Mar 28, 2013 4:29 PM by MELISSA CANONE
The City of Crowley was named District VII Category winner of the 2013 Louisiana Garden Club Federation (LGCF) Cleanest City Contest held Tuesday, March 26. Now, the beautification efforts will continue as Crowley prepares for competition at the State level in May.
In 1958, the LGCF was among the first members of the National Garden Club to sponsor a statewide Cleanest City Contest. The purpose of the contest is to instill civic pride in the citizens of the communities and to improve the appearance of towns and cities nationwide. Each year, the competition becomes a little stronger and cities are setting higher standards of cleanliness. There are an increasing number of communities that work year-round to keep their cities clean and beautiful.
Judges are invited from around the state for a one-day ride around each city. Districts are divided into 10 categories based on population. The rules require that judges be shown the same areas in each community, including public buildings, schools, churches, hospitals, libraries, fire stations, city halls and nursing homes. Along the route, judges viewed a few chosen business establishments and residential areas. They judged streets, sidewalks and neutral grounds. Vacant lots along the route must be free of litter, junk and abandoned vehicles. They look for lawns to be edged, well-kept and litter-free and fences to be painted.
The judges also looked at community involvement, the participation of civic clubs, church groups, businesses and schools that is necessary to maintain cleanliness. The goal is that the judges leave with an overall impression of cleanliness. The judges also took into consideration what beautification efforts have been made throughout the past year by reviewing a scrapbook detailing all projects.
"We used all resources available to present our city in its best light to our own citizens and our visitors," said Crowley Mayor Greg Jones. "It is my belief that when we clean up the city, it causes our people to be proud. And a little bit of pride goes a long way and brings great recognition."
Mayor Jones signaled pride at the accomplishment and recognized the Street Commissioner, Gilbert Onezine who helped make it all happen to win this prestigious award.
"I am extremely proud of our citizens, all our employees, the Crowley Garden Club and Chamber of Commerce who rose to the occasion with pride and perseverance and teamed together to assist us. We are fortunate to have such a supportive and responsive community to our city's quality of life initiatives and goals." Jones said.
Amy S. Thibodeaux, the President & CEO of the Crowley Chamber of Commerce, said having Crowley win the Cleanest City competition is another accomplishment in the efforts of local economic development. "It can only benefit our community," she said. "We are proud to add this to our reasons to visit Crowley, do business here and make Crowley a place to call home."
"This award represents a community who cares; and takes pride in our city, their neighborhoods and where they live and work. It brings with it a community spirit that tells the world that our citizens are invested in their home town." said Nancy Broadhurst, President of the Crowley Garden Club.
The Cleanest City Contest is sponsored statewide by the Louisiana Garden Club Federation. The Crowley Chamber of Commerce and the Crowley Garden Club spearheaded the project locally in partnership with the City of Crowley under the 'Keep Crowley Beautiful' campaign.