Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, The TECHE Project has decided to put planning for the full Shake Your Trail Feather Festival on Oct. 16 on hold. We will make a decision to cancel, postpone or move forward with the event by September 24. We do, however, plan to hold the Paddle Parade from Poche Bridge to Breaux Bridge, as we believe that the paddling aspect of the event can be accomplished in a safe manner with masks and social distancing. Registration for the Paddle Parade is $10 via Eventbrite. Please check our website and social media for more updates on this event in the coming weeks.
The TECHE Project recently installed 16 information kiosks for the Bayou Teche and Lower Atchafalaya River communities in St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary parishes. The kiosk exhibit in Jeanerette City Park inspired musician Wayne “Blue” Burns to make a significant donation to the Jeanerette Museum.
Burns, a Grammy winner and acclaimed bass guitarist, will donate his bass guitar to the museum on August 11 at 11 a.m. The event is open to the public.
“Name any instrument and he can play it, and being a Grammy winner proves it,” said Elridge Little, a drummer and childhood friend of Burns since the 1960s.
Wayne Burns was born in Jeanerette and is the son of the late Frank and Vera Burns. He has played and traveled with various bands since the age of 14, including in all 50 states, as well as countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
Burns has performed with Ernie K. Doe, The Larks, Betty Wright, Buckwheat and Hitchhikers, Lil Buck Senegal, Jude Taylor and Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas. Burns’ proudest moment came in 1982 when he played bass for Clifton Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band and won the Grammy for the master-piece album “I’m Here.”
Burns is married to Pearlie Senegal Burns and they have three children, Wayne Jr., Jill Burns Bruno and Umea Burns. Burns is deeply grateful for all the opportunities and experiences he has enjoyed in the music industry. He is thankful to all the people in all the cities and countries that have welcomed him and his bass guitar.
“I’m elated for the museum to receive the donation from a living legend,” said Mona Stansbury, secretary of the museum’s board. “Mr. Burns’ guitar will be displayed in the museum’s music room.”
With amenities along the Bayou Teche National Water and Paddle Trail nearing completion, The TECHE Project has created new maps for those wanting to paddle the trail. Maps are available for each of the four parishes along the trail: St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary. Safety information and paddling tips are located on the back of each map.
This project was funded in part by a grant from the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. Maps are available at tourist and visitors’ centers in each parish, on our website HERE and Pack and Paddle. The maps are free and also downloadable and printable.
Join us at our Annual Membership Banquet being held outdoors at the beautiful Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site in St. Martinville. Registration will be from 11:30 a.m.-noon and the banquet from noon-3 p.m.
Justin Lemoine with the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area will speak about “Capitalizing on our Water Culture” during our lunch service, and Amis du Teche will be playing on the porch during the social. We will have food from Preservation in New Iberia and beer from Bayou Teche Brewing, along with a silent auction.
All members are invited to come for FREE. Not a member? You can join that day, with membership levels starting at just $20!
Do you want to see Bayou Teche become a cleaner and healthier waterway? Sure, the bayou is great for paddling and boating, but what about swimming and fishing? If The TECHE Project had its way, we would have Bayou Teche removed from the state’s “impaired waterways” list and cleared for all activities. We need your help to make that happen, though!
We are participating in the Community Foundation’s SOLA Giving Day for the first time this year. Any amount you can contribute now through May 6 will go toward our efforts to CLEAN UP BAYOU TECHE.
Early giving is happening now, and the BIG DAY is May 6. Please take a moment to donate to our efforts—large or small—and make your mark on Bayou Teche.
As our Information Kiosks go up along Bayou Teche and the Lower Atchafalaya River at each of our dock sites, you’ll find music-related information tied to the area on one side of the kiosk. It references a playlist of Bayou Teche music, which can be found below. Have a listen to the “sounds of the Teche” to enhance your experience as you explore the Bayou Teche National Water and Paddle Trail and Bayou Teche Byway.
In recognition of National Poetry Month in April and as part of an effort to revive our kids’ activities, we are announcing the Bayou-Ku Children’s Poetry Contest. Open to ages 5-12, this contest encourages kids to write a persona haiku poem about any plant or animal found along Bayou Teche. Poems are due by April 30.
Thanks to one of our newest Council members Margaret Simon for putting this contest together and agreeing to be our judge!
You can find more details about how to write the poem and submit here.
We are excited to announce that the Bayou Teche Scenic Byway received the prestigious designation of National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Administration on Feb. 16, 2021! This byway includes the Bayou Teche National Water and Paddle Trail, which The TECHE Project serves as the steward, in the heart of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. The byway winds through four parishes, including St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary.
To receive a national designation, a road must possess intrinsic qualities that are nationally significant. The road, the attractions and the amenities along the route must provide an exceptional traveling experience so recognized by travelers that they would make a drive along the highway a primary reason for their trip. These roads are considered the very best of America’s National Scenic Byways.
National designation is a high honor that will help entice more travelers to drive the routes and spend money in stores, restaurants, hotels and attractions. Bayou Teche joins 48 other byways in 28 states designated in 2021.
We issue an Annual Report each year summarizing our efforts from the previous year. Although we didn’t hold our Annual Membership Banquet in January, you can still find out what we accomplished in 2020 and about our future plans. Click the image below to download the report. .