"We are very excited, and very grateful to all the organizations and volunteers who helped us win, and to Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso, who provided parish assistance with collecting debris in this effort."

Weeks of hard work cleaning, painting, edging, re-planting flowerbeds, adding crepe myrtle trees and more, plus the help of numerous organizations and residents, helped the City of Plaquemine win the District F competition in the Louisiana Garden Club Federation's Cleanest City Contest in March. The city now moves on to the state District F judging at the end of April.

"We are very excited, and very grateful to all the organizations and volunteers who helped us win, and to Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso, who provided parish assistance with collecting debris in this effort," Mayor Edwin "Ed" Reeves, Jr. said. "This goes to show great things happen when we all work together."

Reeves also thanked city crews who worked tirelessly for weeks in preparation for the judging. "Our city crews did an excellent job and never complained about the long hours. We want to recognize their hard work," Mayor Reeves said.

The Plaquemine Garden Club helped lead the clean up effort, with Garden Club President Sheryl Ramirez and member Donna Carville providing invaluable assistance. Organizations that volunteered for a variety of clean-up activities included the Master Gardeners, St. John High School senior class, Dow Chemical Co. volunteer group, Plaquemine Lions Club, Girl Scouts, Plaquemine Main Street Program, Knights of Columbus Council 970, Plaquemine Service League, Westside Community Church Youth Group, and St. John Church and Cemetery volunteers.

When she called to tell Mayor Reeves the city had won, the judge told him, "I was in Plaquemine two years ago for a wedding, and this looks like a different city! It was spotless!"

"We want to win state, so we need everyone's help," Reeves said. "We don't know the judging date yet, so we are asking all residents to please keep your property clean, mowed and manicured. Don't litter and don't allow others you are with to litter our beautiful city! Let's win state!"

Mayor Reeves pushed for the city the enter the contest as part of his initiative to clean up the city, which was a priority when he took office. Cleaning, painting and organizing all city properties, along with getting tough on property owners who have unkept property and abandoned vehicles were big parts of that initiative. In the past two years, the city has send over 400 notices to property owners for vehicle violations, and demolished 21 dilapidated houses.

Contributed by the City of Plaquemine