Students to plant wetlands garden

Staff reports

The LSU AgCenter’s 4-H Youth Wetlands Program will host a Louisiana Wetlands Exploration Day at the LSU Hilltop Arboretum in Baton Rouge on Thursday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The program will give students the opportunity to learn about the importance of wetlands as well as become directly involved in the restoration and conservation of this invaluable ecosystem by planting a Louisiana aquatic plant collection at the arboretum.

Fourth-grade students from Iberville and Assumption parishes will participate.  They will enjoy a day filled with numerous fun and educational activities as well as the opportunity to plant a unique wetland plant collection that will be a permanent resource to showcase the range of water depths native aquatics require to grow.

The 4-H Youth Wetlands Program of the LSU AgCenter is funded by the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration.  For the past five years, this program has seen great success in educating students around Louisiana about the importance of Louisiana’s most valuable resource, its wetlands.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Coastal Conservation Association, Entergy and the Student Wetland Society and Coast and Environment Graduate Student organizations at LSU, will provide interactive and educational activities. LSU AgCenter Master Gardeners will lead the students in planting the collection around a new elevated boardwalk on the edge of the arboretum’s pond.

“The plant collection will be a signature feature of the arboretum.  It will be used as an outdoor laboratory for university students and the greater Baton Rouge community to learn about growing and designing with native wetland plants for home, school and community gardens,” Peggy Coates, director of the LSU Hilltop Arboretum, said.