A family in Arnaudville has turned their backyard into a nature reserve. Brandon and Aurore Ballengee said their goal is to help others learn about the nature that surrounds us and the impact it has on everyday life.
Their nature reserve looks like an open field, but it’s more than just a field. It’s a festival ground, a nature reserve, and a place to stargaze.
"Atelier de la Nature, which is our little nature reserve, a nature center in Cecilia. This is a project we started about a year and a half ago, and what we aim to do is we are creating a natural habitat for wildlife. But also educational events that involve food and science and music and real experimental for families, but also adults," Ballengee said.
The couple is teaching people how to preserve wildlife. They’re also teaching how biologically diverse nature truly is through workshops.
"Nature walks like bird walks with an art and a food component so kids can come out and sometimes eat insects even," Ballengee said.
The latest project on the reserve is a three sisters garden. Three plants including corn and beans are rooted together to help each other grow.
Their biggest event is the Halloween Art and Nature Festival. More than 300 people will gather on their nature reserve to not only learn but to play as well. The Ballengee’s say they want people to experience and appreciate all that nature has to offer.
"To get inspired by local nature and that connection with food and writing and art and music. Just by learning a little bit more about the landscape we are apart of, and how that can really change what we care about," Ballengee said.