LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Garden Club is on a mission to win the state's Cleanest City Contest. The Garden Club is walking the entire route that will be judged looking for things the judges might see when they score the city Friday, May 4th. Garden Club member Nan Himel said they've seen a lot of cigarette butts.
"This is the favorite place for cigarette butts - a flower bed is usually the place where people will pick to dump a few cigarette butts. If they've been carrying them they will pick that place," said Himel.
Himel said the judges look for everything from litter to how well the property is maintained.
"They see everything. We believe the judges have eyes in the back of their head," said Himel.
A few blocks over an army of volunteers is helping out, including the Lake Charles Boy Scouts Troop #1.
"There's not as much trash as you would think and most of the yards are nice and clean and there are some areas that are real bad, but most of it's pretty good," said Ty Fullington, Boy Scout Troop #1.
Also accepting the challenge to clean are City Councilmen Stuart Weatherford and Mark Eckard.
"We know we have to lead by example and we can't ask other people to come and help pick up if we are not willing to do it ourselves. So we need to come out here and help lead this effort," said Eckard.
"I think it might help attract new business. A lot of business people looking to locate in a community - one of the things they look at is the cleanliness of the community. And we just want to make sure everyone knows where the route is and hopefully will work with the Garden Club to get the area clean," said Weatherford.
While walking the route the Garden Club is also handing out flyers to remind businesses and homeowners to do their part before the big day. Some of the suggestions:
Keep sidewalks clean and edged. Remove weeds from growing in broken cracks.
Mow lawns, cut weeds around poles, signs, fences, and in ditches.
Keep vacant lots mowed and litter free.
Prevent and pick up litter.
Put cigarette butts in a container, not on the ground.
Improve your landscaping... plant flowers.
Before Lake Charles can claim the title of cleanest city - the Garden Club and volunteers plan to walk the entire route before the judging on Friday, May 4th.
"This is a clean city. We think it's cleaner than a lot of cities in Louisiana. So we think we should definitely win this year," said Himel.
The judging route is as follows:
Start at the SWLA Convention and Visitors Burea, head down Lakeshore Drive
Turn down Kirby Street, make the block around Bilbo and back up Kirby
turn down Louisiana then on Enterprise pass the Police Station
down Pujo Street, then on Kirkman
down 7th Street to Park
down Pithon to Ryan Street
down Lake Street
all the way down Shell Beach Drive