River Parishes Community College’s Train to Attain program starts Feb. 23 at the Gonzales campus.

The program includes classes in health sciences and skilled crafts, which prepare students for careers as certified nurse aides and welders, a news release from the college said.

Classes for high school equivalency credentials also are available.

Interested students must take a basic skills test to determine eligibility and placement, the release said.

To enroll, call (225) 239-2913.

Gardening symposium

The LSU Agricultural Center’s Home Vegetable Gardening Symposium will be from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 5 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, 9039 St. Landry Road, Gonzales.

Homeowners will learn more about growing vegetables in their home gardens, a news release said.

Local extension agents Mariah Bock, of St. James Parish; Stephanie Gravois, of Ascension Parish; Craig Roussel, of Ascension and St. James parishes; and Ed Bush, LSU horticulture professor, will lead the symposium.

Topics will include general vegetable production practices, insect identification and control, disease management techniques and information on raised bed vegetable gardening, including research being conducted on growing plants for raised beds.

Attendees will view the outdoor demonstration gardens at Lamar-Dixon.

Art exhibit planned

The works of artist Merriann Hornsby will be display through February at the Ascension Parish Library’s Gonzales Branch, 708 S. Irma Blvd.

Hornsby’s art chronicles the life of George West, also known as the River Preacher.

West, a native of Ascension Parish, began preaching along the Mississippi River area in 1941. In his later years, he returned to the area and could be found, almost daily, at the ferry landing in Baton Rouge, in his long white robe and tall white cross and preaching the gospel.

Inspired by the preacher’s dedication to his calling, Hornsby has put her memories on canvas.

Students showcase artwork

In celebration of Valentine’s Day and National Heart Health Month, the Gonzales location of Ascension Parish Library, 708 S. Irma Blvd., will display works by the talented visual arts students of Donaldsonville, Dutchtown, East Ascension and St. Amant high schools.

The students answered the statement, “I Heart … ???,” after they were asked to select the person, place or activity that motivates or inspires them most. After answering the statement, the students created a two-dimensional image that best represents it.

Contact Darlene Denstorff by phone, (225) 336-6952, (225) 603-1996; fax, (225) 644-5851; email, ascension@theadvocate.com or ddenstorff@the advocate.com. Deadline: noon Monday.