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Scoop up the kids and head out for a morning of garden fun and critter encounters at the East Baton Rouge Master Gardeners Association (EBRMGA)’s  first-ever Children’s Garden Festival on Saturday, May 4, at the LSU AgCenter’s Botanic Gardens at Burden (I-10 at Essen Lane).

The festival runs from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and is co-sponsored by the LSU AgCenter. Admission is $10 per family vehicle and covers unlimited access to eight learning stations. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance registration is not necessary and parking is free, but no pets are allowed. Healthy snacks are available.

Kids can explore the world of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators at the pollinator station; express their inner Picasso by dabbling with veggie art, get the dirt on soil and worms at the composting tent and make pine cone feeders at the backyard bird center.

The naturalists who operate Wings of Hope Wildlife Sanctuary in Livingston will be on hand with some of their flighty friends. Children can also make “no-legged” friends at the snakes in the garden tent and visit the herb petting zoo. And for a $3 charge, kids can plant a Mother’s Day gift to bring home. 

The festival will be held next to the AgCenter’s model Children’s Garden, Herb Garden and the Oak Grove play area. Families are encouraged to make a day of it by visiting these free facilities and taking a self-guided stroll along the Trees and Trails nature walk.

The Garden Festival is the latest in ongoing EBRMGA service activities aimed at giving children a love of gardening. EBR Master Gardeners pay horticultural therapy visits to patients at the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, guide school groups on tours of the Governor’s Mansion garden, offer technical assistance to 28 schools throughout East Baton Rouge Parish with school gardens, and offer children’s gardening workshops from time to time 

For additional information on the Children’s Garden Festival and other EBRMGA activities, visit the EBRMGA website (www.ebrmg.com).

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