Red Stick named cleanest Louisiana city over 100,000
Officials from the Louisiana Garden Club Federation announced today that Baton Rouge has won top honors in its 2011 Cleanest City contest for cities with populations over 100,000.
This is the 53rd year that the Louisiana Garden Club Federation has held the Cleanest City Awards, which encourage communities to become more proactive in the war against litter.
During the district competition earlier this year, judges selected Baton Rouge as the cleanest city in the Federation’s District IV competition that covers the southeast part of the state. The regional win came after the judges toured the Capitol grounds, various schools, LSU, parks, public buildings, several neighborhoods, and businesses around Baton Rouge to assess the cleanliness of the community. The judges also heard first-hand accounts about the many anti-litter activities that occurred over the past year.
During the first three weeks of April, Baton Rouge and other communities that won their respective districts were visited by judges for the statewide competition. In that round of judging, Baton Rouge was selected as the Cleanest City in Louisiana with a population greater than 100,000.
JoAnn Fryling, contest coordinator for the Baton Rouge Garden Club, said Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden played in major role in Baton Rouge’s success in the Cleanest City contest. She said the Mayor has always recognized that a clean city is essential for the economic growth of the city and the well being of its citizens.
Fryling said the goal of the Cleanest City Contest is to raise public awareness about the need to have a clean community and to encourage city governments, businesses, organizations and private citizens to work towards that end.
“Ideally, in a community that takes great pride in itself, there would be no need to pick up litter because trash would all be disposed of properly,” Fryling said. “There would be no need to keep statistics of the bags and tons of litter picked up. And, in the case of Baton Rouge Parish, $500,000 would be saved that could be in more productive ways.”
Fryling said Baton Rouge has been working hard in the war against litter with educational programs like the Waste in Place workshops, which show local science teachers how to effectively teach their students about recycling and proper trash disposal.
In addition, the Downtown Development District, LSU and the City Parish Department of Public Works have all helped in the anti-litter effort by placing trash cans around the downtown area, on the LSU campus during tailgating events, and at outdoor concerts and special events, she said.
She noted that throughout the year, Keep Baton Rouge Beautiful works with the Boy and Girl Scouts, high school students, college classes and other organizations to clean lakes and parks, streets and walkways. In addition, churches and neighborhood civic associations also hold clean-up drives in communities around Baton Rouge.
“It is a huge job but enormous progress is being made and civic pride is becoming increasingly evident,” Fryling said.
She also noted that great attention is also being paid to the maintenance of green spaces around Baton Rouge, including roadways, medians, interchanges, curbs, parks, ball fields, and playgrounds.
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Cutline for attached photo: Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden, center, accepts the Louisiana Garden Club Federation 2011 Cleanest City Award for cities with populations over 100,000. Pictured with the Mayor are, from left: City-Parish Landscape Architect Greg Bivin; Jean Gilstrap, state chairman of the 2011 LGCF Cleanest City Contest; Donna Bucci, immediate past president of the Louisiana Garden Club Federation Inc.; and JoAnn Fryling, contest coordinator for the Baton Rouge Garden Club.