Discover Nature Programs | LSU Hilltop Arboretum

Discover Nature Programs

Through a partnership with the Louisiana Master Naturalist of Greater Baton Rouge (LMNGBR) we are proud to offer exciting new Discover Nature programs featuring local and national experts who are in touch with nature and are eager to share their experiences. All programs will be held in the Imo Brown Complex in the Beverly Brown Coates Auditorium at Hilltop Arboretum. For those who are unable to attend in person, a virtual option will be offered. A link to join will be provided with your payment confirmation. 

For Hilltop, LMNGBR members, and students registration is $10, $15 for non-members. Discover Nature programs are free for Members Magnolia Level ($250) and above. For more information on how to become a member, contact Hilltop at 225-767-6916, visit, or email

Fueling Activity Through Dried Botanical Specimens
Tuesday, September 26, 6:30pm
Featuring Jennifer Kluse

sample of files and work from LSU herbarium

Join us for an evening to learn about the LSU Herbarium, its rich history and availability of its resources available to the public. Looking to identify that plant? Is it native to our state? A treasure trove of plant material, the Herbarium is a collection of dried, pressed plant and fungi collections that support scientific research and is considered to be the hub of botany in the state. With more than 370,000 specimens, the Herbarium has the largest collection of plants and fungi in Louisiana. 

Jennifer Kluse is the Collections Manager of the Shirley C. Tucker Herbarium Collection. She has worked in herbaria and museum collections throughout the country to better understand the natural world through the lens of ecology and conservation.  She has a master’s degree from UC Berkeley, but since her time in Louisiana has grown a new love for lichens in addition to her initial love of plants.


A Day in the Life of Lewis & Clark: A Culinary Journey of Discovery
Saturday, January 20, 2024, 9:00am-1:00pm

Featuring Chef Katherine Gividen, CEC and “Buckskin Billy” aka Ron Butler

background of Lewis and Clark trail map, foreground shows arms over 2 cooking potsThis special Saturday program has different pricing. Registration is $20 for students and members of Hilltop and/or LMNGBR, $30 for non-members, and free for Hilltop members at the Magnolia Level ($250) and above.

The year is 1804 and President Thomas Jefferson charges Captain Meriwether Lewis to explore the lands of the Louisiana Purchase and beyond. Capt. Lewis chooses William Clark to co-lead the expedition and the rest is history. But, as Napoleon once famously said, “An army marches on its stomach”, so as they pioneered the territory, they also embarked on a Culinary Journey of Discovery. From the Brandied Spiced Peaches at Jefferson’s Monticello, to Charbonneau’s Buffalo Boudin Blanc, you will sample the foods the men (and Sacagawea) ate while learning interesting facts about the expedition including the clothing, fire arms and other gear that would have been available to Lewis and Clark.  Come join us for this historical occasion!

Katherine Gividen is a Certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation. She is Immediate President of the Louisiana Hiking Club, and President of the Louisiana Master Naturalists of Greater Baton Rouge. She also received the Louisiana Wildlife Federation's 2018 Governor's Award, recognizing her as Conservationist of the Year.

Buckskin Billy, aka Ron Butler, is a member of the American Mountain Man Association. He is a leather worker and, for 23 years, has been tanning animal hides using traditional methods to make buckskin clothing. 

For more information about this event, please contact us at LSU Hilltop Arboretum at 225-767-6916, visit, or email

Program Details

Hilltop, LMNGBR members and students $10
Non-members $15
Free for Hilltop Members Magnolia Level ($250) and above.

Fueling Activity Through Dried Botanical Specimens
Tuesday, September 26, 2023


A Day in the Life of Lewis & Clark: A Culinary Journey of Discovery
Saturday, January 20, 2024

Questions? Contact Hilltop by email or call 225-767-6916.