The âgarbage warriorâ who took on the task of cleaning up the town is a living example of the wise words of anthropologist Margaret Mead. There have been so far. “
These volunteers spend countless hours each week picking up trash, whether it’s walking the neighborhood along highways or shopping areas, or rowing bayeuses or streams. I spend time on it.
Real estate agent Jennifer Richardson, retired nuclear sales specialist Parry “Matt” Thomas, photographer Marie Constantine, computer programmer Nathaniel Clamba, lawyer Johanna Landrenault and others are happy to fight the garbage. I put the spotlight on the fighters.
Keep Tiger Town beautiful
For years, Jennifer Richardson has helped find housing for those hired to work at Baton Rouge. She was tired of seeing the first impression of the city.
âThere was nothing to show off the beauty of Louisiana and our city. It got worse and worse and I couldn’t take it anymore.
In January, she posted a notice on Facebook asking people to meet people to pick up trash at the corners of Essen Lane and Jefferson Highway at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
âIt was an area where I couldn’t see the garbage anymore,â she said.
It was a cold, dark day, so she arrived early.
âI was looking to see if anyone appeared. Suddenly I looked up and saw 15 people, and my heart leaped out of my chest, âsaid Richardson.
That morning, the group picked up 41 contractor-sized garbage bags. Before and after photos of their jobs have become a hot topic on Facebook.
Since then, Richardson has gathered volunteers from different parts of the city on Saturday. She sometimes provides volunteers with homemade cookies and muffins.
âI arranged for a bagpiper to come and play for us on Saturday St. Patrick’s Day,â she said. “I like to keep things fun.”
His Facebook group “Keep Tiger Town Beautiful” currently has over 700 subscribers and approximately 10 to 25 volunteers participate in each garbage pickup. Volunteers are required to wear rubber boots and gloves, bring a refillable water bottle, wear sunscreen and a hat.
âI’ve picked up the garbage four times a month for the past six months, and it’s amazing to see what makes the difference in such a short amount of time,â said Richardson. There are lawyers, doctors and even homeless people.
She also helps others organize garbage collection in their neighborhood. A portion of the donations she receives will be used to purchase supplies. Most are garbage bags. The Keep Baton Rouge Beautiful organization also rented its equipment.
Recently, due to concerns about rain and flooding, Richardson and his team focused on cleaning up drains that had accumulated debris. In March, the East Baton Rouge Metro Council awarded a Certificate of Commendation for his work and dedication, with several councilors and the mayor participating in the garbage collection.
Her hope is to get others to clean up the neighborhood, raise awareness of the waste issue, and encourage people to participate.
âGarbage affects everyone. Garbage produces garbage, and we have this Mardi Gras idea that somebody else picks it up because we pay taxes. Our problem is that. Bigger than, âsaid Richardson. âIn addition to its ugliness, all garbage and plastics enter our water system, killing our wildlife. We ingest microplastics when we eat and drink. I am. “
Matt Thomas is a veteran garbage warrior who has been cleaning up the Baton Rouge area for over 10 years.
He started cleaning up activities at University Lakes in 2008 and, along with his neighbor, the former United States House of Representatives, Henson Moore, founded the University Lakes Improvement and Conservation Society (TULIPA), a non-profit organization. lucrative, to organize volunteers to clean up the surroundings. Did. LSU Lake.
According to Thomas, the idea was to make the area more attractive and safer for jogging and lake visitors by removing the overgrowth of the riverbanks, a hideout for thieves and thieves invading cars. did.
Since the founding of TULIPA, Thomas has helped organize and purify invasive plants such as water hyacinth and crocodile weeds that have been inherited both in LSU Lake and in BREC’s Blackwater Conservation Area. . He is now looking to combat the buildup of algae that has plagued University Lake and City Park Lake over the past two years.
Thomas organized and participated in the garbage and burn clean-up in several areas north of Baton Rouge. In 2019, he formed a team to clean 22 tons of dead people, trees, bushes, trash, carpets and even dead animals for the Walls Project / Operation Fresh Start to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. was called the “Ravaged General”. weekly.
âI had to manage over 3,000 volunteers that week which was overwhelming,â he said.
He will join Richardson and his volunteers on Saturday to help clean up Capitol Lakes and clean up the old cemetery. He also helped design the Planc Road Fatalities and Debris Removal Program.
Thomas worked with the mayor’s office to remove over 2,000 used tires from a known landfill in Baton Rouge. Thousands of used tires continue to be dumped illegally in the city’s poorest areas, retaining standing water for mosquitoes to breed, threatening the health of their neighbors, he said.
âTo remove the financial incentive to get rid of these tires, we need to change the scrapping fee law,â Thomas said.
Louisiana Stormwater Union
Marie Constantine was an avid trash warrior on Capitol Lake. She has researched this issue extensively and has organized several cleanups at Capitol Lakes with a team of volunteers who have collected over 1,000 bags of garbage since starting a garbage cleanup program a few years ago. did.
Along with her supporters, she helped form the Louisiana Stormwater Coalition in hopes of funding programs to support rains and rainwater spills, such as programs that exist in more than 160 Florida cities.
âLouisiana is number one in precipitation and has to live with large amounts of stormwater, but there is no way to treat and manage it,â she said.
Rainwater carries large amounts of waste to the main basins of the parish: lakes, rivers, bayous and streams.
âCurrently, the amount of garbage in our pond far exceeds the amount Girl Scouts can pick up,â Constantine said. âOur grandfather’s waste was not toxic. Something like that is toxic. And we eat and drink plastic from our food and water supply. “
With support from the Baton Rouge Regional Foundation, the group has been given the green light to purchase and install a dam to block debris from the lake, but Constantine has said improvement plans that require public assistance. He said it was still going on.
In 2011, mostly out of curiosity, Nathaniel Clumb and his friend Mike Tilly decided to see if they could row the Baton Rouge Canal.
It opened their eyes to the amount of garbage in these streams and streams.
Today, through efforts to clean up and clean up the Yeoman trails, they have created the Bayeuw Fountain Recreation Paddle Trail.
PaddleBR was founded in 2015 with the mission of facilitating access to local waterways and raising awareness of their condition. Cleaning is a big part of that effort.
âThe record for garbage collection in the Wars Creek waterways is 144 bags in 3 hours,â Klumb explains. âSome people may be disappointed when you look at the amount of waste, but I think it’s a big improvement. My default is always “see how good we are.” I’m always happy with what we’ve accomplished. “
With the vision of âclean land, clean waterâ and the slogan âlove, not wasteâ, the Clean Pelican was established in March to help Baton Rouge tackle the problem of waste.
Johanna Landreneau is co-founder and secretary general, planning garbage collection in the city and sometimes joining other like-minded groups.
âOur mission is to create and maintain a clean and beautiful city where families and businesses want to stay, work and play,â she said.
Clean Pelican also wants to work with local and state governments to change policies to better enforce waste legislation.
âCollecting garbage can change your life. You don’t want to use plastic straws too much, you don’t want to use styrofoam like I did before, and in fact durability for drinking water and beverages. We will start to get possible containers. We want others to join our movement, âsaid Landrenault.
Become a warrior
Garbage Warriors say there is more to do to beautify our city and invite you to do so.
- Jennifer Richardson, Founder, Keeps Tigertown Beautiful [email protected]
- President of TULIPA, Parry “Matt” Thomas, [email protected]
- Marie Constantine, Capitol Lakes, Louisiana Stormwater Union, louisianestormwater.com
- Nathaniel Klumb, Founder, PaddleBR, paddlebr.com
- Co-founder of Clean Pelican, Johanna Landreneau, cleanpelican.org
This information is presented in collaboration with the Louisiana Master Naturalist of Greater Baton Rouge, which seeks to promote awareness, understanding and management of the natural environment. For more information, send an email to [email protected]
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