FIRST IN PRINT: DDD receives beautification grant

Allison B. Hudson

Mainstreet Donaldsonville and Donaldsonville Downtown Development District are proud recipients of the 2011-2012 Keep Louisiana Beautiful Grant of 10,000.

“Trash, uncared for property and litter is not only an eyesore but also significantly reduce public perception of Donaldsonville,” says Executive Director Missy Jandura.

Missy says that Board Member, Tammy Dale, spearheaded the current beautification effort in the Mainstreet District.

"Tammy is the impetus in growing the pride and education of adults and kids. She reminds us that this is a fellowship about people, first. Pride of Place.  On a purely economic level, our local merchants need a safe and attractive commercial district,” said Jandura. “It is very, very difficult to encourage new business to open in a building with peeling paint, cigarette butts, and trash and plywood windows. This grant is not only for trash supplies, recycling programs and education, but we hope also will inspire neighbors to continue improving the face of Donaldsonville's Mainstreet District. We need to support our local businesses by giving them every single opportunity to shine,” she added.

The Donaldsonville Chamber of Commerce will also be partnering with the grant execution with a large focus on business relations with growth.

“We are very excited about this opportunity and moving the city of Donaldsonville forward with growth and business relations,” said Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce Becky Katz.

Mainstreet Design volunteers have painted or improved 11 buildings, gardening projects and an increased effort of trash pick up in front of commercial businesses on Railroad Avenue. Large Stash the Trash events have begun in every district of Donaldsonville. City councilmen, the Mayor, volunteers and organizations have come together for some amazing trash removal.

One area sorely lacking in funding was in basic tools, safety equipment and supplies. With this grant, a portion will be used in purchasing the necessary equipment needed. The DDC has donated over $500 at Ace Hardware that has been used for paint, supplies and beautification supplies. Other volunteers have donated paint, hardware store credit and time. Kent Schexnayder, the Schneider’s, and other volunteers have spent time and money helping their neighbor's improve their properties. By painting and repairing commercial businesses, in addition to their own, as it is incredibly important to help Mainstreet district improve its appearance.

“Everyone wins when we support our neighbors,” said Jandura.

In 2000, a Louisiana governor’s task force was created to study the growing problem of litter in Louisiana and its effects on tourism, economic growth and quality of life. Their study resulted in the formation of Keep Louisiana Beautiful, a nonprofit organization focused solely on public awareness, education and community involvement that targets litter’s costly effects and ultimately, changing attitudes. Donaldsonville is proud to be the only Ascension Parish organization to win this 2011 grant.

 For more information, or to volunteer supplies, hardware credit at Ace Hardware or Kocke's, or time:  please contact missy at 225-323-2555 or visit www.mainstreetdonaldsonville.com or visit our facebook page mainstreetdonaldsonville.