News Release Distributed 03/31/14
BATON ROUGE, La. – The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden has received a $20,000 donation from Weyerhaeuser through its Giving Fund for construction of a pavilion that will expand the Trees & Trails educational program.
“The Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund’s investment and partnership in this project will enable us to grow the capacity of the Trees & Trails Project Learning Tree program and educate a broader base of future generations about the importance of environmental stewardship and forestry,” said Jeff Kuehny, director of the Botanic Gardens. “We are grateful for Weyerhaeuser’s support and partnership in training our leaders of tomorrow to be responsible, environmentally concerned citizens and decision makers.”
Kuehny said the pavilion will accommodate up to 120 people, which will alleviate currently limited space for educational programs.
The pavilion, which will feature old New Orleans-style columns and a brick fireplace, is part of the Botanic Gardens’ master plan that strives to transform the site into one of Louisiana's premier destinations for education and natural beauty. The Botanic Gardens are part of the 440-acre Burden Museum & Gardens, which includes the LSU Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens. It is located on Essen Lane just off I-10.
The pavilion will be located at the head of the 5-mile Trees & Trails hiking network in the Burden Woods. Trained guides from the Burden Horticulture Society lead students on field trips through the trails, helping children — especially those from urban areas — to learn about and appreciate nature and the science behind it.
Guides incorporate the curriculum of Project Learning Tree, a national program that teaches children about science and the environment. Last year, more than 1,400 children visited the Botanic Gardens to participate in the program, which covers topics a range of topics including forests, wildlife, water, community planning, waste management and energy.
"The pavilion will emphasize our lessons with a system to harvest rainwater from the roof and feed the wetlands area of the new trailhead — another example of responsible, environmental stewardship," Kuehny said.
Ed Smith, Weyerhaeuser manager for the North Louisiana Timberlands Region, said these topics align closely with the mission of the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund, which supports environmental education in communities near Weyerhaeuser operations.
"The Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund is pleased to be a part of the construction of this pavilion, which will allow the expansion and continuation of environmental education for our children for decades to come," Smith said. "The Project Learning Tree program and this pavilion will pave the way for the leaders of tomorrow to learn more about the environment, incorporate it in their daily personal and business lives and engage in environmental issues."
For more information on donating to the Botanic Gardens, contact Gigi Gauthier, development director, at 225-763-3990 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the site, visit www.discoverburden.com or call 225-763-3990.