Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government received a check for $306,000 at last night’s council meeting.
South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center (SLWDC) donated funds to match those required by the State Capital Outlay program. The organization secured $990,000 in Capital Outlay Funds to build Phase 1 of its educational campus on land leased to it by Terrebonne Parish. The property is located next to the Courtyard Marriott across from the Main Branch Library.
“It is because of our hard working volunteers and the generous donors to our capital campaign that we are able to present this check to the Parish,” said Jonathan Foret, Wetlands Discovery Center Executive Director.
SLWDC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that educates students on issues related to coastal land loss. With a four member staff and a 15 member board of directors, the Discovery Center currently produces nine different educational programs that work to build more resilient communities for a stronger Terrebonne Parish.
As per state law, there must be a 25 percent cash match to access the Capital Outlay funds, which means that $247,500 was needed to move forward with the project. SLWDC presented a check for a total of $306,000 which includes an additional $58,500 more than the required amount.
Councilman Darrin Guidry said he was a member of the Terrebonne Economic Development Association (TEDA) when the Marriott sought to purchase the property in question. According to Guidry, TEDA denied the purchase because the museum sought it.
“One of our members, and I won’t say who, talked to them and said ‘we’re gonna put in the contract a first right of refusal because they’ll never raise that money,'” said Guidry. “So you proved that member wrong, so good job.”
SLWDC funds its programs by securing multiple grants from foundations and businesses, and through multiple fundraisers, with its most popular and successful fundraiser being the Rougarou Fest.
For more information about the Wetlands Discovery Center or its programs, please visit www.slwdc.org or call (985) 580-7289.