Youth Education

Trees & Trails

docent teaching group of students

Field Trip Program

Our multidisciplinary Trees and Trails Field Trip Program uses Project Learning Tree activities to connect the outdoors to the classroom. This experience of using the forest as an outdoor classroom teaches students firsthand about nature, the importance of maintaining ecosystems, and the cultural heritage of our region. Project Learning Tree is a nationally recognized program that helps students learn environmental content that correlates with national and state educational standards. It strengthens students’ critical thinking, team-building and problem-solving skills.

We are currently registering schools for field trips for the 2018-2019 school year! Reserve your spot to explore Trees and Trails at Burden. Contact our Youth Education Coordinator Sarah Rayner at to register your class for a field trip or to sign up as a volunteer. 

large oak tree in the garden

Educator's Corner 

Visit our Educator’s Corner to view and download learning objectives for each of our field trips offered through Trees and Trails, and lesson plans that include National Standards that are introduced or reinforced, and pre trip and post trip activities. 

map of trees and trails system

Self-Guided Tours

Adults and children can enjoy approximately three miles of trails on a hike or leisurely stroll along interactive walking paths through an urban forest. The trail system also includes a boardwalk through wetlands in the heart of Baton Rouge. The trails are open to the public from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., seven days a week for a self-guided exploration.



How to Get Involved 

volunteer reading to a toddler

Story Time

Story Time at Burden is a creative way of mixing storytelling, reading and imaginative, hands-on craft activities.  Parents with children ages 3 through 8 are invited to join in the fun from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Go to our events page to see when the next session is scheduled.

For more information call Becky White at 225-763-3990 extension 3, or email

young girl playing with flowers

Children's Garden Activities

The EBR Master Gardeners and the LSU AgCenter are hosting a series of interactive gardening activities for children ages 6-10 at the Botanic Gardens at Burden on topics like fairy gardens, toads, butterflies and backyard chickens.  Each event will require a small fee, An adult must accompany children for all activities.  Attendance is limited for each session.  Children will receive snacks and neat garden take-home crafts!

All events are on Saturday mornings from 9-11 a.m.  Go to our events page to see when the next session is scheduled.  Reservations may be made by email to Angie Wall or call 225-763-3990.

kids meeting a scarecrow

Corn Maze Fridays

Corn Maze Fridays are coming soon! LSU AgCenter Corn Maze will be open to schools Fridays in October for grades K-4. The activities will include the corn maze, the haystack mountain, an animal petting farm, a hayride, a giant slingshot game and much more! Download the corn maze registration form. Contact our Youth Education Coordinator Sarah Rayner at for more information. 


Parent/Teacher Resources

project learning tree docents posing after training

Project Learning Tree Workshop for Educators

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is a comprehensive education program that can be integrated in all subject areas and within various grade levels. It incorporates many teaching styles such as constructivism, problem-solving, and differentiated instruction. LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens hosts field trips within its Trees and Trails program that is centered around the PLT curriculum. We also host a Project Learning Tree Workshop and Certification, lead by Louisiana PLT State Coordinators, for local teachers and volunteers. We cover how PLT relates to critical and creative thinking skills in the schools and how it uses the forest as a window into the real world. Attendees are able to experience various PLT activities that can be used in the classroom and gain some great teaching resources and a certificate for professional development. Please contact Sarah Rayner at if you are interested in attending a PLT Workshop and Certification.

Young Children

Self-guided Children’s Garden Backpack Adventure

We welcome educators to explore the model school garden at the Botanic Gardens with their students! Twelve backpacks are available for use and include materials needed to complete one hour-long, hands-on activity in the garden. The Butterfly Life Cycle adventure is designed for fourth grade students, however, younger students can complete the activity with the help of an adult.  The activity focuses on the butterfly’s life cycle. This activity is offered March to November from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact Sarah Rayner at 225-763-3990 ext. 3, or email if you are interested in reserving the backpacks for your students. 

The Functions of Butterfly Body Parts

butterfly on a purple flower

Common Butterflies Found in the Pollinator Garden

Sarah Rayner, Youth Education Coordinator

The butterflies in this are common to the Pollinator Garden at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens and throughout the surrounding areas. The butterflies are attracted to the nectar in flowers that they use as an energy source. If host plant(s) specific to the butterflies are available in the gardens, the butterflies may deposit eggs on the leaves of their host plants. The caterpillars, also known as larvae, can feed on the leaves and at some point pupate, and emerge as an adult butterfly.

field of purple pollinator flowers

Louisiana Native Pollinator Trees 

Dr. Chrissy Mogren

Landscaping trees into your yard provides numerous benefits such as
shade, improving drainage, and habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.
While bees are adapted to life in prairies as opposed to forests, they can
still utilize resources provided by flowering trees when incorporated into
a pollinator-oriented landscape. In addition to providing floral food
resources, native trees are also host plants to a number of beautiful
native butterflies and moths. As you walk through Trees & Trails, keep
an eye out for signs indicating which trees provide important resources
for Louisiana native bees, butterflies, and moths!


Children's Garden Resources

mom teaching two boys about plants

Children's Projects

LSU AgCenter

children's garden seating area

Frog Pond Garden

This video and Caring For Your Water Garden Plants handout will help to teach the importance of frogs and provide guidance on building ponds.