Beautification efforts a boon for the entire community

Published 8:49 am Monday, August 25, 2014

It’s commendable for anyone in the private sector to take it upon themselves and try and tackle the many problems the City of Bogalusa and Washington Parish have.

But that is exactly what Scott Ard is doing. He is one of the organizers of the newly-formed Washington Parish Safety Council, which had its inaugural meeting Thursday night in the Bogalusa City Hall courtoom.

Ard is not going to get a dime for his efforts. He simply sees it as his duty to help the city make itself more attractive to its citizens and visitors.

We believe Ard and the Washington Parish Safety Council have their hands full. But you can’t accomplish anything without first making an effort.

The Safety Council’s four main concerns are property blight, rampant litter, beautification of common areas and overall public safety. All four of those categories are a tall order.

Words like community pride and personal responsibility were bandied about in the courtroom Thursday night in talking about efforts to clean up the city. We think education falls in there somewhere. An educated citizenry takes pride in their community and makes sure others follow their lead.

We applaud Ard and his group’s effort. Thursday’s meeting attracted 24 citizens. Of course, that is a minute percentage of Bogalusa’s population and Washington Parish as a whole.

The term “pocket park” is a relatively new phrase. A pocket park is where a dilapidated building in a lot was demolished, and the lot is then transformed into a place to hold community concerts and other entertainment after the rubble and debris are gone.

Bogalusa’s Rendezvous on the Road series is a good example of how pocket parks can aid in beautifying areas of a city.

Wherever there is a vacant lot after a building has been torn down, civic organizations or just groups of concerned neighbors could take upon themselves to make the lot more attractive and useful to the community. Besides the site used for the Rendezvous on the Road series, there are approximately three other sites on South Columbia Street that are perfect candidates for picnic tables or at least a little landscaping. There is no perfect formula, but the overall goal is to try and eliminate eyesores, making Bogalusa a more attractive place to live and raise a family.