January 29, 2023 Madisonville, La.
The Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative (LICI) has accepted invitations from two groups to hold open an iris information booth at their events this spring. LICI will be participating in the Bayou Gardens Open House event put on by the US Fish & Wildlife Service on the grounds of their Lacombe, La. headquarters on February 25, 2023. On May 13, 2023, LICI will have an info booth at the Explore Nature event being held by the Purple Martin Conservation Initiative at the walking trail in North Park of the Denham Springs, La. Department of Parks and Recreation.
This "Save the Date" Facebook posting on the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Facebook page used a photo from LICI volunteer, Mike Glaspell. He took the photo of a hummingbird feeding on an iris flower at the Lockport, La., boardwalk, which is home to one of LICI's iris restoration projects.
The Bayou Gardens open house will celebrate the gardens found on the grounds around the home, which have huge, old camellia bushes that will be in bloom. There will also be free tours, nature activities, workshops, guest speakers, garden experts, park rangers, and volunteer guides that will allow guests to explore USF&WS' Bayou Lacombe headquarters historic gardens and trails.
The theme of the open house event will be gardening with wildflowers and other plants to help pollinators and wildlife. LICI's exhibit will explain how the wild native Louisiana irises in the swamps and the hybrid Louisiana iris cultivars in home gardens are important pollinator plants for bumblebees and hummingbirds. Their booth will also feature LICI's volunteer, Mike Glaspell's, photos of hummingbirds and bumblebees feeding on the irises at the Lockport, La. boardwalk. "He will be helping us hold the booth open, so he will be there in person to answer any questions about his photography or the Lockport boardwalk," says LICI's Gary Salathe.
The event will be held February 25th 9 AM until 3 PM at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge's Lacombe Center, at 61389 Highway 434 near Lacombe, La. in St. Tammany parish.
LICI has accepted an invitation to be an exhibitor at the Explore Nature event being organized by the Purple Martin Conservation Initiative in Denham Springs, La, on May 13th from 8:30 AM until noon. Their exhibit will focus on the work of LICI in restoring the state wildflower of Louisiana, the I. giganticaerulea species of the Louisiana iris, into the marshes and swamps of Louisiana where it was once found in abundance.
Multiple exhibitors have signed up for the event regarding wildlife, birds, native plants, and habitat restoration. "We're excited to be part of the event this year to get the word out about the need to preserve our native Louisiana irises and the habitat in which they grow," says LICI's Gary Salathe.
Both events are free and open to the public.