September 1, 2020

Meraux Foundation Promotes Urban Gardening, Raises Awareness of Coastal Planting Projects

Gives Thousands of Plants Away This Summer

When AgMagic on the River, one of the Meraux Foundation’s marquee annual events, was reformatted as a ‘virtual’ event due to the pandemic this spring, the Foundation turned disappointment into opportunity. Seeing the trend of folks taking up gardening while being stuck at home, they found creative ways to get plants and seedlings raised for AgMagic to local gardeners.

Meraux Foundation Coastal and Environmental Program Manager Blaise Pezold got the ball rolling when he saw a Facebook Group two of his friends were using to give away plants.

“We had lots of plants we had raised in the Docville greenhouse for AgMagic on the River. After the cancellation of the event due to the pandemic, I saw what my friends, Rahn Broady and Anna Timmerman were doing and thought it was a great idea,” Pezold said. “In order to properly social distance, we would leave seeds on people’s porches. I’d also leave plants on my porch in Arabi.”

“Once I saw how popular these giveaways were and how many people were getting into home-gardening and learning about our native plants, I bumped up what we were doing at the greenhouse in Docville to meet demand,” Pezold continued.

Docville is the Meraux Foundation’s home base and campus. There, plants are raised in a greenhouse to help preserve our area’s vanishing coast. Pandemic or not, this important work continues on with black mangrove, cypress, tupelo, green ash, lead plant, swamp milkweed and many others being grown for coastal restoration projects.

For now, plans are already under way for next year’s AgMagic on the River. Blaise Pezold sums it up this way, “We may not have been able to hold our flagship event live this year, but we’re so happy we were able to adapt and still contribute to environmental education as well as our community’s love for gardening.”

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July 23, 2021 Meraux Foundation Partners in Mangrove Planting to Battle Coastal Erosion
June 29, 2021 Meraux Foundation Commissions Murals in Old Arabi Cultural District
May 27, 2021 Meraux Foundation Supports Charity Serving East St. Bernard Parish
April 7, 2021 Meraux Foundation Commits $250K to Community Center of St. Bernard
January 29, 2021 Meraux Foundation Dedicates “Lena Randazzo Torres Farmhouse” on Namesake’s 100th Birthday
December 20, 2020 Meraux Foundation Celebrates Collaboration on Coast, Reggio Marsh Project Approval