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Pop! Fizz! GDCA Champagne Stroll 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us or hosted us during the 2022 Pop Fizz Champagne Stroll! It was a resounding success, and it looks like everyone had a great time! We’d like to extend a special thanks to our guide, Captain Day, who was our flight director throughout the evening! Check out the photos below from this year’s event, and please reach out if you’re interested in helping or hosting next year!

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AshleyPop! Fizz! GDCA Champagne Stroll 2022
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Get Ready for the GDCA Christmas Light Contest!

Garden District Christmas Light Contest
Thursday, December 15th, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
The GDCA Board will be riding through the neighborhood to judge the best holiday lights in the neighborhood. We accept bribes and anything spiked! Awards will be announced in the December Newsletter.

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AshleyGet Ready for the GDCA Christmas Light Contest!

New Sponsor Spotlight


The GDCA would like you to meet one of your new neighbors, Mr. Joe Astone. See the Q+A below to learn more about his new printing business. 

How long has your business been in the Garden District/Mid-City and/or the Baton Rouge area?
Since its inception in June 2022.

What is your background?
After getting both an undergrad (ISDS) and graduate degree (Finance) from LSU, I have had a 22 year career in Finance/Financial Information Systems that has made me dig into the left side of my brain a lot. This business is a departure in exploring the right side, and I couldn’t be happier.

How did the idea or concept for your business come about?  
I have a friend in Key West, FL, who is involved in a restaurant group and said they buy an insane amount of clothing to sell, and they wouldn’t care who they bought it from, as long as it is quality.  I started thinking about it, and I loved the idea of helping promote other businesses that way.  Whether it be the most-serious of medical logo or a conceptual piece of art reminiscent of Mad Magazine, I want to see how it looks on a shirt, hat, pants, shoes, or anything else.

What is unique about your business?  
My business is all about helping people, and I actually mean it.  One of my first prints was the adoption day shirt for a little 9 year old girl I know.  Coming from a day job that can be cold, calculating, and DRAINING, doing something like that makes me feel like a million bucks.  I also have a machine that is intended to make the most-intricate shirt designs with as many colors and details as you want.  This is the lesser-common method, but also the most exciting.

What goods or services does your business provide?
I do Direct-to-Garment printing as well as embroidery and wide-format printing.  I can do small-batch shirts, and therefore I can service small- to medium-sized businesses at lower cost than national houses.  I offer graphic art through a partner, so that is available as well.

How many employees do you have?
It’s me and me alone right now.  Anyone who has one of my items literally has a hand-made garment!

Do you have a targeted clientele?
Small- and medium-sized businesses, non-profits, and club organizations.  I can even embroider on cleats!

What do you use to promote/advertise your business?  Please provide website address, etc. for any social media platforms that are utilized.
My business is brand new, and I haven’t gotten into my promotion/advertising yet, but an update could soon follow!!  CavPrintShop.com is going to be the URL but it has not been made public as of this writing.  I am also on Instagram: @CavPrintShop

Do you have seasonal promotions/offers? What are they?
I will be doing a 12.25% off sale this December.

Is your company involved in any community activities?
I will be, and I can’t wait!!  I grew up playing soccer and would love to get into that community, as sports were the haven I had as a child–especially when I needed to run out that teen angst we all know we went through.

Is there anything else you would like for your neighbors to know?  
Is NOW an appropriate time to remind all the “whippersnappers” to stay off my lawn??

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AshleyNew Sponsor Spotlight

GDCA Mission

On November 9, 2022, the GDCA Board voted unanimously to adopt the Mission Statement below. After a brief discussion, some edits were made to the original draft. In this form, Ashley Braquet Gremillion, moved to accept the mission statement and Ted Magee seconded it. 
“The mission of the Garden District Civic Association is to enhance the quality of life for all Garden District residents by building community, preserving the historical and aesthetic character of the neighborhood, promoting safety and awareness, and addressing the needs of the community.”
We hope that these words help our neighbors to understand the mission of the GDCA Board, as we strive to be good stewards of the Garden District.
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AshleyGDCA Mission
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November Crime Update

Here’s the most recent update from our police officer that monitors the neighborhood, Corporal Seth Gauthier:

A look into the crime stats for the GDCA in the month of October revealed a handful of Simple Burglaries and a couple of Simple Criminal Damage to Property reports. There were several non-crime reports for false alarms, several 911’s and suspicious activities that did not lead to any crimes found. Cpl. Gauthier was contacted by Laura Seymore who lives on Drehr Ave about a crew of juveniles responsible for property damage complainants. He directed the patrol Officers to make patrols at the times she said they frequented the neighborhood, but he has not seen any other reports since October 20th, after the first incident. 

As always, in case of an emergency, contact 911 for immediate assistance. If it is a non-emergency, but Police are needed, you can contact the BRPD Police Dispatch Center at 225-389-2000. If you would like to pass information to Cpl. Gauthier or the other Patrol Officers, you can contact Mike Helms via his email [email protected], and he will forward that information to Cpl. Gauthier and the other officers.

Remember to cover the basics – lock your car doors, don’t leave things in plain view, and don’t leave anything of value inside your vehicle, such as purses or firearms. If you have a security camera installed, it’s amazing how much the footage collected can help officers at times. Also, report street light outages and other safety issues through the Red Stick Ready website or app. Stay safe! 

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Jacob LuneauNovember Crime Update

Holiday Events You Won’t Want to Miss

White Light Night
Friday, November 18th
Mid-City Artisans and other vendors along Government and Jefferson streets
More information:
https://www.mid-cityartisans.com/event-details/white-light-night-2022

https://fb.me/e/2RI377EXd

Cranksgiving Bike Ride
Sunday, November 20th, 9:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Beginning at BREC City-Brooks Community Park
This year join Bike BR, the GBR Food Bank, and BREC Greenways for a fun family-friendly food drive/scavenger hunt…on bikes! Cranksgiving helps drive awareness for bike access to local grocery stores, while collecting and donating food for those in need during the holiday season.
More information: https://fb.me/e/2pxzYftQa 

Pridesgiving
Thursday, November 24th, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
The Reception Center of Greenoaks
Join on Thanksgiving Day for a feast with PRIDE! Doors open at 4 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m.
Please bring an unwrapped toy so we can kick off our holiday toy drive!
More information: https://fb.me/e/2cSBCExaK

BREC’s Creole Christmas and Holiday Fair at Magnolia Mound
Sunday, November 27th, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Magnolia Mound
Join the annual holiday event featuring seasonal decorations in the historic house, with traditional French and Spanish music, period demonstrations, folk crafts, and local vendors. The event will close out with a bonfire!
More information: https://www.brec.org/index.cfm/event/magnolia-mound-creole-christmas-holiday-fair 

Downtown BR 2022 Festival of Lights
Friday, December 2nd, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
North Boulevard Town Square
Join the Mayor as the 25-foot Christmas tree is lit up, go ice skating and play in 6 tons of real snow at Snow Village, listen to live music at Galvez Plaza, or see the Holiday Open House at the Old Governor’s Mansion.
More information: https://downtownbatonrouge.org/uploads/docs/Festival-of-Lights-2021-final.pdf 

Teddy Book Tea
Sunday, December 4th, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Red Stick Reads
Join Red Stick Reads, Red Cake Events, and Mimosa for Christmas shopping, photos with Santa and Mrs. Clause, and tea and hot coco. 

See Santa at the BREADA Main Street Farmer’s Market
Saturday, December 10th, 8:00 a.m. – Noon
Red Stick Farmers Market at Fifth and Main Street

Garden District Christmas Light Contest
Thursday, December 15th, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
The GDCA Board will be riding through the neighborhood to judge the best holiday lights in the neighborhood. We accept bribes and anything spiked! Awards will be announced in the December newsletter. 

Last MidCity Maker’s Market Ever!
Saturday, December 17th, 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Circa 1857
Join the MidCity Makers for the last makers market. Get your last minute gifts at the market and get some socializing in while you’re at it.
More information: https://midcitymakersmarket.eventcalendarapp.com/

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Jacob LuneauHoliday Events You Won’t Want to Miss
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See the latest Live Oak Love

Another Garden District block has been cared for by Bayou Tree Service! Work on the eight live oaks on Park Blvd between Magnolia/Broussard and Terrace Ave concluded two weeks ago. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic now enter a dramatic, arched corridor as they enter the Garden District.

The tree work removed dead and dying limbs, lifted the tree canopy, and pruned branches to enhance the structural integrity of the trees and highlight their majestic limbs. The resulting natural cathedral brings sublime beauty and a touch of transcendence to everyday life.

Funds for this Park Blvd block were provided by a single donor, to whom the GDCA extends our profound appreciation. The tree campaign work is all the more beautiful for reflecting the community’s kindness and generosity. A very warm thank you to this donor and all who have contributed to this cause.

We are now looking for our next tree median to service. If you have a block you’d like to see receive Bayou Tree Service’s care, please reach out to us!

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Jacob LuneauSee the latest Live Oak Love

Spotlight: Corporal Seth D. Gauthier

For those of you that are new to the neighborhood, and for those seasoned neighbors who are generally concerned about crime, we would like to give you an update on the BR police officer who is responsible for monitoring our neighborhood. Corporal Seth D. Gauthier is from Louisiana, just south of Lafayette. He relocated to Baton Rouge in the early 1990s and graduated from Tara High School before attending Southeastern Louisiana University. 

After the 9/11 attacks, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served for 20 years as a Military Policeman, Criminal Investigator, and as a Recruiting Support Officer. During his tenure in the military, he deployed twice in support of combat operations Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom, and twice in support of NATO Operations in Ukraine and Suriname. He started his local Law Enforcement career in 2008, and he’s been with BRPD since 2012. Currently, he is assigned to the Full-time Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, on which he has served for the last 7 years. 

As always, in case of an emergency, contact 911 for immediate assistance. If it is a non-emergency, but Police are needed, you can contact the BRPD Police Dispatch Center at 225-389-2000. If you would like to pass information to Seth or the other Patrol Officers, you can contact Mike Helms via his email, and he will forward that information to Seth and the other officers.

Remember to cover the basics – lock your car doors, don’t leave things in plain view, and don’t leave anything of value inside your vehicle, such as purses or firearms. If you have a security camera installed, it’s amazing how much the footage collected can help officers at times. Also, report street light outages and other safety issues through the Red Stick Ready website or app. Stay safe!  

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Jacob LuneauSpotlight: Corporal Seth D. Gauthier
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Making the Case for Underplanting your Live Oaks

Written by Steven Gremillion, PLA

I think I can comfortably assert that all of us in the Garden District love our Live Oaks. It is what gives a great deal of the charm to our neighborhood – especially our boulevards. We all know they require a fair amount of pruning and cleanup each year, and we’ve accepted that as a trade off for the beauty they lend to our streetscape.

When I’m not wandering the Garden District with my wife and our Chocolate Lab, I spend my days designing landscapes, and live oaks are a daily part of that job. My clients invariably love them, but they present a few challenges to garden design. One of the most common complaints I get in my practice is that people cannot get grass, or really anything, to grow under their oaks. Since these trees are ubiquitous in South Louisiana, I have learned that attempts to grow anything under a live oak requires careful thought, but it can actually be a great help to the tree and the yard in the long term. Anything planted beneath these trees has to be able to thrive on minimal sunlight, limited resources, and invading surface roots.

When I work under live oaks, I opt for a palette of native (or native adjacent) understory plants to create a lush, green, low maintenance landscape. This consists of flowering native perennials (texas spider lily, ligularia), woody shrubs (itea, beautyberry, hydrangea), and lots of ferns. When this landscape is established, it can attract pollinators, birds, and other wildlife, and this can keep the boulevards looking green for most of the year. Additionally, by underplanting these areas, we discourage drivers from compacting the soil and damaging the roots, simply because people are less likely to park on a planted area. As these trees age, their growth becomes more finicky, and like our elders, they get less tolerant of adverse conditions. These giants prefer loose organic soil that hasn’t been compacted by parked cars or mowing; the plants become a layer of “green mulch,” they provide nutrients and oxygen to the tree through a symbiotic relationship with fungi in the soil. Lastly, underplanting removes the need to deal with one of the biggest annoyances of these trees – the leaves. With a planted understory, these leaves can be allowed to naturally compost and incorporate nutrients back to the soil without being an eyesore.

I also have to mention one of my favorite books about the incredible host for life that each of our live oaks becomes as it matures:“The Nature of Oaks,” by Doug Tallamy. In this short-ish read, Tallamy gives an easily digestible and compelling overview of the rich diversity of insects, birds, fungi, and companion plants that make up the ecosystem of each tree, as well as the impact they have on their surroundings. It is truly spectacular what one of these trees does for the environment, and our collection of live oaks within the Garden District has a profound impact on the quality of our daily lives. So I think it is our obligation as stewards of this landscape to do all we can to preserve and enhance the natural beauty that they offer.

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Jacob LuneauMaking the Case for Underplanting your Live Oaks
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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!