Iris Planting/Bayou Cleanup Oct. 1

Come on out to New Iberia City Park on Saturday, Oct. 1, for iris planting in partnership with the Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative and some bayou cleanup.

For the second year in a row, the Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative (LICI) and the TECHE Project are partnering to plant native wetlands plants along a stretch of Bayou Teche shoreline. Concrete rip-rap has been removed from a section of the bayou’s bank for this demonstration project.
The purpose of the project is to show landowners along the bayou that native plants can be used to stabilize the shoreline instead of rip-rap. Of course, the project will also beautify this section of City Park and Bayou Teche and eliminate any trash in this area.

I. giganticaerulea irises, a native species of Louisiana iris that grows in the swamps and marshes south of New Iberia, will be used in the project. This will help achieve our goal of introducing to the public this wonderful native plant, which is the state wildflower of Louisiana.

Rubber rain boots are recommended for volunteers. Please bring a long-handled shovel if you have one. Bottled water will be supplied. There are nearby bathrooms in the park.

If you’d like to participate, send an email to licisaveirises@gmail.com.

Save the Date for Shake Your Trail Feather on Oct. 22

The TECHE Project is proud to announce the 11th Annual “Shake Your Trail Feather” Festival: a celebration of the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail.

The Shake Your Trail Feather event is both a “Paddle Parade” and a “Party in the Parc” with food and live music on Oct. 22, 2022. The Paddle Parade will start at Poche’s Country Club at 10 a.m. and go 6.5 miles to Lil’s on the Teche lounge south of Breaux Bridge. For those wishing to paddle a shorter distance, paddlers can pull out at Parc des Ponts in Breaux Bridge after 4.5 miles. The whacky, feather-clad Paddle Parade (no motorized boats, please) will float down Bayou Teche accompanied by live music with two Cajun bands playing on decorated barges. The TECHE Project also encourages folks living on the bayou to join the fun by watching from the bank.

Click here to register for the paddle on Eventbrite.

After the parade, a celebration will take place at Parc des Ponts in Breaux Bridge. Anyone who is interested can come usher in the paddlers and show their support for the bayou. Starting at 11:30 a.m., there will be food vendors, libations, merchandise and kids’ activities. Live music with Horace Trahan and the Ossun Express will be playing on the stage from noon to 2 p.m. Other event highlights include prizes for those dressed as birds and the ever-popular raffle of a kayak donated by Pack and Paddle at 2 p.m.

Support us for SOLA Giving Day

We participated in the Community Foundation of Acadiana’s SOLA Giving Day for the first time last year and raised $3,000, so we thought we’d try it again this year. We’re increasing our goal to $5,000 and focusing on youth ecological education, recreation and paddling for 2022.

Our planned “Geaux Paddle” program will provide paddling opportunities and education about littering and water quality on Bayou Teche. The goal of Geaux Paddle is to get kids ages 10-14 who have never paddled comfortable with paddling and then out enjoying Bayou Teche. Our hope is that these kids will take what they learn back to their families, friends and community and, ultimately, help make Bayou Teche a cleaner and healthier waterway.

CLICK HERE TO GIVE AND SUPPORT OUR MISSION ON BAYOU TECHE!

Our end goal is to get Bayou Teche removed from the state’s impaired waterways list. Trash pickup and youth education about the harmful effects of littering is an important step toward this goal. After the initial launch of Geaux Paddle in New Iberia, we will move the program up and down the bayou to St. Landry, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes to reach more children and make an impact on the entire 135-mile bayou and the 16 Trail Towns we serve.

We are accepting donations now leading up to the BIG DAY OF GIVING on May 5. We’ll take any amount, large or small, and appreciate all of our loyal supporters! Please tell your friends and family about this opportunity to support our mission.

Spring Trash Bash

Save the date and help us clean up the bayou on May 21. We will be having our annual Spring Trash Bash at the Jeanerette Trailhead (Viator Park) from 9-11:30 that morning. Come on out and help pick up trash, either by kayak, boat or land. If you’d like to participate, please email us at techeproject@gmail.com.

Love the Boot With Us

Louisiana’s “Love The Boot Week” is April 18-24, 2022. This is the week we come together to show our love for our state. Love the Boot Week is dedicated to cleanup and beautification events in all 64 parishes. Together we can take positive steps to create a better life for all of us and protect our state from litter. Join The TECHE Project as we tackle the litter issue on the ONLY National Water Trail in Louisiana—the BAYOU TECHE!

Council member Margaret Simon and her husband Jeff picked up trash one afternoon on Bayou Teche.

During this week, we are encouraging our members (and future members) who live along the bayou to pick up trash from their kayak or party barge, plant their bank-line or just clean the bank-line of unsightly garbage. Send us photos of your work to techeproject@gmail.com so we can post on our social media.

You can also join us on April 18 to pick up trash between Leonville and Arnaudville, ending at Bayou Teche Brewing for a nice, cold beer!

New Iberia Dock Makes 13

Thanks to a state parks grant secured by the city of New Iberia, an official dock at 108 Duperier Ave. will be opening soon for paddlers. This makes 13 official floating docks along the Bayou Teche National Water and Paddle Trail, with only two more to go! The TECHE Project recently received good news about grant funding for the last two docks, and we expect to have them in place in 2023.

An Information Kiosk installed by The TECHE Project can also be found at the dock site and features stories about the Civil War, bayou transportation, Bunk Johnson, the World Championship Gumbo Cookoff and lots more.

New Iberia’s dock is only part of the city’s plans for providing more access to Bayou Teche. A kayak park, marina and additional boat slips along the bayou are all in the city’s plans for the future.

Download our 2021 Annual Report

We released our Annual Report for 2021 at our Annual Membership Banquet in New Iberia on March 26. Members and others interested in finding out more about our accomplishments over the past year and what’s coming in 2022 can download the report here.

Annual Membership Banquet Postponed to March 26

Our Annual Membership Banquet at the Sliman Theater in New Iberia has been postponed from Feb. 12 to March 26 due to COVID concerns. The event from 4-8 p.m. will include speaker Anne Darrah on the Lil’ Brooklyn Neighborhood Initiative in New Iberia, dinner, drinks, music and an update on our activities over the past year. Attendees will also have the opportunity to tour the Bayou Teche Museum next door to the Sliman Theater. Members get in free, and others can sign up for a membership at the door, starting at $20. We hope to see everyone on March 26!

New Iberia Dock Site Under Construction

Construction has commenced on our floating dock site in New Iberia. The concrete is expected to be poured this week, with dock delivery estimated for February. This dock will take our total to 13, with only two more to go! Find our full list of dock locations here.

Wood Duck Management Workshop to be held in Arnaudville Jan. 15

We will be holding a Wood Duck Management Workshop at Bayou Teche Brewing (1106 Hwy. 347/Bushville Hwy.) on January 15 from 9-11:30 a.m. The focus is on the ecology and rearing of wood ducks. Nest boxes will be available for sale, and Bayou Teche Paddle Trail mile signs are available for those program participants on Bayou Teche. The target audience is those living on Bayou Teche; however, anyone who is interested in rearing wood ducks is welcome to attend. TECHE Project members and current Wood Duck Box Program participants get in free. For others, the cost is $5. We hope to see you there!