Each autumn, as part of National Wildlife Week, the Southeast Louisiana Wildlife Refuge hosts Wild Things, a free one-day celebration highlighting native species of the Southeast Louisiana region. The interactive festival serves the purpose of engaging the community in wildlife conservation. It is held at the refuge itself, in Lacombe, and include activities such as archery; line casting; pontoon and hay rides; live music; an art contest; and animals exhibitions featuring native Southeast Louisiana species such as snakes bob cats, gofer tortoise, owls, red fox, alligators, beehives, tarantulas.
The Wild Things art contest, which spans two mediums (drawing and painting) and five age groups (from 5 – 18 years) functions “as a way to encourage youth to get engaged with nature through art,” says Louisiana Wildlife Park Ranger and Education Outreach Specialist Diane Barth.
Ashley Doucet, a film student in the Department of Film and Theatre at the University of New Orleans, recently spoke with Barth about the annual celebration.