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 21 - 23, 2020

Avery Island Moso Bamboo Grove Grooming Event Feb 21-23, 2020


2020 will mark the 22nd year that LGCC and ABS members have come to Avery Island to help clear and clean E. A. McIlhennys plantings of timber bamboos. Coordinators with Ken Ringle (202-412-1989) for the weekend are Judge and Elizabeth Edwards, who can be reached by phone at (337) 898-1469 or by email at, and chapter treasurer Juliet Granger (337-577-1323) and .

As in years past, the weekend is limited to LGCC members (INTERESTED NEWCOMERS ENCOURAGED TO JOIN!) and to Avery Island Family members and their guests. While there is no registration fee for the weekend, we do ask that you pre-register for any meals you plan to eat and include payment for these by check enclosed with your registration form.

   Our weekend will begin 6:00 p.m., Friday evening, February 21st, at the Ramada Conference Center New Iberia, 2915 Highway 14, New Iberia, LA 70560 (phone (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 morning, the 22nd, we will meet at 8:30 a.m. 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! Then, at 5:30 p.m., we will gather at historic Marsh House for drinks and dinner. After dinner entertainment will feature the celebrated Bamboo Weekend Auction, featuring 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 morning, February 23rd, we will reassemble at Marsh House where, beginning at 9:00 a.m., ABS members will be giving 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 former LGCC president Andy Ringle, who has been working for the past several years in the Peruvian Amazon and will have numerous photos and observations on bamboo there, Shanti Pierce will talk about the Medicinal Uses of Bamboo, and 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 and will give a guided tour of Jungle Gardens where he has overseen a revival of bamboo plantings.

 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 or Elizabeth 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 and Elizabeth. Cars with rooftop carriers and pickup trucks with racks are not subject to this limitation.

Please check back here for any last-minute updates regarding the weekend.

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(



As in years past, the weekend is limited to LGCC members and to Avery Island Family members and their guests. If you need to renew your membership – or begin a new membership – please complete the Membership & Directory Information Form included here and also at the end of this memo.


We have secured a block of rooms for Friday and Saturday, Feb 21 and 22, 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 $72.95 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 15, 2020.


To facilitate the planning of meals arranged for the weekend, we require that you please register and pay for these meals in advance to ensure reserved seating for the Friday and Saturday evening dinners.

Names for badges: ______________________________________________

Address, phone number: ______________________________________________

Email address: ______________________________________________

Friday Night Buffet – Ramada/New Iberia:___ person(s) @ $25.00 =$_____

Saturday Bag Lunch & Drink – Avery Island:___ person(s) [Donated/Paid For]

Saturday Evening Dinner – Marsh House, Avery Island:___person(s) @ $40.00 =$_____

If Vegetarian, enter___ person(s) name ___________________

TOTAL     =$_____

Remember all events for the weekend are free (meals are extra & optional), and you may choose only to attend selected events.

Please mail completed registration form, together with meals check payable to LGCC, to Judge Edwards, 400 Fairview St., Abbeville, LA 70510-3602 (phone (337) 898-1469).

The deadline for receiving all registrations is Wednesday, February 15, 2020.  

Please note: membership in the Louisiana Chapter of the American Bamboo Society is required.  If you are not already a member please complete the following membership form:

or complete the online membership form at

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