Show the Love!

The Garden District’s Live Oak Love Collective is off to great start! On Monday, January 18, 2021, Bayou Tree Service started pruning and caring for eight (8) live oak trees on Kleinert Ave between Perkins Rd and Camelia Ave AND eight (8) trees on Cherokee St between Camellia Ave and South 22nd St. That’s right, SIXTEEN lucky oaks had a restorative Spa Day courtesy of you, the Garden District Civic Association and Bayou Trees.

The Garden District Civic Association has been working for several years to develop and execute a campaign to care for our live oak trees in the median on the boulevards of Park Blvd, Cherokee St, Kleinert Ave and Terrace St, and we are thrilled to see the smiles on the branches and the faces of our neighbors!

We, of course, would love to give all of our trees a trip to the salon. You can donate any amount or adopt a whole tree at gdcabr.org/live-oaks. Also we created a non-profit to care for these majestic beasts so your donation is tax deductible!

Please contact the Board if you have any questions about the Collective or if you have any trouble donating at [email protected].

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Claire PittmanShow the Love!

New Dog Stations

We love your dog just as much as you do. Thanks to your dues and the hard work of the Cub Scouts of Pack 12, there are now six dog stations located around the Garden District to make your daily walks all the better!These Dogi Pot stations offer a green solution to dog pollution, providing dog owners a disposable bag to clean up after their four-legged friend.Find the station nearest you:DOG DISPENSER LOCATIONS

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jcwproductionsNew Dog Stations

Music Makes the World Go Round by Mindy Piontek

In October of 2015, James Fogle and Adam Planche, friends for twenty years since they were 15, opened the Baton Rouge Music Exchange on Perkins Road between Acadian and College.  Before that time, the building tucked behind Black Torch Tatoos served as their rehearsal space for their bands and solo acts.  Fogle had recognized a need for a music store on the south side of town, a need created when Bebop Music Shop on Government closed a few years back.

“We’ve had a need for a small Mom and Pop music store on this side of town,” says Fogle.

The need was so pressing, that although only open for a few months, the pair are already searching for a bigger location in the area.  With amps and guitars lining the walls, and additional stock of drum heads, effects pedals, guitar picks and strings, not to mention sheet music, the current shop only has room for a couple of chairs.  “It becomes really crowded if more than four people are in here,” says Fogle.

Fogle envisions the new space as somewhere for people to hang out and both perform and appreciate music.  He plans to offer locally produced artwork with no consignment fee, merchandise such as CD’s and T shirts from local bands, and he is looking forward to getting the rest of his inventory out of his house and into the larger space.  “People bring me a lot of cool stuff and I keep it,” says Fogle.

Fogle’s Myrtle Street home is a music haven, thanks to his “very supportive and cool” wife, Anna, daughter, Margaret, and a piano and guitar playing son, Elliot, who shares his dad’s love of music.  “We have a jam room on the third floor.  It looks like a hurricane went through the place after my son and his friends have been up there,” says Fogle.

Like his son, Fogle developed his interest in music early.  “My parents got me a toy drum set with paper heads when I was 3 or 4, and I just destroyed it,” says Fogle.  When he turned 5, his parents sprung for a real drum set, and he now enjoys playing guitar and piano, and singing, as well.

Fogle’s day job should serve him well as he searches for the perfect space to buy or rent, since he’s a fourteen-year veteran real estate agent with Century 21.  Fogle calls South Baton Rouge his stomping grounds, and he plans to keep stomping and playing music in this part of town that he calls home.

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jcwproductionsMusic Makes the World Go Round by Mindy Piontek

A “Miracle” at Wisteria Street by Carmen Del Rio

Around the middle of August, 2015, I had to have a huge Golden Rain tree cut and removed from the front of my house because it was determined that it was dying.  While removing the tree, the bucket truck the company used broke the cement walk from the sidewalk in front of the house to the street.  The tree company assured me that they would send their cement man to repair it as soon as possible.  On September the second I got a call alerting me that the cement man was coming the next morning to fix the walk, and that it would be good if I could be home.  I agreed.


In the early morning of September the third I was awakened around 7:30am by the loud noise of big trucks on the corner of Wisteria and St. Rose St.  I got up and saw two big trucks across the street on St Rose.  I realized these were sewer/water line trucks that had started working on the lines across my house on the corner.  I went ahead and had my coffee, got dressed and proceeded to wait for the cement man, who, as promised, arrived around 8:45am.  When I saw him I went outside to speak with him.  As I was discussing with him what he needed, a man who had been with the sewer/water trucks came up to both of us, looked at me, and extending his hand, where he was holding something, asked me:  “Do you recognize this?”   showing me  a still shinny gold medal.  I was literally speechless…


On October of 1985 my mother had come to visit me for a couple of months.  She always wore a medal of Saint Barbara her family had given her in Cuba knowing that she was a devotee of the popular Saint who, in Cuba, as well as in the Spanish Caribbean, was known by two names:  St. Barbara, the Roman Catholic martyr and Chango, the Afro-Cuban name of an African deity.  By the end of October, one day as I came home from teaching at LSU, I found my mother frantically looking for her medal which seemed to have broken off from the gold chain around her neck.  We turned the house up-side-down; looked outside; looked in the car, yard, everywhere to no avail.  We never found St. Barbara.  That December 8, l985, my mother died in my arms of a heart attack.


Almost 30 years later a man, working in the sewer/water lines had found her medal and, coincidentally (?) I happened to be standing outside in front of my house, and he thought he would ask me if I recognized the shinny object.  As I held the medal in my hand, after all these years, I looked in the back of the medal where it was inscribed with my mother’s name, and a dedication from the family, and dated December 4, l958 (St. Barbara’s feast day).


All I could do was go inside my house, with tears running down my eyes and saying, as I went around inside, “Mami, I found your medal!”  Today, I am wearing my mother’s medal, cleaned and restored by a jeweler, hoping it will also protect me as it protected her most of her life.



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jcwproductionsA “Miracle” at Wisteria Street by Carmen Del Rio