Work began on the Environmental Education Center, previously the Girl Scout camp, Windywood, three years ago after it was acquired through the Louisiana 4-H Foundation.
A combination of funds and work done by the Louisiana National Guard, including excavation of a 1-acre pond, made the facility possible.
Bill Richardson, LSU AgCenter chancellor, allocated money to start construction, said Kim Landry, camp director.
“We leveraged the funding we had for the property with grants from the NRA, Safari Club International - Louisiana Chapter, Wildlife & Fisheries and individual donors to construct the shooting ranges and obtain the necessary equipment for shooting sports,” Landry said.
The Environmental Educational Center building has a capacity for 125 people with four classrooms and a wet lab for experiments.
“The campers use this space in the summer to study the wetlands plants and any interesting bugs or animals they discover in the surrounding wetland area and pond,” Landry said. They also use it for Hunter’s Safety Certification classes.
The center includes a skeet range, rifle range, archery range and ATV safety course, which can be used for competitions. The 1-acre pond is used for fishing instruction and boater safety.
She said a Victory Garden has been developed on the Windywood property with a federal grant. “This allowed us to have a gardening track during the summer,” Landry said.
Students learn the importance of agriculture and healthy living and what is needed to make a garden sustainable, she said.