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FAQs

Who is Parish Proud?


Parish Proud is a nonprofit, placemaking organization that aims to enhance the quality of life in Acadiana by promoting civic engagement, environmental stewardship, and sustainability through investment in public spaces and places.


What is Placemaking?


As both an overarching idea and a hands-on approach for improving a neighborhood, city, or region, placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.

With community-based participation at its center, an effective placemaking process capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, and it results in the creation of quality public spaces that contribute to people's health, happiness, and well being.


What is Parish Proud’s EIN?


Parish Proud's EIN is 84-1772714


How does Parish Proud work to achieve its mission and vision?


Parish Proud harnesses the energy of community to achieve transformative and sustainable outcomes by focusing on 4 pillars: Education, Inspiration, Participation, and Collaboration.


What is Service Learning?


Volunteers are the giving heart of America, essential to our nation's social and economic well-being. They do hard but important work: helping kids learn to read and stay in school, rebuilding communities after disasters, connecting veterans to services, bringing life back to forgotten neighborhoods, and much more.

Volunteering also connects us with our neighbors and provides a chance to use our own skills for the common good. Parish Proud's Service Learning program seeks to expand up importance of volunteerism by inviting both residents and businesses an opportunity join in various service projects that can benefit the community in many ways. Through service learning, participants acquire important skills, such as collaboration, teamwork, and altruism. By taking part in Parish Proud’s events, participants cooperate with others to improve public spaces, protect the environment, and cultivate a sense of service and how it can contribute to positive outcomes in the community and the world.


How do I volunteer with Parish Proud?


Volunteering is easy.  To learn about upcoming events and sign up to volunteer visit our projects page.


Can I create my own event?


Yes, to create your own event or set one up for your school, business, or organization visit our Contact page.


Where can I get supplies to pick up litter?


Picking up litter is a great way to improve the aesthetics of our community and also make a positive environmental impact. To order litter supplies visit our Contact page.


How do I donate to Parish Proud?


Picking up litter is a great way to improve the aesthetics of our community and also make a positive environmental impact. To order litter supplies visit our Contact page.


How can I report litter or a litter in Lafayette Parish?


To report litter dial 311 and select option 3 or online (links to Litter and Illegal Signs · 311 Lafayette)    

Working together with Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) and other stakeholders, a new litter hotline was established in February of 2022.  Nicknamed "311-3," citizens can dial the number or use the web portal through LCG (links to to report litter and litterers when they see them.  


How can I report illegal signage in Lafayette Parish?


To report illegal signage dial 311 and select option 3 or online (links to Litter and Illegal Signs · 311 Lafayette)  

Working together with Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) and Scenic Lafayette, the litter line (311-3) was expanded in 2023 to include reporting of illegal signage.


What is litter?


Litter is defined as “misplaced solid waste.” We often see it as trash scattered along the side of the road and along waterways. People litter for various reasons – some believe it is too inconvenient to dispose of their waste properly; some believe that someone else will pick it up; some don’t think about the consequences of litter; and some simply don’t care. But if we care about our state and the health and beauty of its land, water and animals, then we must learn to care about ending the litter problem in Louisiana. Drivers contribute to over 50% of all roadside litter in Louisiana. They flick cigarette butts out the window, toss plastic bags and bottles on the road, and allow fast food packaging to blow from their cars and truck beds. All of this debris certainly adds up, and the unfortunate end result is the severe environmental degradation of our Sportsman’s Paradise.


Is Litter is harmful?


Eighty percent (80%) of trash dropped on land eventually finds its way to a waterway, where it damages wildlife, marine life, and water quality. Plastic bags and bottles float through our watershed, entangling marine life, damaging their habitats, and releasing dangerous pollutants and toxins into our bayous, rivers, lakes, and eventually, the Gulf. Cigarettes are the most littered item in the world, and potentially the most hazardous. Cigarette butts are not biodegradable, and are loaded with over 165 dangerous chemicals and carcinogens including arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, and acetone that quickly leach into the water. When animals ingest these chemicals, it not only leads to their harm and death, but also becomes part of our food chain and creates toxicity in humans as well. Turtles, birds, and fish often try to eat littered cigarette butts and other small littered items, mistaking them for food, and can become sick or die. In fact, these items are often found in the bellies of marine life and birds that have spent a lifetime ingesting them. But what about biodegradable items – are they considered litter? Absolutely. Food items such as apple cores, banana peels, and the remains of a half-eaten sandwich tossed out the window of a vehicle attract rodents and pests. This provides a breeding ground for bacteria and disease, which can quickly snowball into a public health problem


Is Litter costly?


Each year in Louisiana, local and state agencies spend more than $40 million on litter abatement and prevention. Nationally, litter cleanups and prevention programs cost more than $11.5 billion each year. For each piece of litter dropped, it costs litter abatement programs about $.30 to pick it up. And for litter that isn’t picked up, there are a number of indirect costs that result. Littering has a number of indirect costs that may not be so obvious. Research has found that littering and blight leads to other criminal behaviors, such as vandalism, theft and graffiti due to a shift in public perception that there is tolerance for the disregard of civil and property laws in that community. On the flip side, people are less likely to litter and damage property in neighborhoods and communities that are well kept and litter free. The presence of litter in a community has been shown to decrease property values by approximately seven percent. Litter and neglect deters business growth, and prospective new businesses hesitate to invest in a community that doesn’t take pride in its appearance. Litter also hurts tourism -- people simply don’t want to visit trashy areas, which obscures the beauty of a place and sends a message that those who live there don’t care about it. Litter gives Louisiana a tarnished image


Is Litter illegal?


Whether accidental or deliberate, littering is against the law. Depending on the nature and severity of the offense, litterers face civil or criminal prosecution. According to Louisiana R.S. 30:2531-2531.3, penalties for conviction range from a $150 fine plus eight hours of community service to a $10,000 fine, one-year driver’s license suspension, thirty days in jail and up to one hundred hours of community service


Is Litter preventable?


81% of litter is intentional. Motorists and pedestrians generate 70% of all roadside litter and 16% comes from trucks with improperly covered loads. The overwhelming majority of litter in parks and playgrounds —98.5%—is attributable to pedestrians.

The good news is that litter is entirely preventable. All roadside litter could be eliminated if we each took ownership of our own waste. All we have to do is simply clean up our own space, and never assume that someone else will do it for us. If each of us does his own part, we can restore, protect, and preserve the beauty of our nation’s great Sportsman’s Paradise. As a Louisiana driver, you have the power and obligation to keep Louisiana beautiful by taking the Litter-Free Louisiana Roadside Pledge: ✓ I will keep a reusable litter bag inside my vehicle and use it consistently. ✓ I will never keep trash in the bed of my truck and will cover my load. ✓ I will insist that no one in my car litters. ✓ I will choose reusable instead of disposable items whenever possible so that I don’t produce trash in the first place.


Are there lesson plans or education about litter?


Yes! In the spring of 2016, Louisiana Act 72 was signed into law, requiring that students in grades K-5 receive education about litter and its vast implications on our environment. Keep Louisiana Beautiful has created a K-5 environmental education lesson plans and activities that focus on litter, pollution, recycling, and environmental stewardship to protect our watershed and the Gulf. The curriculum is available for download here (links to Rocksey's Toolbox - Keep Louisiana Beautiful) and is complete with lesson plans, activity sheets, and student standards for both formal and informal educators (parents, troop leaders, etc.).


Why is Environmental Education Important?


America is in the midst of one of the most profound and rapid societal shifts in history. Today’s generation of children is the first to grow up indoors. Their “plugged-in” lives are often devoid of exploring the natural world. As tomorrow’s leaders, they need to be equipped for the challenges the future brings, and it is our responsibility to prepare our children for the future they will inherit. That requires a commitment to providing our children with environmental education.

Environmental literacy is of particular importance in Louisiana. Louisiana’s positioning at the mouth of the Mississippi River makes it extremely vulnerable as over 30 states in the U.S. drain down the river bringing with it toxic runoff, litter, and debris. In July 2017, LSU professor Mark Benfield concluded a study that found the Gulf of Mexico has concentrations of microplastics among the highest reported globally. 


Why is Beautification Important?


Keeping Louisiana beautiful starts with you, and there are tons of ways to get involved. Whether you’re planting a neighborhood garden, covering up graffiti or cleaning up a local playground, you’re making a huge difference in your community. Taking action now helps preserve our state for generations to come.

Here are just a few beautification ideas you can start right now:

  • Plant a tree or garden on a blighted corner 
  • Cover graffiti with your friends
  • Organize a neighborhood cleanup day
  • Build your own community garden
  • Take your boat out and pick up litter on the water
  • Volunteer at a Parish Proud event or start your own!


What is Parish Proud Day?


Each year in September Parish Proud celebrates Acadiana by picking a public space or place and transforming it for the good of the community.  During Parish Proud Day stakeholders from the public and private sectors come together in one of the largest single-day education and volunteer events in Lafayette.  In just two hours volunteers are challenged to work together to complete a series of beautification projects  (mulching, painting, pressure-washing, litter and graffiti removal, etc.) as a means of demonstrating the transformative impact that a unified and collaborative community can have on the places and spaces where they live, work and play.


WHAT WE DO

Placemaking is a collaborative, people-centered approach to creating a more vibrant, resilient, and thriving community that fosters connection and economic growth. It is through Placemaking, that we transform public places in to clean, beautiful, and healthy spaces where we all live, work, and play.

JOIN AN EVENT TODAY!

THANK YOU TO OUR PARISH PROUD DAY SUSTAINING SPONSORS

Planet Fitness Manuel Companies Schumacher Foundation Acadiana Automotive Group McLaff Stuller Family Foundation Acadian Security Atmos Energy Beaver Club LEDA Lafayette Travel Our Lady of Lourdes Health 360 Painting Coca Cola Dunn-Well Fenstermaker KADN Snap pea The Home Depot Lamar Republic Services

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