It is a mouthful- the J. Bennett Johnston Regional Visitor Center does not fall trippingly off the tongue, hence the shortening to the JBJ Visitor Center- but no matter the name, it is worth a visit.

JBJ Visitor Center, 700 Clyde Fant Parkway

The US Army Corps of Engineers, which owns and runs the center, has hired a new park ranger, and the center has reopened to a standard schedule, Tuesday-Saturday 10am- 4 pm.

Ranger Destiny Garcia is determined to let people know the facility is part of the downtown experience. The building sits across from the Shreveport Aquarium and shares the Clyde Fant Parkway parking lot with Sci-Port Discovery Center, putting it smack-dab in the middle of the area’s aquatic, historic and visitor traffic.

Displays inside the visitor center.

The visitor center tells the story of the Red River, and is named after the US Senator from Louisiana who made it navigable for commercial use. In addition to being a purveyor of products to a number of ports and hubs, the Red River is a mighty recreational and tourist draw in the region.

Barge on the Red River

The 8,300 SF center has a reception area, a theater with a film about the Red River and audiovisual, static and interactive exhibits. All the states in which the Red River passes- New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana- are represented. Admission to the facility and the events held there are free.

Ranger Garcia says summer camps, schools, and tour groups are welcome and encouraged to come by for free field trips. To let them know you are coming, give the center a call at 318-677-2673.