New Member Spotlight - July 2017
New Orleans, Louisiana
Audubon Nature Institute has a way of tucking itself into many an unexpected corner of New Orleans. The family of museums and parks has locations all over the city, even in some places one would never guess—like the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in the French Quarter. The Institute began with historic Audubon Park, a recreational park established in the 1800s. Since then it has expanded to include the Audubon Zoo, a wilderness park, a giant screen theater, a butterfly garden, and more. More than 3 million people visit the institute’s facilities every year. “Our collection of museums, parks, and research facilities are dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature,’’ says Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. “We are happy to join with IAAPA and its members to fulfill that commitment through live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discoveries.’’
Audubon Nature Institute has a number of diverse facilities, including:
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas—More than 10,000 animals representing the underwater world from the Caribbean to the Amazon rainforest and the Mississippi River live in the aquarium.
Audubon Zoo—The zoo began with a single bird enclosure and has grown into 50 acres of landscaped gardens, home to 1,500 animals. It also features Cool Zoo, which offers a splash park and lazy river, and the only urban swamp in the world.
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium—This museum is dedicated to everything insectoid: from where they live to their life cycles. Attractions feature giant animatronic bugs, special sound and light effects, and an Asia-inspired butterfly garden.
Entergy Giant Screen Theater—How giant is the Entergy Giant Screen Theater? The screen stands five-and-a-half-stories tall—that’s three times the size of a normal movie screen. The theater shows a mix of feature films and educational programming.
Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center—Situated on 1,200 acres along the Mississippi River, the center works to boost the populations of disappearing animal species.
Audubon Park—Originally part of a plantation that was the site of the 1884 World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, the park is 400 acres of gardens, lagoons, and live oak trees.
Woldenberg Riverfront Park—This park is home to the aquarium and theater, as well as 17 acres of green space and open-air concert venues.
Audubon Louisiana Nature Center—The nature center, which has been closed due to damage from Hurricane Katrina, is scheduled to reopen later this summer following a nearly $10 million restoration. Phase 1 of the restoration will revive some of the facility’s most popular features, including a planetarium, classrooms, nature trails, and education exhibits.