Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge opened in July 1997, and Friends of Black Bayou group came into existence in August 1997.
The Refuge consists of 4,500 acres including a 1,700-acre lake and beautiful wetlands. The Visitors’ Center was originally a planter’s home built in the 1880s and renovated by the Friends of Black Bayou. photos>
The Conservation Learning Center is a building separate from the Visitor Center, which provides excellent wildlife and conservation education to the public. Besides a well-equipped classroom, there are live wildlife exhibits, including aquariums with some of the area's freshwater fish like bream, white perch, gar, and catfish. There are also live snakes in safe displays, so people can learn about snakes in safety. There are usually four or five small alligators and turtles in the center of the room, in an enclosure that is safe for visitors AND for the animals.
Some of the wildlife opportunities Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge:
a Visitor Center with excellent interactive displays and a gift shop; Conservation Learning Center, complete with educational classrooms; a Wetlands Art Project, a Birdwatching/Photography Blind,a 400-foot wildlife observation pier, an observation deck, a mile-long nature trail and boardwalk through wetlands, arboretum, amphitheater,wildflower and prairie area with concrete walkways,and many other opportunities for wildlife observation, fishing, and hunting.
Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located 7 miles north of I-20, about 1.5 miles north of CenturyLink headquarters, off US Hwy 165.