A new nonprofit organization has been formed called the Burden Horticulture Society to provide assistance and fundraising for the enhancement and use of LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center, according to Dr. Pat Hegwood, the Burden Center resident director.
Located on Essen Lane at I-10 in Baton Rouge, the Burden Center is home to horticultural research projects and Windrush Gardens and its developing plant collections. The AgCenter also operates the Ione Burden Conference Center, the Steele Burden Memorial Orangerie and the All-America Rose Display Garden at Burden Center.
New officers of the Burden Horticulture Society include Ginnie Bolin, chairman; Susan Turner, vice-chairman; John Monroe, treasurer; Caroline Daigle, secretary; Marilyn Root, special events coordinator; Barbara Quirk, volunteer coordinator; and Mark Weaver, finance committee coordinator.
Other board members are: Coleman Brown, Rouse Caffey, Jeff Kuehny, Malcolm Tucker and Margaret Womack. Ex-officio members are Hegwood and Bob Hawthorne, representing the Burden Foundation.
The Burden Horticulture Society will provide assistance to support a master plan that builds on the framework created by the Burden family to create a unifying and aesthetic vision and conceptual design for the entire Burden Center, Hegwood said.
“The organization anticipates providing the public with a destination for exploring the history, beauty and horticultural resources of Louisiana,” Hegwood said.
Organizers said developing a master plan for Burden Center will include the Burden family, LSU A&M College, the LSU AgCenter, the Ione Burden Foundation, the LSU Rural Life Museum, Friends of the Rural Life Museum, the LSU Foundation and Louisiana Master Gardeners.
Steele Burden, former landscaper for the LSU campus; his sister Ione Burden, former assistant dean of women at LSU; and Jeanette Burden, widow of their brother Pike Burden, donated the property in South Baton Rouge to LSU over a period of years.
The Burden family stipulated in the act of donation that the property would be used for horticultural and agronomic research, for development of a Rural Life Museum and as a “green area” devoid of buildings not necessary for these purposes.