Ways to Give | LSU Hilltop Arboretum

Ways to Give 

Help Us Flourish

Become a Member

The Friends of Hilltop Arboretum is an independent non-profit organization that works in partnership with the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture to preserve, protect and enhance Hilltop. Established in 1982, with thoughtful guidance from founder and benefactor Emory Smith, memberships from the Friends of Hilltop Arboretum make up about 20% of our annual operating budget. Memberships make it possible to further develop the site into a nationally-recognized center for the study of native plants and landscape design.  They also help us get kids outdoors, cultivate native trees and shrubs, and provide enriching educational opportunities for the entire community.

As a perk of your membership you get to participate in the American Horticulture Society (AHS) Reciprocal Admissions Program which promotes horticulture across North America. The program encourages people to visit gardens and other horticulture institutions by offering free admission and/or additional benefits at over 320 gardens. 

As a card carrying member of the Friends of Hilltop Arboretum you will enjoy free admission and/or additional benefits at over 320 gardens throughout North America.  Visit the AHS website at for a complete list of participating gardens.

Members-Only Exclusive Gifts

Margaret Stones Poster Print, T-Shirt, Pocket Guides

Margaret Stone's print, Hilltop T-shirt, and sample of pocket guides


Violet  $35

  • Reciprocal Access to 320+ Gardens
  • 10% Discount on Plants at Fall PlantFest
  • Reduced Member Rates for Programs, Trips, Events
  • Admission to Annual Member Luncheon
  • E-Notices About Programs, Events and Activities 

Azalea  $50

All Benefits at the Violet Level, plus:

  • 10% Discount on Plants at Spring Fling Sale
  • Free Admission to Fall PlantFest Teaser

Redbud  $75

All Benefits at the Above Levels, plus:

  • 10% Discount on Plants at Year End Sale
  • 10% Discount at Gift Shop 

Dogwood  $100  Best Value!

All Benefits at the Above Levels, plus:

  • 10% Year Round Discount on Plants at Hodge Podge Nursery
  • Free Hilltop T-Shirt (New Selection Each Year)
  • 10% Discount Children’s Camps 

Magnolia  $250

All Benefits at the Above Levels, plus:

  • Free Admission to 9 Discover Nature Programs
  • 10% Discount on Consulting Arborist Fee

Cypress  $500

All Benefits at the Above Levels, plus:

  • Margaret Stones Big Leaf Magnolia Print or Choose 4 from over a dozen Nature-themed Pocket Guides
  • 2 Tickets to Annual Symposium

 Live Oak  $1,000

All Benefits at the Above Levels, plus:

  • 1 Fee for Professional Photography Session Waived
  • One Guided Plant Tour of Hilltop with Refreshments
  • 15% Discount on Facility Rental

What makes Hilltop special and worth supporting as a Corporate Member? This is an exciting time for the Friends organization on many fronts. The programs and services we offer are educational events focusing on Louisiana plants and the native landscape with special emphasis on planting for a healthier future in our own backyards. We serve about 12,000 members of the community annually. We reach children, students and adults of all ages, and professionals with programs and continuing education credits. You may already know about Hilltop’s signature events (Annual Symposium, Spring Fling and PlantFest! plant sales, Garden Tours) and educational programs (Discover Nature, Family Field Day, Hilltop Summer Sprouts and Holiday Camps).

At the site, we are continually moving forward with improvements made possible by generous donors, members, and grants. We’re proud of these projects completed in the past five years:   

o    Revised Site Master Plan ~ Doug Reed with Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architects

o    Emory Smith Legacy Tree Planting Project and Establishment of Northern Hedgerow Buffer Zone

o    Establishment of Woodland Walk and Native Tree Planting 

o    Upgraded Pond Walk and Perimeter Plantings

o    Establishment of 3 acre Cajun Prairie Inspired Meadow  

The Friends of Hilltop organization supports 100% of its daily operations. Corporate memberships are offered annually at three levels: Poplar ($750), Silverbell ($1,500) and Emory Smith Magnolia ($2,500 and above). All levels include corporate recognition on Hilltop’s website, newsletters, and media releases, and sponsorship recognition. At the Emory Smith Magnolia level, we are offering the use of the Margaret Holmes Brown Pavilion and Beverly Brown Coates Auditorium for a corporate event ($1400 value).

Call 225-767-6916 today for current information on becoming a Corporate Member.

Thank you to our 2023 Corporate Member


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Hilltop is a wonderful place! We are ready to give you a tour and answer any questions you may have. look forward to hearing from you and hope you’ll join today.