Bernard Parish is located just five miles from downtown New
Orleans with easy access to all that the city offers, St.
Bernard has much to offer on it's own as a place to live or visit.
St. Bernard has a rich history with it's most famous occurrence being the
site of the Battle of New Orleans which effectively ended the War of 1812.
Approximately two-thirds of
the Parish is surrounded by water and it consists mostly of
marshlands in one of the largest and richest wetland ecosystems in North
America. Portions of the parish adjacent to New Orleans along the banks of
the Mississippi River and within current levee systems are where urbanized
portions of the parish are today.
For most of it's history St.
Bernard culture, lifestyle and economy was primarily associated with
wildlife, fisheries and agriculture due to its unique environment. As New
Orleans developed, it's location adjacent to New Orleans caused it to also
change with expansion of industry and suburbanization into St. Bernard
Parish beginning in the 1940's.
Neighborhoods developed in the
upper portion of the parish in communities such as Arabi, Chalmette,
Meraux, Violet and Poydras. This contrasted with the
more traditional tranquil rural settings of lower St. Bernard which was
characterized by life along the bayous and marshes in communities such as
Reggio, Yscloskey, Hopedale, Verret, Shell Beach and Delacroix which
housed descendants of St. Bernard's first settlers, the Isleneos
from the Canary Islands (see history).
St. Bernard Parish is accessed by multiple
modes of transportation.. Louisiana Highway 46 (St. Bernard Highway)
and Louisiana Highway 39 (Judge Perez Drive) are the main arteries through
St. Bernard beginning at it's boundary with the City of New Orleans and
continuing to the lower portion of the parish. Louisiana
Highway 47 (Paris Road) begins at the Mississippi River where it provides
access to a automobile ferry that provides for crossing the Mississippi
River to Algiers on the west bank of the river. Paris Road continues
to the north into eastern New Orleans where it becomes Interstate 510
. It intersects with Interstate 10 which is a major east west route
across the southern portion of the United States from Los Angeles,
California to Jacksonville, Florida. St. Bernard has extensive river
frontage along the Mississippi River from its western border with New
Orleans to its boundary with the east bank portion of Plaquemines Parish
at Caernarvon. St. Bernard has railroad access along St. Bernard
Highway and portions of the riverfront.
The majority of commercial
development in St. Bernard occurs along Judge Perez Drive, St. Bernard Highway and
Paris Road. Several major shopping centers can be found along these
routes primarily in Arabi, Chalmette and Meraux. Industrial
development is predominately located between the River and St. Bernard
Highway where St. Bernard's Port area and major refining operations such
as the American Sugar Refinery and Exxon Mobil
are located. Other industrial parks are located in areas such as
upper portions of Paris Road.
Bernard's economy has a mix of industrial base along with it's
historic agricultural and fisheries economy. wholesale and
retail trade, government services, and contract construction are also
major economic contributors. A majority of St.
Bernard's population is employed in the city of New Orleans
and other portions of the metro area.
Government in St.
Bernard Parish is provided by a parish council with seven district council
members and a council president elected parishwide.
In addition to its regulatory functions, the parish provides local
services including water, sewer, drainage, parks and recreation and fire
protection. An elected sheriff directs the police department. A District
Attorney and Judges are elected parishwide. St. Bernard has one of
the lowest crime rate of any parish in
is recognized as being vital to be economic and cultural growth of the
parish. St. Bernard Parish public schools are among the best in the metro area and above the state
average according to statewide standardized
tests indicate. Nunez Community College in St. Bernard Parish is
ís only fully accredited combined community college and vo-tech
St. Bernard has been without a hospital since Katrina destroyed the
228 bed Chalmette Medical Center in 2005. A new hospital,
St. Bernard Parish
Hospital, an 11,000 sq. ft. facility with 40 beds is set to open in
2013. Ambulance Service is provided by private providers
contracted by the parish accessed through available 911 service.
Art and entertainment are
available in a number of forms. A multi-screen movie theatre
operates in Chalmette offering the latest movie releases. The St.
Bernard Civic Center hosts many performing arts events, shows and
displays. Several local art organizations host annual events
at the Civic Center and adjacent facilities. Plays are performed by
several local theatre groups throughout the year.
St. Bernard Parish is a
sportsman's paradise offering some of the best fishing and hunting in the
country. Boaters, skiers, anglers and hunters are served by
many marinas and many public boat launches.
Over 20 public parks run are
located in St. Bernard including community tennis courts and ball fields
which are also available. The parish's recreation department and various
booster clubs provide programs in all sports which are available
Sidney Torres Park located
behind the Civic Center along Jean Laffite
Parkway is approximately 20 acres and includes a lagoon, a jogging path,
and playgrounds. Picnic tables, restrooms and a covered pavilion offer an
ideal setting for family outings. A recent addition to the park is a
children's playground and amphitheater built entirely by volunteers with
privately raised funds. Val Riess Park located at end of Palmisano
Blvd is approximately 23 Acres in area, has a 1 mile nature trail, a
picnic area, playground, and sports fields.
Bernard State Park provides outdoor recreation and camping on a
358-acre site just 18 miles away from New Orleans' French Quarter.
Bernard Parish Data and Information (Greater New Orleans Community Data
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