at the Governor’s Mansion
Special thanks to our Master Gardeners who provide tours of the Governor’s Mansion.
In August 2017, Kathleen Randall approached the East Baton Rouge Master Gardener Association about providing tours of the newly refurbished gardens at the Governor’s Mansion. Kathleen, who was working at the Capitol, had participated in the Louisiana Master Gardeners Association (LMGA) program several years prior. She explained that First Lady Donna Edwards was very interested in opening the gardens to the public for educational purposes and was seeking a group to help. As a result of this conversation, Skippy Berner and Ken Bosso (who were the President and President-Elect of the LMGA) met Mrs. Edwards and Bobbie Johnson, personal assistant to Mrs. Edwards at the time, to discuss the project. After that, the LMGA membership took off with this idea, and the tours began. Since that time, the garden tours have been a popular success at the Mansion. The tours started in the Spring of 2018 with Master Gardeners, Kitty Bull, Ken Bosso, Leo Broders, Sherry Eubanks, Angie Wall, Mary Tauzin, Karen Baiamonte, and Kathy Conerly. A total of 18 tours took place in 2018. A special thanks to Ken Bosso, Leo Broders, Mary Tauzin, and Vicki Anderson, who were involved with making this a reality.
In 2019, the group led 38 tours reaching 1,695 students and visitors with ten different tour leaders. New additions from the Master Gardeners were added to lead tours this year, and they included Vicki Anderson, Debi O’Neill, Ann Monroe, and Helen Clement. The current year, 2020, has been a challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic stopping all tours in Mid-March. Before the shut-down, eleven tours 480 visitors toured. Also, the Master Gardeners added Kerry Hawkins and Debbye Calmes as tour leaders in 2020.
East Baton Rouge Master Gardeners are so grateful to share their love for gardening and educate others about gardening of all kinds, especially through tours at the Governor’s Mansion.