Nelson Road Park in Lake Charles Louisiana is another masterpiece of greening a metropolitan park. Tuten-Box Park has a long history and is one of the favorite destinations for tourists, but many residents of Lake Charles still long to have a quiet place where they can relax and enjoy nature without noisy neighbors. The original mission of the Tuten-Box Park restoration is to create a large wooded woodland park within the center of an increasingly modernized downtown area that encourages interaction with nature. As such, every Friday, peaceful volunteers gather at the park’s south end for a picnic and a guided tour of the area. See more here.

The park features walking paths through the woods that follow the shoreline of Lake Charles’ Nelis-St. Mary’s River. There you will see spectacular scenery and enjoy watching the birds, reptiles, mammals, and insects that call this area home. In addition to the nature trails, the park has shade exhibits, picnic tables, a basketball court, boating areas, a swimming pool, a playground area, restrooms, concessions, an observation tower, and a concession stand. Of course, the highlight of any visit to Tuten-BoxPark is the Tuten Family Tree Site, a replica of the Mayan village of Tenochtitlan that resides just above the forest canopy. Along with hand-carved trees and rock formations, the site allows visitors to contemplate the cultural and archaeological significance of the area’s early inhabitants. See here for information about Have A Day Out With Your Family at The Children’s Museum in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

For those interested in history and in preserving the past, Tuten-Box Park offers a special educational program in cooperation with the Louisiana State University Libraries. During this two-week summer program, low-income adults are invited to partake in Hands-on Learning workshops that focus on native habitats, conservation, endangered species, endangered ecosystems, endangered reptiles and mammals, archeology, American Indian culture, and water rights. Those who participate will also have the opportunity to photograph natural habitat specimens and take part in special hands-on activities. The Louisiana State University Libraries sponsors the Hands-On Learning Summer Program, which benefits the Louisiana State University Libraries’ Special Collections Program and is one of many community partnerships supported by the Louisiana State University Libraries’ Nellie O’Rourke Graduate School.