History

The Children’s Museum of St. Tammany project began as an idea and a goal of the Junior League of Greater Covington (JLGC) in 2003. JLGC initiated talks with St. Tammany Parish government and received full support from parish officials to begin research and planning a facility for the children and families of the region. Since its inception, the children’s museum project has flourished amid strong community partnerships, a dedicated volunteer base and the perseverance of a host of community leaders and supporters.

 

Early steps by JLGC included joining the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), the leading national organization for museum operations—and continued research on programming, exhibits, management and funding. They also developed a traveling educational program called “Museum Without Walls” (MWW) to introduce the children’s museum concept to the community. Following the period of initial research and planning, the project was forced to withdraw all major activity until 2007 due to Hurricane Katrina. 

 

A primary goal of the project was for JLGC to bring the museum project to a stable and self-sustaining point of operation. In 2011, CMST incorporated with the State of Louisiana and received its own 501 (c)(3) non-profit status. In recent years, a board of trustees was formed to work with a community advisory board and oversee day-to-day management of the project. Through an 18-month process, CMST applied for and received its tax-exempt status and began initial fundraising.

 

While CMST was fortunate to have land originally dedicated for the project at the Koop Drive Trailhead, it needed a more accessible location. CMST was invited by Parish President Pat Brister to participate in the newly planned Cultural Arts District in St. Tammany Parish. Located adjacent to the Colonial/Pinnacle retail property at Highway 21/I-12 and the Tchefuncte River, the Cultural Arts District plans include a performing arts center, amphitheater, nature trails and the future home of CMST.

 

CMST is currently working to complete a business and strategic plan along with a feasibility study, as a master site plan is being developed for the Cultural Arts District. Most recently, we have contracted with exhibit design firm Argyle Design, Inc. and architectural firm Fauntleroy Latham Weldon Barré (fl+WB) and have begun schematic planning for the facility. 

 

We expect 2015 to be a very full and active year as exhibit plans are finalized. Further facility planning will take place, and land clearing and infrastructure is set to begin. 

childrens museum rendering