Finley speaker at Bayou Vista Garden Club meet

The topic for the Bayou Vista Garden Club program for April was “Keeping Our Ground Water Clean.”

Guest speaker was Linda Finley, Louisiana Garden Club Federation Environmental Study Schools chairman. She presented an interactive demonstration on nonpoint source pollution, water ecology and solutions for the average citizen.

To emphasize the importance of protecting our water source, Finley outlined several vital statistics related to humans and water. She also recommended the website www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org for further information regarding smart yards and a healthy Gulf.

Finley, a Lake Charles Garden Club member, is a National Garden Club Schools Gardening and Landscaping Consultant, Advanced Master Gardener, and LGCF second vice president. Donna Bucci, BVGC vice president and program chairman, presented Finley with a gift of appreciation.

BVGC Horticulture Chairman Pam Breaux showed exhibits of the Spotted Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra Lurida) and Turks Cap (Malvaviscus Drummondii). She said the Cast Iron plant is an almost indestructible houseplant with dark green leaves. The Turks Cap plant is an ornamental, red-flowering herbaceous perennial. Breaux said both plants are suitable for shady areas. Plant profiles and propagating information handouts were given to members.

Sandra Blanco, BVGC Wildlife Conservation chairman, gave a presentation on the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) which was designated as the Louisiana State Reptile in 1983.

She explained that the word alligator comes from the Spanish “el lagarto” (the lizard). According to Blanco, alligators are an important part of their ecosystem — by controlling the population of prey species, creating peat through their nesting activities, and benefiting several other species with “alligator holes” and nests.

Scientists are studying the alligators’ ferocious immune system which could lead to new medicines for humans. Alligators remain on the threatened species list.

Hostesses for the April meeting were Jerri Guillot, Gwen Hidalgo and Donna Richard. The floral design, created by Guillot and Richard, titled “Spring Trio” included begonias and maidenhair fern.

The door prize winner was Jeannie Lawrence. The next meeting will be held May 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bayou Vista Community Center. New members are welcome.

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