For the sixth year, the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation hosted AgMagic on the River at Docville Farm in Violet on May 7th through the 11th. Produced by the LSU AgCenter in collaboration with the Meraux Foundation, LA SeaGrant, and 4-H, the annual educational event takes visitors on an interactive journey that links Louisiana’s agriculture and environment with people’s everyday lives.
“AgMagic on the River is a hallmark of the programming we host at Docville each year, advancing our mission by engaging young people in meaningful educational experiences and showcasing some of the best that St. Bernard Parish has to offer,” said Rita Gue, the president of the Meraux Foundation.
This year, the free event welcomed more than 1,800 students and 140 teachers on field trips during the week as well as some 300 attendees on Saturday, when the event was open to the public.
Through interactive exhibits, attendees of AgMagic were able to understand how the different elements of their everyday lives are connected to the environment around us by seeing the origins of their food, shelter, clothing, and more. The hands-on event featured live animals, from cows to alligators, the greenhouse where the Meraux Foundation grows plants for coastal restoration, a butterfly garden, crawfish ponds, bee hives, and much more. Highlights included chicks hatching in real-time as well as opportunities to hold, and learn about, critters, courtesy of the Wetland Watchers.
“Each year, AgMagic on the River continues to get better and better, and it’s due to the hard work and dedication of our organizers, volunteers, and partners as well as the contributions of our many sponsors,” said Elizabeth Gambel, who is the chief organizer of the event for the LSU AgCenter. “This signature event goes a long way to advance our mission, providing the people of Louisiana with educational information that will improve their lives and economic well-being.”
In addition to sponsoring and helping organize AgMagic, the Meraux Foundation hosts the event at its Docville campus, which features the Arlene Meraux River Observation Center (“AMROC”); a greenhouse; working stables with livestock; and educational installations, including sugar cane and citrus crops, a live crawfish pond, and innovative interactive technology. The Meraux Foundation dedicated Docville for charitable purposes and hosts events that benefit St. Bernard Parish for free virtually every day of the year.
Beginning in Baton Rouge over a decade ago, AgMagic expanded downriver to Docville in 2014 to bring the magical family fun to more people.
About AgMagic on theRiver
AgMagic is an educational experience where youth learn about the important connections between agriculture, the environment and their lives. AgMagic is designed for youth in grades 3rd-6th. School groups from the New Orleans area will be visiting AgMagic on May 8-11. On May 12 AgMagic will be open to the public. Volunteers are needed to serve as Exhibit Hosts. Volunteers will help facilitate the educational experience for youth and adults who visit AgMagic by presenting information to students and teachers at one of the stations at AgMagic.