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Faculty Create New Interpretive Panels for the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway

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Dan Burkett of the School of Architecture and Design and Jeffrey Lush of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have been designing interpretative panels for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) public lands in the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System (ABFS).

This interdisciplinary project has been a collaboration with biologists, anthropologists, and designers at JESCO Environmental & Geotechnical Services, Inc, based in South Louisiana. The art and science of interpretative services are in the combination of perspectives working together to understand and present complex systems or ideas.

The goal is to improve awareness of access throughout the public lands of Indian Bayou and South Farm, located in the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System (ABFS), while interpreting the dynamic relationships between the natural and engineered environments.

New Interpretive Panel for the Atchafalaya Welcome Center

The team collected data, photographs, and histories to craft interpretive maps, diagrams, and renderings. The result is a collection of evocative narratives and graphics which tell the story of the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System.

Seven sites located throughout the ABFS were identified as important spaces to engage and inform the public, each with a unique quality and story to tell. A site overlooking a remnant course of the Atchafalaya River confronts the changing land around us. A site placed near the engineered moist soil units presents the relationship between land use, habitat, and migratory birds. And a site where the Atchafalaya Welcome Center sits in the shadow of the elevated I-10 Basin Bridge at Butte La Rose introduces the cultural and environmental history to travelers from all around the world.

The success of the Interpretive panels could not have been possible without the insight and skill of Burkett and Lush. Their collaboration with JESCO presents the fascinating history and dynamic processes of the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System to the public today.