Burden holds groundbreaking for new pavilion

Johnny Morgan, Russin, John, Kuehny, Jeff S., Gauthier, Gigi  |  4/29/2013 9:18:11 PM

The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new pavilion on April 25. Attendees who participated in the ceremony from left to right are: Lee Griffin, LSU Foundation; Barbara Quirk, Burden Horticulture Society; Dale Frederick, LSU AgCenter; Rennie Carte, Charles Carter Construction; Penny Miller, Burden Horticulture Society; Michael Domingue, Office of State Parks; John Russin, LSU AgCenter; Cary Saurage, Community Coffee; Jeff Kuehny, LSU AgCenter; Judy Foil, Burden Horticulture Society; Bob Hawthorne, Burden Foundation; Gigi Gautier, LSU AgCenter; and Charlie Lamar, Lamar Advertising. (Photo by Johnny Morgan)

News Release Distributed 04/29/13

BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new pavilion on April 25.

The pavilion, which is part of the master plan for the gardens, will be used for educational programs for youth and adults, according to LSU AgCenter Burden resident director Jeff Kuehny.

In addition to providing cover, the pavilion will be an open-air structure with a fireplace, sound system and cabinetry, which will allow it to be used for a range of educational programs such as cooking demonstrations.

“It is really going to be a multi-use facility that will be used for weddings, birthdays or any other open-air type events that would need a cover,” Kuehny said.

“We are launching an initiative here today that is a major step toward enriching and educating the youth of Baton Rouge,” said LSU AgCenter vice chancellor John Russin. “One of our goals at the AgCenter is to enroll youngsters in agriculture and natural resources so that we will train the needed experts to serve future generations.”

Bob Hawthorne, president of the Burden Foundation, said the vision of the Burden family for the property is that it will remain a rural-type green space.

“The AgCenter is providing education for adults and children with programs like Project Learning Tree, where school children come out and actually learn about nature on these trails,” Hawthorne said.

Lamar Advertising and Community Coffee, two local corporations that are major supporters of the programs of the Botanic Gardens at Burden explained the importance of their involvement.

“The company has been concerned about the education of our children and improving the educational opportunities for years and in all the areas that Community Coffee serves,” said Cary Saurage, of Community Coffee.

Charlie Lamar, of Lamar Advertising, said it’s natural for the company to be involved in this effort.

“We’re an outdoor sign company, and one of our slogans is ‘The Great Outdoors,’ so we are highly related to people being outdoors,” Lamar said.

“The pavilion will be located next to the trail head of Trees and Trails in the Burden Woods and will provide an accessible base for conducting the Project Learning Tree program that’s led by Burden Horticulture Society docents,” Kuehny said.

This trail system offers a framework for nature experiences with educational areas, while at the same time providing access to a safe outdoor environment.

More information related to the pavilion, and other elements of the master plan are available from Kuehny or Gigi Gauthier at 225-763-3990.

Johnny Morgan

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