Join the Louisiana Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Bamboo Society to see this magnificent Moso Grove at Avery Island, Louisiana
Join the Louisiana Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Bamboo Society to see this magnificent Moso Grove at Avery Island, Louisiana
Avery Island Moso Weekend February 24-26, 2023


2023 will mark the 24th year that Louisiana and American Bamboo Society Members have come to Avery Island to help clear and clean E. A. McIlhennys plantings of timber bamboos. As in years past, the weekend is limited to American Bamboo Society Members (INTERESTED NEWCOMERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO JOIN!) and to Avery Island Family members and their guests.

REGISTRATION: *****New Process*****. We are moving to a more automated system, CLICK on this registration form. It will also be found on the ABS website. Coordinators for the weekend are Ken Ringle (202-412-1989) and Judge Edwards (337-898-1469), who can also be contacted by email at .

Schedule of Events:

Friday February 24th: 6:00 pm at the Ramada Conference Center in New Iberia (337-367-1201), with drinks and registration followed by a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. There we will reintroduce ourselves and catch up on each other’s doings, conduct a brief LGCC business meeting, and organize our teams for the next day’s work.

Saturday February 25th: Meet at 8:30 AM at the Jungle Gardens parking lot on Avery Island for the centerpiece of the weekend: clearing and cleaning selected bamboo groves on the Island, including E. A. McIlhenny’s original moso and madake groves, as well as the groves of mixed bamboos below Prospect Hill which comprise some of E. A.’s ’s original study plots which have yet to be fully inventoried. At the end of the day’s work, all will have opportunity to take home poles from the selection we have cut, and to relax and enjoy the groves we’ve cleaned!

Saturday Evening: 5:30 PM:  We will gather at historic Marsh House for drinks and dinner. After dinner entertainment will feature the celebrated Bamboo Weekend Auction, with donated plants, artifacts, books, clothing, jewelry, etc., with all proceeds going to the LGCC to help defray costs of the weekend. ALL PARTICIPANTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO BRING AND DONATE BAMBOO-RELATED ITEMS FOR THE AUCTION! Bids tend to escalate once the wine is served!

Sunday, February 26th: 9:00 AM; ABS members will give presentations on bamboo culture and applications. If you have bamboo artwork or crafts to show off or skills to share, this is the time and place! Among the speakers will be bamboo tea purveyor, Shanti Pierce of Florida who will detail the virtues and methods for manufacturing bamboo charcoal—a cure-all desiccant, deodorant and general wonder substance within reach of every bamboocero. Also speaking will be veteran botanist Dr. Garrie Landry of University of Louisiana–Lafayette who has studied and inventoried the plant life of Avery Island for more than 20 years. We’ll then have a traditional complimentary red beans and rice luncheon at Marsh House and head for home.

EQUIPMENT: For Saturday’s work party, wear sturdy shoes and clothes, and bring gloves. February temperatures can be unpredictable, so dress accordingly. If you have a chain saw and are skilled in using it, please contact Judge Edwards. (Those with battery-operated power tools are cautioned that power sources for recharging in the garage at nearby Fiddler’s Green are limited, so extra batteries are recommended.) Other useful tools include pruning saws, loppers, hand shears, and general heavy-duty gardening tools. There may be an opportunity to dig a few designated plants. We will have liability waver forms for all to sign. You will need to be alert at all times to the proximity of chain saws, power equipment, and falling culms, and to observe caution in using any sharp tools. Please bring, and use, all recommended safety equipment including safety glasses, gloves and hearing protection, particularly when working near the chain saws. And don’t forget mosquito spray, sunscreen and any other items and necessities to be comfortable.

VEHICLE ACCESS: Because traffic is restricted on Avery Island and parking at the bamboo groves is limited, we will be carpooling as much as possible and must limit the number of pulled trailers to FIVE. However, individual trailer spaces can be reserved (first come, first served) by calling Judge. Cars with rooftop carriers and pickup trucks with racks are not subject to the limitation.

For those who have never been to an Avery Island Work Party Weekend and would like a preview, ABS member Daphne Lewis has posted on YouTube an excellent video of our 2010 weekend. You can also read Ken Ringle’s history of this bamboo weekend and Andy Ringle’s excellent paper on E.A. McIlhenny’s work with bamboo which gave birth to the grove we’ll be clearing.

ACCOMMODATIONS: We have secured a block of rooms for Friday and Saturday, Feb 25 and 26, at the Ramada Conference Center New Iberia, 2915 Highway 14, New Iberia, LA 70560, where you should make room reservations and payment arrangements directly. Please call (337) 367-1201, speak to any Customer Service Rep (24/7), and mention that you are with
the American Bamboo Society: our group rate is $69.00 per night plus tax, breakfast included. You will be free to cancel your room reservation any time up to 48 hours prior to your scheduled arrival; however, in order to secure the group rate you will need to book your room reservation no later than Friday, February 17, 2022.

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COVID: a vaccination or recent test would be appreciated (but not required); we would expect that anyone who feels vulnerable will not attend the inside events. However, if we get a sharp spike in infection/hospitalization rates the requirements will be reconsidered and everyone will be so notified. There will be free tests available in case anyone feels unwell and would like to test.

Please note: membership in the Louisiana Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Bamboo Society is required. If you are not already a member please complete this membership form or complete the membership online at the American Bamboo Society website and choose the Louisana Gulf Coast Chapter!

Here is a video showing the Moso Grove in November 2017 receiving a dose of energy using Vermeer BC 1000 XL chipper

Read about how the Moso Bamboo Grove Grooming at Avery Island Started!

E.A. McIlhenny set out his initial bamboo plantings at Avery Island "on the southern slope of the Prospect Hill Ridge, facing Little Hayes Swamp" in April 1910; therefore, 2018 marks the 108th anniversary of this oldest grove of his.

Edward Avery McIlhenny Pioneer Bamboo Planter By Andrew D. Ringle