About Monroe

Welcome to the Twin Cities of Monroe and West Monroe, Louisiana. Hopefully during your visit you can experience some of the local history and flavor and see why we consider our Twin Cities a special place.

Ouachita Parish is located in northeastern Louisiana approximately halfway between New Orleans and Memphis. The Ouachita River runs through the Twin Cities. On its east bank is Monroe, with approximately 54,000 residents and encompassing 31.2 square miles. On the west bank, West Monroe encompasses 7 square miles and has approximately 15,000 residents. The parish is 643 square miles in size and has a population of almost 150,000.

The discovery of natural gas in Ouachita Parish in 1915 contributed greatly to the economy of the area. It became known as the Natural Gas Capitol of the World.

Industry in the Twin Cities area is well balanced and diversified. Among the major employers are Graphic Packaging, paperboard and container manufacturers, CenturyTel, telephone communications, Chase Home Mortgage and Angus-Dow Chemical.

The Monroe-West Monroe area is a medical hub for a 16- parish radius serving 442,000 people. Over 200 physicians and 71 dentists work with many people and other para-medical health professionals and health care organizations. There are eight hospitals and specialty centers in the area.

The Twin Cities' two school systems, Monroe City and Ouachita Parish, operate elementary schools, junior and high schools. More than 28,000 students attend the two systems.

There are several private and denominational schools in the Monroe-West Monroe area, offering classes from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is a four- year university with an enrollment of more than 8,000 students. ULM offers 85 degreed programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels through its colleges of Business Administration, Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Development, the College of Pharmacy and Graduate School. Louisiana Delta Community College has a growing enrollment and offers several associate degrees, including a program in process technology. Louisiana Technical College has a campus in Ouachita Parish that offers numerous programs in the trades, like construction, office systems, electrician and nursing.

Each city has its own Mayor-Council form of government composed of a mayor and five councilmen or aldermen. Ouachita Parish business is conducted through the Ouachita Parish Police Jury.

Four television stations and more than a dozen regional AM and FM radio stations serve the Twin Cities. Four newspapers also serve the area.

The Monroe Regional Airport has daily flights from four airlines Delta, Northwest Airlink, Continental and American Airline.

For arts and theater enthusiasts the Twin Cities offers Masur Museum of Art; Twin City Ballet Company; Monroe Symphony Orchestra; Madrigal Dinners; Brown Bag Concerts and University of Louisiana at Monroe Concert Series. The Strauss Playhouse offers regular performances throughout the year and Impresario's Choice offers a Broadway Series at the Monroe Civic Center. The Monroe Civic Center has a variety of performances and concerts each year.

There are many points of interest that draw visitors to the area. Monroe is the birthplace of Delta Airlines and was the first place west of the Mississippi to bottle Coca-Cola. The oldest human dwelling site in North America, Poverty Point, is located near the Twin Cities.

In addition to sampling excellent food and experiencing true hospitality, visitors can enjoy sightseeing in the Twin Cities. Some favorite stops include Antique Alley and the Historic Cotton Port District; Emy-Lou Biedenharn Foundation which includes the Bible Research Museum, the Biedenharn Home and the Elsong Garden and Conservatory, Layton Castle, Kiroli Park; Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo; Aviation Historical Museum of Louisiana, Inc. and Pecanland Mall.

Known throughout the country as Sportsman's Paradise, northeast Louisiana boasts of many outdoor and recreational facilities. Set amidst pinewood forests, Spanish moss-laden oaks, and fish-filled lakes, our landscape is picturesque. The Ouachita River, rated by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful rivers in the world is a source for activities from boating to water-skiing and bass fishing.

Whether you decide to visit for a short time or stay for a while, we hope your experience in the Twin Cities gives you fond memories for a lifetime of our special place