Go Public Gardens Days
May 15-16, 2021
The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden will host a weekend-long Go Public Gardens Days celebration along with 500 public gardens across America. Join us and celebrate with a weekend of fun, free activities the whole family enjoy!
Go Public Gardens is an ongoing, evergreen initiative of the American Public Gardens Association meant to drive the public to visit, value, and volunteer at public gardens in their area and when they travel.
A map and schedule will be provided to you upon arriving to the Botanic Gardens.
Saturday, May 15
- Birding at Burden
6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Birding enthusiasts will lead three separate guided birding tours through several of the six birding loops at Burden. Participants might want to bring binoculars, a cellphone, birding apps and/or Field Guides, sunscreen, insect repellant, appropriate outdoor footwear, weather-appropriate clothing and layers, and water to stay hydrated!
- Sculpt + Flow Exercise Class withTreadBR**
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
TreadBR will host a sculpt + flow exercise class, a 45-minute class designed to lengthen and tone through sequences of resistance-based, bodyweight movements combined with yoga-inspired stretches. Class participants should bring their tennis shoes, an exercise mat, and water to stay hydrated! Register for the 8:30 a.m. class.
- Herbaceous Plant Walk
8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
LSU horticulture instructor, Bob Mirabello, offers fun facts and identification of the herbaceous plants on a walk around the Botanic Gardens. Participants might like to bring a notepad and pencil to take notes, a cellphone to take photos, and water to stay hydrated!
- StoryTime in the Garden
9 a.m. - Noon
The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens and the Junior League of Baton Rouge will host StoryTime in the Garden, a creative way of mixing storytelling and imagination with hands on craft activities for children.
- Sculpt + Flow Exercise Class with TreadBR**
11 a.m. - Noon
TreadBR will host a sculpt + flow exercise class, a 45-minute class designed to lengthen and tone through sequences of resistance-based, bodyweight movements combined with yoga-inspired stretches. Register for the 11 a.m. class. Class participants should bring their tennis shoes, an exercise mat, and water to stay hydrated!
- No Activities
Noon - 1 p.m.
The Go Public Gardens Days celebration will pause for lunch break.
- Woody Plant Walk
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
LSU horticulture instructor, Bob Mirabello, offers fun facts and identification of the woody plants on a walk around the Botanic Gardens. Participants might like to bring a notepad and pencil to take notes, a cellphone to take photos, and water to stay hydrated!
Sunday, May 16
- Free admission to Windrush Gardens
- Tours of Windrush Gardens
10 a.m. and Noon
Meet Your Activity Leaders
Meet Dr. Luke Laborde! Lucien P. Laborde, Jr., instructor in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, is a native of Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, where he grew up working, hunting, and fishing on the family farm. He graduated from Moreauville High School in 1972, and attended Louisiana State University, receiving his B. S. degree in Agronomy in 1976, his M. B. A. in 1976 and his Ph.D. in Renewable Natural Resources in 2014. Luke was employed in various positions with Willis Group, plc., for 30 years, and has been a volunteer for Ducks Unlimited Inc. and other conservation causes for over 30 years. He currently serves as adviser to the student Tiger Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, is Past-President of the LSU College of Agriculture Alumni Association, is a member of the Board of Directors of The Burden Foundation, and currently serves on the LSU Presidential Search Committee.
Luke’s professional interests center on human dimensions research on waterfowl hunter recruitment and retention. He conducted 9 research studies for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries between 2010 and 2020, and for the Mississippi Flyway Council in 2011. He is currently teaching RNR 2031 Principles of Wildlife Management and RNR 3018 Louisiana Wildlife. He envisioned and facilitated development of “Birding at Burden”.
Meet Dr. Ashley Long! Dr. Ashley M. Long is an Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Extension Wildlife Specialist with the LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources and LSU AgCenter. She discovered her love of birds as a student at Highland Community College in Freeport, IL and participant in the Northwest Illinois Audubon Society. One of her first field experiences included a trip to Big Bend National Park in south Texas, where she saw painted buntings, greater roadrunners, and acorn woodpeckers for the first time, and she was hooked!
Dr. Long continued to study birds as an undergraduate at Northland College in Ashland, WI, M.S. student at Emporia State University in Emporia, KS, and Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where she focused her research efforts on avian responses to vegetation management practices. Dr. Long continues that work today, and enjoys teaching students and the public about birds. She is excited to lead bird walks at Burden, a great local hot spot with diverse vegetation types and bird species that change throughout the year.
Meet Harriet Pooler! Originally from Lafayette, Harriett has loved birds since childhood, and bought her first pair of binoculars after seeing a male painted bunting. She is a free-lance writer and contributor to Country Roads Magazine, with articles on birds and nature, and is a board member of both the Louisiana Ornithological Society and LSU Hilltop Arboretum. Harriett is devoted to learning about the many bird species of Louisiana and their roles in our environment, and has led bird walks for over 20 years, most recently for LSU Hilltop Arboretum, Burden Museum & Gardens, and formerly for Audubon Louisiana and The Nature Conservancy. Harriett is also a professional fundraiser who is teaching her grandchildren about backyard birds in her spare time.
Meet Mason! Mason Ramagos, a native of New Roads, LA, graduated from LSU in 2020 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He now works at TreadBR full time as a beloved, energetic instructor and Tread's Client Relations and Team Development Manager.
Plant Walk Leader
Meet Bob! Bob Mirabello was born and raised in Casper, WY. Tired of the cold and snow he traveled to Fayetteville, AR where he attended the University of Arkansas. After receiving his BSA in 1995 and MS in 1997 in horticulture, Mr. Mirabello found his way to Louisiana State University as an instructor in the Department of Horticulture in 1998.
Originally teaching only the General Horticulture course and managing the teaching facility, he now teaches eight different courses in plant materials and landscape management. Plant material courses are his favorite to teach and you can find often him leading students across the LSU campus learning about the diversity of species that thrive in Southern Louisiana.