Louisiana State University

Backyard Habitat Garden Tour

Who doesn’t enjoy the sight of a brightly colored bird or a passing butterfly?  These natural visitors add appeal to our urban landscape, help control pests, and seed and pollinate our gardens. When we look at the broader landscape, habitat gardens are more important than you may realize! Private properties make up approximately one-third of our urban landscapes. They connect corridors of natural habitat that are beneficial to migratory species.  An urban garden planted with a rich diversity of native plants and trees supplies the food chain for insects and the animals that depend on them.  

Members of the Louisiana Photographic Society (LPS) will be stationed at the gardens to give tips on photographing butterflies, birds, flowers, and trees.  The mission of LPS is to advance and promote the art of photography in the River Parishes of south Louisiana. It offers its members a variety of programs, classes, seminars, and field trips throughout the calendar year. Hilltop’s own Hodge Podge Volunteers will be selling native and adapted plants at the LSU Hilltop Arboretum plant nursery the afternoon of the tour.

Our garden tour hosts are Dick Ehrlicher (5955 College Drive, 70808), Harriett Pooler (2439 Creekwood Drive, 70808), Dorsey Peek (2409 Creekwood Drive, 70808), Dr. Lori Byrd (2341 Creekwood Drive, 70808), and Brian Early (2000 Quail Drive, 70808). Under the guidance of Landscape Horticultural Consultant Helen Peebles, the fifth garden in Westdale Subdivision showcases how to transition a traditional garden plant palette into one that is more beneficial for wildlife by using native wildflowers, perennials, shrubs, and trees.  Helen Peebles, a native plant expert who owns Garden Innovations LLC, will be available to answer questions. Three of the gardeners are neighbors in Dawson Commons Subdivision across from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Their backyards connect to Dawson Creek, a natural habitat corridor.  Two of these yards also have decks that extend into a cypress swamp teaming with wildlife you can view close up. The third yard backs up to Dawson Creek’s bottomland hardwoods and reflects a different plant and wildlife habitat.  The remaining garden is the Louisiana Native Plant Garden at the entrance of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries building on Quail Drive.  The diverse and educational garden showcases the beauty of Louisiana’s primary plant regions. Native flowers, shrubs, and trees provide food that benefits pollinators and wildlife.

Also, Hilltop's Hodge Podge nursery will be open during the tour hours.

Sunday, May 5 at 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Hilltop Arboretum
11855 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Event Type

Recreation, Arts & Culture

Target Audience

General Public




$20 per person

Hilltop Arboretum
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This event requires registration.