St. Martinville cleanest city in the district
Members of Trinity Builders Club and Junior Knights of the Knights of Peter Claver prepare the drains for decals asking people not to dump oils and trash.(Elaine Clément)
Thanks to the work of the St. Martinville Garden Club, Glenda Kately Sonnier, Parks and Recreation Director, and her staff and many local volunteers, St. Martinville placed first in the annual Cleanest City Contest for District 3.
The city will now continue on to the statewide contest, to be held the first or the second week of May. A date will be set for another Trash Bash once the date of the judging for the statewide contest is announced.
Sponsored annually by Louisiana Garden Club Federation, Inc. (LCGF), the judging took place on April 7. The local Garden Club sponsored the event with its president, Lisa Carlson, and Cleanest City Committee chairman, Susan Carpenter, at the helm.
Mayor Thomas Nelson said he was very excited.
“This is the first time we’ve placed higher than the Town of Scott,” Nelson said. “I just want to thank everyone for all of their hard work, and we’re asking everyone to pitch in one more time with the state contest.”
The judging panel was composed of members of the garden clubs north of Lake Pontchartrain. Debbie Corales, Dorothy Delaune and Betty Plummer, were accompanied by Linda Brashier, Cleanest City Contest District director from Houma.
The judges rode a pre-determined route, which included certain criteria, a litter-free environment, as well as planted and manicured residential and business areas. The route included the nursing home, residential areas and the business district, entrances to the city, new business development, parks and the library.
Extra points are awarded for the ecology flag and the blue star memorial marker, located in front the parish government offices, a symbol of the National Federation of Garden Clubs honoring the men and women who served in the armed forces during World War II.
Trash Bash was held on April 5 and was sponsored by the St. Martinville Garden Club and the City of St. Martinville. Young people representing Trinity Builders` Club and the Junior Knights and Junior Daughters of the Knights of Peter Claver Court and Council 54 spent the day planting, placing no dumping decals on drains, and picking up trash along the route.
The decals encourage people not to throw oils and other trash in the drainage that leads to the bayou. They were provided by Brent Miller, Teche Project Council Member, and the Department of Environmental Quality.
In 1958, LGCF was first among members of the National Garden Clubs to sponsor a state wide “Cleanest City Contest.” The aim of the contest is to instill civic pride in the individual citizens and thus, improve the appearance of towns and cities. Each year competition has become stronger, and the cities and towns have achieved higher and higher standards of cleanliness. We point with pride to the many participating communities through the years – and to the ever-increasing number who work year round to keep their communities clean and beautiful.
According to Sonnier, “We`re asking all residents to help us prepare for the state contest by keeping their lawns and vacant lots mowed and sprucing up their properties by planting flowers and cleaning. It is a time to instill pride in our city!”
And as Destiny Martin, of St. Martinville Junior High and winner of the slogan contest for local Cleanest City, put it, “Let’s Fight to Keep our Community Clean.”