Louisiana, for all its man-made foibles and imperfections, is blessed with a lot of lush greenery, natural wildlife, and a temperate climate that allows for outdoor recreation. We also take our great outdoors for granted, and as a result, have one of the worst environmental records in the country and a host of regulations to deal with it.

Diane Baum, founder of Baum Environmental Group, shredding tires and taking names

Diane Baum, founder of Baum Environmental Group, shredding tires and taking names

Diane Baum is owner of Baum Environmental Group, a contract and consulting firm that specializes in helping commercial and governmental clients secure environmental permits dealing with things like storm-water runoff, while also providing services to make sure their clients stay in compliance. Baum helps its clients not only with the planning and the paperwork but also the technical work, silt fencing or hydroseeding, for instance. The company also helps companies determine their environmental risk, and helps commercial and residential customers design more eco-friendly buildings and homes.

Diane is an engineer, who founded the firm in 1995 after leaving the Louisiana Department. of Environmental Quality with a vision of creating a firm that would help small businesses navigate the maze of environmental compliance regulations affordably.

Scott Ricca, business is not just growing, growth is their business at Clegg's Nursery

Scott Ricca, business is not just growing, growth is their business at Clegg’s Nursery

Scott Ricca is owner of Clegg’s Nursery, a locally owned garden center that has been something of an institution in Baton Rouge since its founding in 1955 by Scott Clegg. Over the years, the business grew, and in the 1980s, Clegg sold it to his son, Marshall Clegg, who in 1999 sold it two of its longtime managers – Tom Fennell and Scott. In the more than 20 years they’ve owned the nursery, Scott and Tom have continued to grow the business, which now has four locations.

Clegg’s has also branched (if you’ll pardon the pun) into a wholesale growing operation, with the creation of a 40-thousand square foot green house that cultivates plants and flowers for local retailers to sell. Scott Ricca is a native of Baton Rouge, who got his degree in forestry and wildlife management at Louisiana Tech before returning to Baton Rouge and joining Clegg’s in the 1980s.

Diane Baum, Scott Ricca, Stephanie Riegel, Out to (virtual) Lunch

Diane Baum, Scott Ricca, Stephanie Riegel, Out to (virtual) Lunch

Photos by Jill Lafleur. And here’s more lunch table conversation from back in BC (Before Covid) about conserving our environment with Nicole Waguespack from Martin Ecosystems.

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