Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday, May 13, 2016

Photo Friday | Project Front Yard Updates

After Mayor-President Joel Robideaux's first four months in office, Project Front Yard held a press conference yesterday to give the public updates on recently completed projects and upcoming initiatives.

Project Front Yard is a beautification, cleanliness and education initiative formed by Lafayette Consolidated Government in the fall of 2014, and in its short tenure, has made a big impact on Lafayette. Iberia, St. Martin and Acadia parishes have all adopted their own Project Front Yard organizations to spread the momentum beyond our city limits.


Mayor-President Joel opened the press conference and gave a brief overview of Project Front Yard under his leadership. One of my favorite projects he plans to tackle is the revitalization of University Avenue from I-10 to Downtown/UL campus, which will be a boost in so many ways.


Newly appointed Project Front Yard coordinator Skyra Rideaux talked about Project Front Yard's involvement in keeping Festival International green and clean.


LCG Director of Public Works Tom Carroll recapped the amount of materials and trash collected by April 23's Household Chemical Collection Day. 355 city residents brought a cumulative 36,500 pounds of material. Of that, 92% of the materials will be converted into fuels, roughly 4% will be sent for treatment and only 4% of items collected were sent to the landfilled.

In addition, 540 gallons of old paint were collected, recycled and remixed for sale at Habitat for Humanity's ReStore. If you're looking for a unique color, there's your opportunity! The paint collection and remix saves the city $8,000 in paint disposal fees, since it cannot simply be dumped into a landfill.


During Household Chemical Collection Day, tech company and new Lafayette resident CGI sponsored an e-waste collection, where people could drop off old electronics. CGI will recycle and repurpose materials for low-income residents. 235 residents brought 10,137 pounds of e-waste, and with the contributions from partners like UL Lafayette, an additional 5,430 pounds were collected.

CGI representative Anne Swanson said, "In honor of Earth Week, we conducted an e-waste recycling competition in five of our offices across the country, and I’m proud to say that CGI Lafayette won!"


One of my favorite updates from the press conference was the announcement of the school plastic bag roundup winners. Check out this blog post from March for all the details. Levi Kastner and Jeremy Broussard, who created the plastic bag roundup last year, spoke about the importance of teaching students about environmental responsibility and the better way to use materials.

Prairie Elementary won the elementary school competition, with students collecting 3,058 pounds of bags, or just over three and a half pounds of plastic bags per student. Paul Breaux earned the top spot at the middle school level, collecting 350 pounds, or more than half a pound per student.
 
All collected plastic bags were sent off for repurposing. Every participating school received planter boxes made from a composite material containing plastic bags, and Prairie and Paul Breaux will receive a bench made from the remanufactured materials. You can see the bench below!



Director of the Planning, Zoning, and Development Department (and general badass) Carlee Alm-Labar thanked the students who participated in the plastic bag roundup, and everyone who contributes to Project Front Yard efforts, saying, "These efforts mean so much to Bayou Vermilion District and the guys who go on the water every day and pick plastic bags out of trees."


Diana Nolan, with the Lafayette Garden Club, spoke about Lafayette's efforts for the statewide Cleanest City Contest. She announced that we won both the district and state levels, earning top honors just one week after Festival International, and thanked the crews who worked hard to clean the city. My favorite quote from her was, "Laissez faire is one of our mottos in Lafayette, but lazy is not fair! If you see litter, pick it up!"


Lafayette Consolidated Government is also cleaning up its front yard at City Hall, with the installation of a new awning and a fresh paint job. Lafayette native and world famous muralist Robert Dafford is painting a collection of murals on the exterior walls, telling the story of who we are and where we are. “Throughout Europe, people know who the local artists are, who their poets are, who their designers are because they have invested in their cultural economy. We are slowly learning in the U.S. that an investment in our artists is an investment in our economy,” he said during his speech.

Project Front Yard also announced a beautification event happening on 85 streets in North Lafayette tomorrow morning, with 300 volunteers expected to participate.

Read the complete Project Front Yard press release here.

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