Overview of Programs - River Regions

Gabriel LoCoco, Shields, Sara Rogers, Brock, Andre' P.

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River Region Master Gardeners

St. Charles Borromeo & Ascension of Our Lord School Gardens

Every two weeks a set of River Region Master Gardener volunteers deliver a mini lesson or host a workday at the St. Charles Borromeo School Gardens in Destrehan, Louisiana and the Ascension of Our Lord School in Laplace, Louisiana. The ten-part curriculum highlighted topics including plant biology, Pollinators, cooking produce, and weed identification. By working with the Area Nutrition Agent, the Master Gardeners developed recipes for youth to sample in conjunction with what produce needed to be harvested. The program enlightened approximately 130 youth this year.

Master Gardeners holding a poster behind a broccoli plant.

Charles Smith, Robin Grunwald, and Horticulture Extension Agent, Gabriel LoCoco, showing off their broccoli for the ‘Harvest of the Month’ Campaign.

St. Charles Parish Trash Bash

For the Annual St. Charles Parish Trash Bash, the River Region Master Gardener Association cleaned the embankment behind the levee of the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway Park in Norco, Louisiana. Participants were educated on the importance of keeping the wetlands clean, how a spillway works, and coastal erosion. Master Gardeners also led families to plant irises along the banks of the park to aid in the effort to fight coastal erosion. The Master Gardeners gave away 60 ‘Red Velvet Elvis’ Louisiana Irises to participants to propagate and share with their communities.

Advanced Louisiana Master Gardener volunteer helping youth pick a site to plant Louisiana Irises.

Laurie Porter, Louisiana Advanced Master Gardener, helping youth pick a site to plant Louisiana Irises.

Pumpkin Decorating Contest

The River Region Master Gardener Association partnered with the St. Charles Parish 4-H Youth Development program and the German Coast Farmer’s Market to Host our First Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest. The association received 32 entries across the youth and adult divisions. Patrons of the Farmer’s Market were invited to vote for their favorite entry in each category. In all, 266 patrons voted in the contest. First through third place winners in each category received a Farmer’s Market credit to help boost the economic impact of the market on local producers.

Painted and carved pumpkin entries on a table at a contest. There are six pumpkins on the table, a striped, a white, a green, two orange, and one purple pumpkin.

Painted and carved pumpkin entries at the contest.

Destrehan Plantation Heritage Day

The River Region Master Gardener Association partnered with Destrehan Plantation to educate youth during their Heritage Day. The association served over 300 youth by teaching them about pollinator plants, pollinators, and guerilla gardening with seed bombs. Youth participated in a hands-on demonstration to make their own seed bombs that they can use to plant regional wildflowers in their area. This event has grown in the last few years and is a wonderful outlet for volunteers to serve youth within the community.

A group of people standing around a table making seed bombs. Four adults behind the table and three young people standing in front receiving directions.

Suzette Goodrow, Laurie Porter, Charlene Troxler, and Nancy Eberle preparing material for a seed bomb demonstration.

River Region Master Gardener Annual Luncheon

The River Region Master Gardener Association hosted their annual potluck-style luncheon at the Destrehan Plantation Mule Barn. 28 Master Gardeners and their spouses attended the luncheon to be recognized for their volunteer efforts in the tri-parish area. The event concluded with a large raffle where everyone leaves with a garden themed prize.

Man and Woman holding a ceramic pelican planter together.

Christine Hopson receiving her raffle prize of a ceramic pelican planter.

Destrehan Plantation Spring Garden Show

The LSU AgCenter and Louisiana Master Gardeners partnered with Destrehan Plantation to present a showcase of local plant nurseries and vendors, focusing on porch, patio, yard, and garden. Attendees of the Destrehan Plantation Spring Garden Show took advantage of educational seminars and exhibits and opportunities to interact with and support local business owners in the gardening sphere. Children were kept busy at the activity tent, with various arts and crafts, beekeeping demos, gardening demos, and an appearance from the Easter Bunny. An egg hunt also took place on Saturday and Sunday. The event boasted live musical entertainment from Louis Pettinelli Jazz Quintet and the Nola Dukes. In total 1570 people attended the event. The River Region Master Gardeners also hosted a booth at the event which impacted over 400 youth in our Children’s Discovery Area, collected donations from over 450 volunteer-donated plants, collected monetary donations from over 60 bulk items and 20 sweet potato bags from the LSU AgCenter Dean Lee Research Station.

Visitors to the spring garden show.

River Region Master Gardeners promoting their program to the Spring Garden Show patrons.

5/31/2023 2:32:12 PM
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