City claims district honors in Cleanest City Contest

<p class="p1">Lake Charles has passed the district level of the Cleanest City Contest and qualified to compete against cities its size across the state for the title of Cleanest City, awarded each year by the Louisiana Garden Club Federation, officials said Thursday. </p><p class="p1">District judging took place on April 4 after residents and businesses were encouraged to pitch in by cleaning up their yards and cutting their grass. The state competition will be May 1, and area residents are again encouraged to tidy their yards for that day.</p><p class="p1">“Our win at the district level was due to the many volunteers who assisted in this effort and the many citizens who cleaned up their yards,” said Mayor Nic Hunter in a news release. “Now it’s time to take our city-wide beautification efforts to the next level as we prepare to compete in the state final competition.”</p><p class="p1">The city will be judged on the condition of various properties such as schools, churches, hospitals, libraries, parks, businesses, homes, streets and sidewalks.</p><p class="p1">City liaison Esther Vincent said it’s all hands on deck during Cleanest City time each year. Residents get door hangers letting them know their homes may be on the judge’s route and are generally more than willing to participate, she said. </p><p class="p1">Vincent said the goal of the contest, founded in 1958, is not only to encourage community involvement the day of judging, but also throughout the year.</p><p class="p1">“We’re just trying to show them environmentally how important it is to keep our city clean,” she said. </p><p class="p1">She said appearances matter when it comes to attracting new residents and businesses to locate in the area — top on the city’s to-do list as it tries to achieve healthy growth along with the rest of the region.</p><p class="p2"><strong>Trash Bash</strong></p><p class="p1">The city will partner with Team Green in preparing for the state Cleanest City Contest with its annual Residential Trash Bash at Chennault International Airport on Saturday, April 21, 8-11 a.m.</p><p class="p1">Vincent said various vendors will be on hand to help properly dispose of these items, and the word is already getting out.</p><p class="p1">“The people are really working together with us to make a difference in our Trash Bash and in our Cleanest City Contest,” Vincent said.</p><p class="p1">Residents are encouraged to bring items for free disposal, including electronic devices; products containing mercury such as fluorescent light bulbs; batteries; antifreeze; clothing; sofas; motor oil; paint; oil; and appliances. </p><p class="p1">Recyclable items like paper, plastic, aluminum and cardboard are also welcome. Confidential paper shredding will be available.</p><p class="p1">Items that won’t be accepted include chemical household waste, tires, scrap iron, ammunition, explosives, asbestos materials, Freon items, lawn mowers, medical waste, medication and propane tanks. </p><p class="p1">For more information on both events, including the preferred order of loading for the Trash Bash, contact 491-1481 or email blake.trahan@cityoflc.us. A flyer is available at www.cityoflakecharles.com.</p>

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