Mar 26, 2010 6:52 PM by Melissa Canone
Upper Lafayette's University Avenue Exit at I-10 is becoming a much more welcoming place. Under the stewardship of the Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation, many diverse interests have come together to clean up and revitalize the "Gateway to UL" at this heavily traveled and long-neglected area of the Hub City.
300 red and white crepe myrtles donated by Apache Corporation will be planted by volunteers from Stone Energy Corporation on the grassy "berm" along I-10 at University Avenue. Jeff Olivier of Olivier's Sprinklers &Drainage volunteered the man hours to dig the holes and prep the ground for planting, in the spaces designated in a master plan drawn and personally staked by UL Professor Jim Foret. This effort follows an earlier grant by Apache Corporation of 100 crepe myrtle trees which were planted by McDonald's Corp. of Acadiana on February 19th of this year.
Drivers along University Avenue have been intrigued by UL of Lafayette Logos painted in Spring and Fall 2009 by mural artist, Robert Dafford, which paintings were made possible through grants facilitated by Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission and our local legislators Senator Mike Michot and Representative Joel Robideaux. Dafford personally donated his time and that of his crew, to ensure that the revitalization was a success. Two more lively murals are scheduled to be designed and painted by Dafford by year end.
This on-going effort would not be possible without the support of Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel, UL at Lafayette's President Joseph Savoie, DOTD's Bill Fontenot, UL Professors Jim Foret and Tom Sammons. Honda of Lafayette's owner Mike Roberts has generously donated storage space of the crepe myrtles and has undertaken the herculean task of carting the trees on-site for planting.
In summing up the effort, ULEDF's Jan Swift wants to express her gratitude to the multitude of volunteers and donors who are truly committed to making our community a warm and welcoming place.