Clark touts Iberville at state conference

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter
TOUTING IBERVILLE TO STATE...Iberville Environmental and permits Manager John J. Clark gives a presentation to the Keep Louisiana Beautiful program's state conference in Baton Rouge. After hearing other presenters stress the importance of “green space,” Clark invited the group to visit Iberville, which he said is 80 percent green space with its forests and wetlands, its 600 miles of waterways.

Iberville Parish Environmental and Permits Manager John J. Clark described the formation and initial work of the Keep Iberville Beautiful (KIB) program at a conference of its state counterpart last month in Baton Rouge.

Clark, who heads the local beautification panel, was invited to be a presenter at the 2010 Keep Louisiana Beautiful state conference.

The Iberville Parish Council and The Dow Chemical Company helped KIB get its start in 2009, Clark said. Since then, he said, the local organization has sponsored in two Keep America Beautiful “Great American Clean-Up” events and made efforts to clean up local waterways, including Bayou Grosse Tete and Bayou Plaquemine.

Clark also bragged that the Village of Grosse Tete recently won the 2009 Cleanest City Award.

Many presenters, like the EBR City Parish Mayor Kip Holden, BREC's Director Bill Palmer, BR Downtown Development Davis Rhorer and others stressed the importance of maintaining "green space" as new construction and development comes to your parish in order to maintain places for recreational purposes, public wellness, and environmental quality. 

Clark invited the conference participants to visit Iberville Parish, which is 80 percent "green space," mainly forests and wetlands. The parish has more than 600 miles of waterways, and is the eastern gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin, Clark said. 

KIB board members Sissy Irwin, Brenda Ourso, and Jordan Tremblay also attended the conference on behalf of KIB.

Attending the conference, Clark said he learned that only four percent of people are responsible for littering – and that Louisiana's public agencies spend $40 million a year to clean up after them. Motorists contribute 53 percent of the litter.

Litter has a negative impact both on the economy by discouraging tourism, on Louisiana wildlife, which contributed 10 percent to the state's economy and on the quality of the environment for the people who live here.

“Neighborhoods that are more littered have higher crime,” Clark said. “Since, today, most families work, leisure time becomes priority and thus parks and recreation areas [are important], but people want a quality environment. Green Spaces are fun places.”