OUR 100 YEAR COMMITMENT
To mark the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, the Evangeline Area Council, BSA made a lasting commitment to the Atchafalaya Swamp as its service project for the next 100 years. What began as a simple tree planting to commemorate Scouting’s Centennial in 2010 has quickly transformed into a comprehensive plan to engage Scouts, schools, and the public in a meaningful effort to preserve, protect and promote the Atchafalaya Swamp.
Swamp Base has committed itself to take an active role in the future advancement of this incredible resource, and has identified that the Atchafalaya is an important environment in which to participate, performing high adventure programs and activities, learning about the local environment and culture, conducting conservation based “Good Turns,” and also as an area to build upon the traditional values set forth by the Boy Scouts of America.
This project marks an incredible opportunity for Scouts to set an example by becoming more involved in the swamp; to clean litter, create recreational opportunities, restore ecosystems, and bring attention nationally to Louisiana’s greatest natural asset. A series of activity pillars have been created which will challenge youth to improve and explore the area, and learn about nature in a safe and exciting outdoor laboratory.
CENTENNIAL TREE PLANTING
The first Centennial Tree Planting event was held on February 20, 2010, as the Evangeline Area Council’s focus of celebration for the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. On this Saturday in February, 1,500 Scouts and their families from across the Council planted 4,457 cypress tree seedlings near the Atchafalaya Basin Welcome Center in St. Martin Parish. To date, through annual events, the Council has planted 53,000 native trees in the Atchafalaya. The Centennial Tree Planting continues to make an impact as an annual event run by Swamp Base.
The Atchafalaya Basin Sweep is an annual trash clean-up event held by Swamp Base that aims at beautifying the waterways and access points into the Atchafalaya Swamp. The event was created as a continuation of the Evangeline Area Council’s 100 year commitment to the Atchafalaya, and is annually held in the fall when water conditions are low and litter is easier to remove.
The first Atchafalaya Basin Sweep was held on October 16, 2010 and included the removal of 45,000 lbs. of trash from the swamp through the efforts of 350 volunteers. These types of efforts continue each year. To date, the Council has removed an estimated 117,000 lbs. of trash from the Atchafalaya Swamp. This hugely important effort has begun to make noticeable impacts on the area, with less and less trash being found at many of the public boat ramps.