St. Tammany neighborhood briefs for March 12, 2015 _lowres

Photo provided by YSB - Rick Flick, Tina Flick, and Youth Service Bureau Board President Ric Poirier with the 2015 black Ford Mustang that will be raffled Sunday at Chef Soiree.

STORYWALK: On a day when public school classes will not be in session, Northlake Nature Center is offering an opportunity for families to take books and storytime outdoors with a StoryWalk from noon to 3 p.m. Friday.

The StoryWalk program was developed by the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition. It places a children’s story—literally, a book taken apart— along a popular walking route to encourage fitness, enjoyment of nature and literacy at the same time.

The Northlake Nature Center program is being presented in partnership with the St. Tammany Parish Library. The featured book will be “Down in Louisiana” by Johnette Downing. Families can stop by anytime, but should arrive by 2:30 p.m. to be able to enjoy the entire story. The StoryWalk will take about a half hour to complete, but the afternoon can be stretched out longer as families enjoy the trails at the center.

The Northlake Nature Center is at 23135 Highway 190 East in Mandeville, across from Fontainebleau State Park on Bayou Castine. No registration is required. The program is free and open to the public.

WILDLIFE REFUGE WORK/PLAY DAY: The Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges is seeking group and individual volunteers to participate in a Work/Play Day beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex, 61389 Highway 434, Lacombe.

Volunteers will clear unwanted growth from trails and historic gardens throughout the property, at a time when the camellia gardens are still in bloom. The Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges will provide lunch. Then the “play” portion of the day will begin, with a facilitated canoe outing on Bayou Lacombe. All equipment is provided.

To register, and reserve a spot at the lunch table, contact Supervisory Park Ranger David Stoughton at (985) 882-2025 or by March 12.

BOOK SALE: Books and magazines about gardening will be featured during the Second Saturday Special Sale to be held by the Friends of the Slidell Library from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 14, inside the Slidell Branch Library, 555 Robert Blvd., Slidell. Sale items will have standard prices ranging from 25 cents to $3 each. For information on the Friends of the Slidell Library, send email to

A silent auction of gardening books is underway through March 26 at the Slidell Branch Library. Bids are placed in person, but the high bidders do not have to be present to win. The auction items are on view in display cases inside the branch, and the bid book is available from the branch circulation desk. All sales benefit the Slidell, Pearl River and Lacombe branch libraries. A list of the auction titles is available by sending email to

YOUTH SERVICE BUREAU: Chef Soirée 2015, benefiting the Youth Service Bureau, will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at Bogue Falaya Park, Covington.

The event will feature a gate-opening parade led by the 610 Stompers; music from Benny Grunch and the Bunch, Gypsy River, Louisiana Spice, Voodoo Funk & Soul, The Wagners and Amanda Shaw; and a fireworks finale. A 2015 Ford Mustang will be raffled off, with tickets sold for $25 each or five for $100.

The Youth Service Bureau provides advocacy, counseling, education, and intervention for at-risk youth and their families, helping them reach their full potential. The agency serves both St. Tammany and Washington parishes.

This year’s Chef Soirée is dedicated to the memory of Judge Andy Clayton James Jr. (1932–2014), who assigned the first CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) volunteer in the 22nd Judicial District in 1989.

Chef Soirée 2015 will honor Matt Cole, graduate of the Culinary Institute of New Orleans, Marine Corps veteran, and veteran of the north shore restaurant business.

The 2015 Chef Soirée poster is designed by north shore native Suzanne King.

General admission tickets are $145 and are available at or by calling (985) 893-2570.

PARTNERING FOR PREVENTION: Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families will present “Partnering for Prevention” for the Florida Parishes region, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Causeway Branch Library, 3457 US 190 in Mandeville. The meeting is hosted with the Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund and targeted toward people who work with children and families. For information, visit

MILITARY ROAD ALLIANCE: A Camellia Park tax proposal for the Recreation District 16 will be on the agenda when the Military Road Alliance meets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, in the cafeteria of the Live Oak Village Assisted Living Center, 2200 E. Gause Blvd., Slidell. The tax proposal will be on the May 2 ballot. Sean Burkes from the Rec District 16 committee will be the guest speaker. All meetings of the Military Road Alliance are open to the public. Questions may be addressed to alliance President Jay Hilker at

PLANT SHOW AND SALE: The Northshore Garden Show and Plant Sale will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21, at the St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds, 1304 N. Columbia St., Covington.

There will be hourly talks by horticulturists, cooking demonstrations, more than 50 exhibitor booths, children’s activities and food concessions. The event is sponsored by the LSU AgCenter and the St. Tammany Master Gardener Association. Admission is $5, with proceeds benefiting the Bobby Fletcher Sr. College Scholarship Fund. For information, call (985) 875-2635.

MANDEVILLE ARTS & CRAFT SHOW: The Mandeville Spring Arts & Craft Show will take place Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22, at the Mandeville Lions Hall, 720 Lafitte St., Mandeville. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For information, visit

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