Cities fare well in 'Cleanest City' contest

Shown are three contest judges and City Council member Veronica Allison.
Shown are three contest judges and City Council member Veronica Allison.

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - All the hard work to make Sulphur and Lake Charles among the cleanest cities in the state has again paid off.

The City of Sulphur won the contest for its division.

Lake Charles, Fenton, Rayne and Crowley also won the cleanest city. They were all in different divisions and did not compete against one another.

Lake Charles competes with a few other larger cities like Baton Rouge.

Judging for the Cleanest City Contest was held in Southwest Louisiana on Wednesday.

The competition, which is sponsored by the Louisiana Garden Club Federation, aims to create cleaner communities throughout the state.

KPLC caught up with the judges in Sulphur.

"We make sure all year that the town stays clean but once a year we just make sure everything is as perfect as it can be," Sulphur Garden Club President Kelly Keers said.

District Cleanest City Contest Chairman and Judge Betty Foret said they visit places where people gather.

"We look at cemeteries, city parks and businesses," Foret said. "We want everyone to keep areas clean."

The judges are only given a few minutes to score each city they visit, so it takes an entire community to work to keep the city clean.

Foret said, "Everybody has to participate to prevent littler and be aware of how important it is to have a beautiful city."

The main focus of the contest is to promote community involvement and cleanliness; however, maintaining a clean city can actually help small areas to grow.

"When the town is clean and there is no trash, no litter and things are planted and they bring future employees in they will notice that," Keers said. "When they come to interview and they can see it as a place they may want to live."

Although the contest is once a year, Keers said with the help of city maintenance, cleanup continues year round.

"They go out and pick up leaves and clean the drains out so that we do have good drainage in the city. They come along with a street sweeper or shovels and pick things up next to the curb, otherwise, they would be there forever."

Keers said she hopes that community members realize what a beautiful area they have and continue to pick up trash when they see it.

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