Robert J. Souvestre, Coolman, Denise | 1/19/2006 11:33:56 PM
The LSU AgCenter will host the 2006 Louisiana Master Gardener State Conference April 20-22 at the Holiday Inn South in Baton Rouge.
According to Bob Souvestre, the LSU AgCenter horticulturist in charge of the Louisiana Master Gardener Program, the conference in April takes the place of one originally scheduled for September, which was canceled after Hurricane Katrina struck the state.
"This year’s conference provides a comprehensive educational opportunity along with encouraging networking between individuals and parish Master Gardener programs and providing time for recognizing volunteers," Souvestre said. "It will also be used to document statewide Master Gardener program achievements."
The Master Gardener program is operated across Louisiana by the LSU AgCenter. It provides special education and training to individuals who, in turn, commit to volunteer activities that pass gardening information on to their neighbors.
This year's Master Gardener conference is following the theme, "Gardening for Health," and includes speakers such as Dr. Eva Shaw, who will be talking about Gardening Therapy; Dr. Carl Motsenbocker, who will talk about The Principles of Organic Gardening; and Dr. Valerie Myers, discussing combatting stress. In addition to four general sessions, attendees can choose among 25 breakout sessions during the two-day conference.
The conference will kick off with an evening reception on April 20, giving conference goers an opportunity to meet with speakers, vendors and fellow Master Gardeners and their guests. A Friday evening event on April 21 will feature a buffet dinner preceding a live plant auction of rare and specialty plants such as those provided by Dr. David Creech, director of the Mast Arboretum and professor of horticulture at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. Entertainment will be provided by "Stormy-The Band."
The 2006 Louisiana Master Gardener State Conference is made possible by individual Master Gardener volunteers across the state, support from Louisiana Master Gardener programs and the generosity of individual and corporate sponsors, according to Souvestre. 2006 conference sponsors are Temple-Inland, PDSI-Encore Azaleas, Bracy's Nursery, Lafayette Master Gardeners Association, Natchitoches Master Gardeners Association, Greater New Orleans Master Gardeners Association, East Baton Rouge Master Gardeners Association, Northeast Louisiana Master Gardeners Association, Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners Association and Tangipahoa Louisiana Master Gardeners Association.
Vendors scheduled so far are Antique Rose Gardens, Coyote Creek Nursery, McLendon's Nursery, Morning Glory Iron and Clay, LSU Hilltop Arboretum Gift Shop, Prairie Basse Nursery, Orchid Plus, La Loggia, Nature's Best, Harb's Oasis Nursery and All About You Embroidery.
The Louisiana Master Gardeners Program is a service and educational activity offered by the LSU AgCenter. The program is designed to recruit and train volunteers to help meet the educational needs of home gardeners while providing an enjoyable and worthwhile service experience for volunteers.
For more information on the Master Gardener program, contact your local Louisiana Master Gardeners Association or go to www.lsuagcenter.com/mastergardener/. To learn more about the conference, visit www.lsuagcenter.com/en/lawn_garden/master_