Louisiana's always gone its own way, including how it celebrates Arbor Day.
Most of the country celebrates in April, but January is the best time to plant trees in the warm parishes of the Pelican State.
It's serendipitous because it allows the local observance to coincide with the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, giving locals a chance to get out and volunteer. Organizers will also unveil an under-construction community farm during this year's observance.
The non-profit group Baton Rouge Green is planning several events starting Jan. 15, when Cox Communications employees will install 28 trees on the campus of Baton Rouge Foreign Language Academic Immersion Magnet on Bawell Street. In a nod to FLAIM's cosmopolitan outlook, species will range from bald cypress and magnolias to ginkos and Chinese pistaches.
The same day, a large white oak will be planted at St. Jean Vianney Catholic Church in memory of the late River Road Coffees founder John Melancon, Baton Rouge Green wrote in a news release.
LSU's Rural Life Museum is hosting a fundraising lunch on Jan. 18 with guest speaker Bill Guion, a photographer who has chronicled some of the state's oldest live oaks. Information and reservations for the event are available by calling (225) 381-0037.
Finally on Jan. 19, volunteers will gather to plant pines along Winbourne Avenue near Howell Park. The park will be the eventual home of Baton Roots, a 4-acre community farm and citrus orchard. The non-profit Walls Project will unveil the early Baton Roots farm site during the MLK Fest celebration.