Locals gather to clean up parish

Published 11:45 pm Thursday, April 24, 2014

Springtime brings both Earth Day, a worldwide celebration of the planet, and the Great American Cleanup, one of the nation’s largest community improvement initiatives aimed at assembling volunteers to gather trash from roadsides, riversides and everywhere it may be found.

The cleanup is a project of Keep America Beautiful, and this week the local affiliate, Keep Washington Parish Beautiful, organized events throughout the parish. On Wednesday, a small group from Save Bogalusa met KWPB Chairman Troy Barber at Richardson Landing on the Pearl River and quickly got to work making a difference.

Barber handed out trash bags and grabbers on short poles and told the group that bottles of water were available.

Save Bogalusa founder Wendy Williams said she encourages stewardship of the Earth and active volunteerism.

As Williams scooped up a big pile of discarded Mardi Gras beads mingled with trash from near the water’s edge, she said she also planned to pick up a trash pile she saw on Riverside Drive on her way down to the landing, and she intended to take her group to tackle Mitch Road when that was done.

“I came because I wanted to clean up this area,” she said. “It’s always really bad here.”

Keep Washington Parish Beautiful hopes that as it organizes more and more cleanup events local folks will get into the habit of regularly noticing trash, picking it up and, ideally, not throwing it down in the first place.

It doesn’t hurt to get kids started at an early age. A 4-H group was scheduled to clean up in Angie Thursday, Barber said.