5-mile trail system to open Nov. 7 at LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center in Baton Rouge

Richard Bogren, Kuehny, Jeff S.  |  10/15/2009 12:38:37 AM

News Release Distributed 10/14/09

The Burden Horticulture Society will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Nov. 7 to celebrate for the grand opening of Trees and Trails, a 5-mile system of pedestrian, recreational and educational trails located at the LSU AgCenter’s Burden Center in the heart of Baton Rouge.

“The backbone of these trails was originally designed by Steele Burden as meandering paths through part of the Burden Woods, a natural resource and wildlife treasure in the historic 440 acres of Burden Center,” said Dr. Jeff Kuehny, an LSU AgCenter horticulturist.

“These trails provide a natural location for education and exercise,” Kuehny said, pointing out they were established through the financial support of the Louisiana Recreational Trails Fund Program, the Junior League, Forum 35, Baton Rouge Green and the Burden Center.

“These organizations spent many hours of volunteer labor to lay out and construct the nature trails, design and build bridges, reforest and plant native shrubs and trees, and install signage,” he said.

The Louisiana Recreational Trails Fund Program provided funds last summer to help repair trails and signage and restore the forest following major damage from Hurricane Gustav.

“These trails will support a variety of activities, including hiking, accessibility for people with disabilities, and interpretative and educational activities for adventure and discovery,” Kuehny said.

“This provides a framework of nature experiences with interpretative rest stop areas, while at the same time accommodating the need of the general public for access to a safe environment designed to promote exercise and fitness,” he added.

On January 15, Louisiana’s Arbor Day, the Burden Horticulture Society will host a tree planting as part of the reforestation plan, the LSU AgCenter horticulturist said. The public is invited to join in planting trees along the trail system and purchase trees for planting.

Trees and Trails provides opportunities for youth recreation programming, and plans are in the works to build an outdoor classroom to bring students in touch with the natural world, the urban ecosystem and the cultural heritage of the region, Kuehny said.

“The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has worked closely with many of the project partners to develop learning opportunities along the trails that will use award-winning Project Learning Tree activities,” he said.

Rick Bogren

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