As home to the city of Monroe and wildlife refuges, Ouachita Parish can accommodate both the city slicker and the outdoorsman. Founded by French settlers and built on enormous natural gas discoveries in the area during the 20th century, the city of Monroe (originally Fort Miro) contains a historic area and offers family-friendly attractions such as the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo and the Masur Museum of Art. There’s also the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens, built in 1913 on a fortune made from bottling Coca-Cola. Ouachita Parish is named for the winding river that runs through it. Appropriately, the parish contains many natural wonderlands such as the Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, part of the D’Arbonne National Wildlife Refuge, the Cheniere Fish and Game Preserve, and the Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area. In other words, there are countless opportunities for hunters, anglers and hikers to follow their bliss.