Nature Conservancy visitor center opens at Lake Martin

by Mary Tutwiler

The Louisiana Nature Conservancy opened the doors of its new visitor center at the Cypress Island Preserve this week.

The building by architect Eddie Cazayoux is designed to be energy efficient; the outbuildings are almost entirely passive solar constructions. The opening coincides with the population of the ibis and egret rookery at Lake Martin.

"You should come see it right now," says Kacy Kobrin, Cypress Island program manager. "Spring has sprung at Lake Martin. The rookery is in full bloom as thousands of Great Egrets tend to their nests, several pairs of Roseate Spoonbills may be seen from the road, and hundreds of pairs of the 'little' birds Little Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Tricolored Herons are engaged in courtship display and nest building."

In addition to the visitor and information center, there are bathrooms and a picnic pavilion, as well as a boardwalk that extends out into Lake Martin. Hours are 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. on weekends, and will be expanding as the season goes on. For more information, call 342-2475.

(Photo by Charles Bush)