This Gateway into the City of Lafayette is located in the middle of the Evangeline Thruway at Willow Street. The certification effort was led by civic leader and beautification advocate Denise Lanclos and Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission President and CEO Ben Berthelot. Denise was motivated to seek certification after hearing about the Louisiana Certified Habitat program at a Keep Louisiana Beautiful meeting earlier this year.
The Lafayette Visitors Center is a managed wetland with boardwalks that showcase our natural heritage. The native landscape was originally designed in the 1990s by Bill Fontenot and for many years maintained by horticulturist Jackie Carlisi. Baldcypress and palmetto dominate the water's edge, with beautyberry, Turks cap and wax myrtle in the understory. Non-native camellias, azaleas mix with native magnolia and live oaks. The visitor center is the first to be certified in Acadiana and possibly the state.
Thank you, Denise and Ben, for greauxing native!