Burden Museum and Gardens offers winter activities

Richard Bogren, Kuehny, Jeff S.  |  11/21/2015 12:00:48 AM


News Release Distributed 11/20/15

BATON ROUGE, La. – As fall turns to winter, Burden Museum & Gardens offers many activities to help keep schedules for the holidays and beyond.

Located at 4560 Essen Lane, just off Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge, Burden Museum & Gardens is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes the LSU Rural Life Museum, the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens and Windrush Gardens.

The LSU Rural Life Museum focuses on the life ways of rural Louisiana of the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum also provides educational and research resources that advance an understanding of the material and cultural heritage of the region.

Adjacent to the Rural Life Museum, the historic Windrush Gardens comprises five acres of semiformal gardens of the Burden family.

Admission to the Rural Life Museum is $9 for adults 12 to 61 and $8 for seniors and kids 5 to 11. Admission to Windrush Gardens is $3 per person. Both are free for kids under 5. The LSU Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens are open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. except major holidays.

The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens is an expansive collection of specialty gardens, woodlands, wetlands and arboreta. Trees and Trails offers five miles of serene walking paths through the Burden Woods. The Rose Garden, Children’s Garden and All-America Selections Display Garden showcase the beauty of plants and flowers and provide educational experiences for gardeners of all ages.

Special holiday and winter dates to remember

On Friday, Dec. 4, from 8 a.m. to noon, the public can view some of the latest varieties of poinsettias and vote on their favorites. More than 1,000 poinsettias will be on display and for sale with proceeds benefiting the research at the Botanic Gardens.

On Sunday, Dec. 6, from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., visitors can ring in the Christmas season with a 19th century Louisiana celebration. Musical groups, demonstrating artisans, storytellers and costumed reenactors will be present to set the holiday mood. The event will conclude with a bonfire and a visit from Papa Noel. Regular admission is charged; free for children 10 years old and younger.

On Saturdays, Dec. 12 and Feb. 13, children ages 3 to 8 can enjoy StoryTime at Burden from 9 to 11 a.m. in the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens. The morning will feature storybook readings and imagination-themed activities every half hour. The last reading begins at 10:30. StoryTime is sponsored by the Junior League of Baton Rouge. Admission is free. On Saturday, Jan. 16, StoryTime will be included in the Arbor Day activities.

Saturday, Jan. 16, is Arbor Day in Louisiana. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens will offer visitors the opportunity to plant a tree provided by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry to help reforest Burden Woods, which was damaged by Hurricane Gustav. Other activities will include a scavenger hunt, StoryTime, lumberjack demonstrations, hayrides and more. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children, with children 3 years old and younger free. Funds support the Project Learning Tree program for Louisiana school children.

On February 13 and 14, the Baton Rouge Camellia Society will conduct their annual Camellia Show at the LSU Rural Life Museum. On Feb. 13, registration of flowers will begin at 8 a.m. with judging from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public show will go from 1 to 5 p.m. On Feb. 14 the show will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Plants will be available during the public hours on both days.

Continuing activities include

Trees and Trails, a 5-mile system of pedestrian, recreational and educational trails in the Burden Woods, provides opportunities for hiking and interpretive and educational activities for youth and adults. The Mosaic Boardwalk at Black Swamp guides visitors through a hardwood swamp more than 200 years old. The trail system is open from 8 a.m. to dusk every day.

The children’s garden offers a place to learn about gardening and nutrition. This model garden also provides a location for youth-related organizations and individual families to experience the outdoor, focusing on vegetable, herb and butterfly garden plantings.

Windrush Gardens comprises majestic live oaks and ancient crape myrtles to create a shady canopy over azaleas and camellias, evoking a sense of tranquility and peace. Steele Burden, who was influenced by the gardens of Europe and the surviving gardens of 19th century Louisiana plantations, designed Windrush. The winding paths are ideal for strolling and enjoying the 25 acres of landscaped spaces.

The Rose Garden is a member of the American Garden Rose Selections program, a nationwide network of approved public gardens, and the American Rose Trials for Sustainability (ARTS) program, maintaining an inventory of 1,500 plants representing 150 varieties. Starting each April, the Rose Garden offers an exclusive preview of the coming year’s outstanding new varieties.

Rick Bogren
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