• 79°

City of Bogalusa to take part in ‘Cleanest City’ contest in March

The city of Bogalusa will once again be participating in the state’s “Cleanest City” contest in 2020.

City Parks and Recreation Director Landon Tims said that the judging will take place some time before April 1, and the city is asking the public to do its part to clean up their own neighborhoods.

“We want this to be a general outreach to the city,” he said. “The judges are looking for citizens who take pride in their properties.”

The Louisiana Garden Club Federation organizes the statewide Cleanest City Contest each year. There are multiple divisions, based on city size.

Tims said that this is the third straight year that Bogalusa is participating, following a brief hiatus. The city won its district each of those past two years, and finished fourth in its division at state competition last year.

Bogalusa went almost 10 years without participating, before returning to the contest in 2018.

“We want people to take pride in the city of Bogalusa,” Tims said. “We want people to know that (the city government is) working to maintain a clean environment. That time that we took off from the contest, might have given the impression that we didn’t care, so we thought it was important to return to this contest again.”

Tims said that this year the judges would be inspecting a different route through the city — one that is different from the route the previous two years. He said that the route has not been finalized, yet.

He noted that one of the most important parts of the Cleanest City competition is that the city gets the local schools involved. He said that he and Mayor Wendy Perrette had already visited several schools to tell the children about keeping their environment clean, and letting them join in a pledge to keep their city neat.

“We firmly believe that is one of the most important things we can do, is to get the next generation involved,” Tims said. “Plus, those kids can go home and be a good example for their parents and other adults, as well. It’s like the mayor likes to say, ‘our kids can show us the latest dance moves, but they can also show us how to keep our city clean.’”

Tims said that there would be more announcements about the contest as the judging gets closer.

However, there is something that citizens can do already to help Bogalusa’s chances. He recommended that any community organizations that want to get involved can adopt a street or site. In addition, he asked that any groups take photos of their clean-up activities and submit them to the city’s Facebook page as a way to help Bogalusa make its case for the Cleanest City contest judges.

“I know it sounds simple, but the main thing that the judges are looking for is just trash,” Tims said. “They want to see no trash on the ground. So that’s something where if every citizen just cleaned up the area around their home, we could make a noticeable difference city-wide.”

Last year, the judges visited Bogalusa on March 20.