Leonville Bayou Teche information kiosk.  “The Bayou Teche National Water and Paddle Trail is one of the many important and active attractions for St. Landry Parish.” says Tourist Commission Executive Director Herman Fuselier.  Likewise, SLEMCO Economic Development Specialist Jody Soileau observes “The information kiosks are important communication tools for the intrinsic resources of the Acadiana region.  SLEMCO is pleased to help support the benefits of the Teche.”  The Town of Leonville along with all water users will maintain the floating dock and the kiosk.

Installing the floating docks with federal and state funding and the information kiosks with local sponsorships in the 16 bayou and river towns is a major part of the TECHE Project’s ‘TECHE Renaissance’ initiative comprised of programs to increase the recreational use of the waterways and to enrich the boater’s enjoyment.

“Because it is one of the early information kiosks 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 water trail towns of what is coming to their community very soon.”

The information kiosk measures 4 feet wide by 5 ½ feet tall and holds two panels: an orientation panel and a community panel.  The orientation panel depicts a waterway-long map, safety tips, and an inset map of each trail town.  The community panel presents stories about the locality, the waterway, wildlife and native plants, and helpful advice for exploring Bayou Teche and Lower Atchafalaya corridor.

“For many towns along the Teche and Lower Atchafalaya, these information kiosks serve 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 people to learn and do more in each town and all along the waterway.”