Backyard Habitat Gardener | LSU Hilltop Arboretum

Backyard Habitat Gardener

It’s a garden full of native plants and life — a fun place to be!

Who Can Participate?

Children Ages 7-10

Why You Should?

  • Interact and bond with nature
  • Learn about the habitat basics all creatures need
  • Habitat gardens are 100% pesticide free
  • Learn about native plants and communities through horticulture activities
  • Learn more about habitat specific gardens for butterflies, birds, hummingbirds, and bees
  • Explore the world through horticultural and environmental science activities
  • Encourage children to take action beyond their own backyards

Louisiana Master Gardeners of East Baton Rouge Parish

Thank you to our local Master Gardeners for sponsoring and providing volunteers for the program.

Butterflies are very important little creatures in gardens during the day and moths in late afternoon and early evening. Both butterflies and moths carry pollen from plant to plant which they need to make their seeds. Without seeds, plants could not reproduce and many would become extinct. But butterflies and moths are in danger, too. They need places to live.  We will show children how they can help butterflies and moths by making a home for them in a backyard or patio garden in Baton Rouge.  

As a part of our program the children will get their hands in the dirt in Hilltop’s Monarch Butterfly Garden Waystation and the Moon-Moth Garden. The Monarch Butterfly Garden includes milkweed, nectar source plants, and shelter needed to sustain Monarch butterflies as they migrate from Mexico through North American. The Moon-Moth Garden includes light colored, white and light yellow flowers with strong odors that open in the evening providing a needed food source, and extending your enjoyment of the garden. Local butterfly and moth enthusiasts will inspire the children and share their knowledge as they work together to plant new host and nectar plants in the waystation and moth garden during the camp.

Each child will receive a “Butterfly/Moth To Go” kit with all the supplies they need to start their very own butterfly and moth garden at home. The kit includes a shallow water dish with rocks, sunning rock, butterfly/moth garden sign, 3 host plants and 3 nectar plants.

Thanksgiving Break

For 2 Days: $50 Members; $85 Non-Members (Includes one year membership)

A Backyard Bird Garden is a place where our feathered friends can find food, water, cover, and a place to raise their young.  A young gardener will learn that the right native plants, arranged to mimic nature, will provide birds all the food they need to be happy in your backyard or in a patio garden.  Instead of just visiting your garden to snack, birds will call it home! 

Each child will receive a “Bird Garden To Go” kit that will include plants to attract hummingbirds and other birds, seeds, bird feeders for different types of birds, a birdbath, and a variety of snacks to hang in the garden as cold-season snacks. A great benefit of creating a bird-friendly garden is enjoying your garden while watching a bluebird dropping in for a worm in a freshly dug patch, a warbler snapping at insects, or a hummingbird probing nectar-rich flowers while robins sing in the trees.

Easter Break

For 2 Days: $50 Members; $85 Non-Members (Includes one year membership)

A Backyard Habitat Garden is a place where birds, butterflies, bees, toads, and other little creatures can find food, water, cover, and a place to raise their young; a place where there are no pesticides or herbicides used that would be unhealthy for these creatures or for you. Native plants provide unmatched habitat value because these plants and critters depend on each other for food, water and shelter. It’s a place that’s full of life from hummingbirds to bees and lizards to toads —a very exciting place to be!

Hilltop’s week long camp will focus on the basic of creating, growing and maintain a natural garden that will provide children with a healthy outdoor experience where they can play, learn, and develop a genuine respect for nature. Pollinators are significant to habitat gardening because they often have wings! Winged pollinators can and will travel long distances to seek out reliable nectar sources, so gardening to attract hummingbirds and other pollinators is particularly rewarding. If you build it, they will come! Each child will receive a “A Habitat Garden To Go” which will include Louisiana meadow plants and seeds, a recycled water garden and shelters for birds, toads and frogs.

For 5 Days: $125 Members; $160 Non-Members (Includes one year membership)