The Beauty of Working Together

Post by 
Marlee Pittman
January 1, 2019

ayor-President Sharon Weston Broome joined dozens of volunteers during her annual "Operation Fresh Start" on February 16th. The project was a concentrated effort to reduce blight across our community through volunteer and City Parish efforts. Mid City volunteers picked up trash and went door to door, sharing information about Mid City programs, including the Mayor's "Blight Boot Camp" which will be held on June 1.

According to Rowdy Gaudet, Asst. Chief Administrative Officer for Mayor-President Broome, this month’s Operation Fresh Start produced the following results:

  •    231 tons (462,000 lbs.) of trash and debris cleared and disposed
  •    3,853 abandoned tires in the public right-of-way collected and disposed
  •    468 illegally placed signs collected and disposed
  •    83 potholes filled
  •    133 trash and debris piles collected and disposed
  •    967 bags of trash collected and disposed
  •    11 intersections repainted
  •    125 street signs replaced

Simultaneously, DOTD cut tree limbs growing near barrier rails, cleared clogged catch basins, and removed broken concrete beneath the interstate system and in parking areas. Republic Services and Waste Management provided equipment and supplies for the volunteer cleanup.

With over five cleanups and countless partners, we were able to make a noticeable dent in cleaning up our city. And that is what it is going to take to change the face of Baton Rouge - hundreds of groups, private citizens, businesses volunteers, City Parish, elected officals, residents and do-gooders.

I believe that building relationships and working with others is the corner stone of making an impact on the place we call home, Mid City. Perhaps that's why my job title at Mid City Redevelopment Alliance is Community Building and Engagement Manager. Operation Fresh Start was just the first of many coalition clean up efforts. The Ploggin Olympics brings together five heavy hitters and staples of our community - Radio Bar, Elifin Realty, Varsity Sports, The American Advertising Federation, the Tied Together initiative, Keep Louisiana Beautiful and our very own community development nonprofit - Mid City Redevelopment.

We will also be supporting five Resident Leaders to host ploggings in their own neighborhoods. City Park, Howell Park and Melrose Place are all ploggings scheduled for 2019 and will bring their own caste of community characters to bare on what is one of the biggest challenges facing our revitalization efforts - trash, blight and neglect.

Mid City Redevelopment will have other service projects this year too. We already have several projects scheduled including rehabbing eight Mid City homes and our annual FIXUP Mid City 2019, which will completely change the way a small segment of the Acadian Corridor looks for those that commute and live on the street. Still, we're going to need YOU, whoever this reader is and whatever skills you may uniquely bring to this effort, to join us and make these service days successful. We need you to make Mid City successful.

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