Ten acres of litter removed from Burden wetland

Writer: Haleigh Judge at hjudge@agcenter.lsu.edu

(12/19/22) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden and the Louisiana Stormwater Coalition finished the second phase of an Environmental Protection Agency-funded litter remediation and prevention program Dec. 14.

The Osprey Initiative, the organization contracted to remove and study aquatic trash from a borrow pit and wetland at Burden Museum and Gardens, has now completed its tactical removal process that began in June 2022. The Osprey team removes the trash and then studies certain qualities of it, such as age, quantity, brands and type.

With this information, Osprey will work with the LSU AgCenter and Tricoeur Engineering Services to determine where to strategically place different devices to test their efficiency in catching litter before it flows into the Burden wetland. During the study, the devices will be monitored, and adjustments will be made to achieve the best results. Local volunteers assisted with the cleanup of the 10-acre site.

The information gained from the tactical cleanup will be used to educate the public and local businesses about how to reduce the amount of litter before it gets into storm drains.

The Botanic Gardens is working on plans to enhance the borrow pit and wetland and link them to the existing trail system for the public to access the demonstration site. The site will educate municipalities on stormwater management for improving quality of life and environment.

In 2021, the two groups collaborated with BREC, Paddle BR and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to install a litter-catching boom, creating the city’s first litter-free paddle trail on Bayou Fountain. A third litter remediation and demonstration site will be at Capitol Lakes, where volunteers have already removed 2,105 bags of litter.

“The three demonstrations sites are the result of numerous collaborations and a common belief that we can make a positive difference in our environment,” said Jeff Kuehny, director of the Botanic Gardens. “We have shown that we can provide a lasting benefit now and for future generations. The removal of litter from the Burden wetland is the best Christmas gift I could have gotten.”

People picking up trash.

Volunteers with Keep Tiger Town Beautiful remove trash from a borrow pit and wetland area during a cleanup event at the Burden Museum and Gardens Dec. 14. Photo by Haleigh Judge/LSU AgCenter

People picking up trash.

A volunteer carries trash out of a borrow pit and wetland area at the Burden Museum and Gardens Dec. 14. Photo by Haleigh Judge/LSU AgCenter

12/19/2022 5:14:20 PM
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