Keep East Feliciana Beautiful, one of the 39 affiliates of Keep Louisiana Beautiful, did its part in the statewide cleanup effort, Leaders Against Litter, held March 18.

Thousands of leaders throughout East Feliciana Parish joined KEFB to participate in the third annual Leaders Against Litter event that included elected officials, community and business leaders, school and church leaders and volunteers in 26 communities picking up litter throughout the state.

The goal is to raise awareness about the state’s litter problem and engage leaders and organizations to pledge to make Louisiana litter-free.

Volunteers picked up about 25 bags of trash in Clinton around the parish courthouse before pledging their support to “keep Louisiana beautiful.”

“Everyone who participated in the effort signed a pledge board, which we had to turn in with the bags of trash,” KEFB Director Barbara Vail said.

As part of Leaders Against Litter, a signature event of Keep Louisiana Beautiful, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and secretaries from Volunteer Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Transportation and Development joined KLB at a news conference on the steps of the State Capitol on Friday afternoon, publicly pledging to: speak up and spread the word that litter is not acceptable; pick up litter whenever you see it; and stand up to lead the way for a litter-free Louisiana.

“It is critical for our leaders to understand the direct and indirect cost that litter has on Louisiana, and this event helps to communicate those points. The support of our leadership body is very important, but there is only so much they can do,” Susan Russell, KLB executive director, said in a news release. “Permanent solutions will only come when each and every Louisiana citizen takes personal responsibility for their actions. After all, if we don’t throw it down, we don’t have to pick it up.”

The day ended with leaders calling community volunteers to join the effort by participating in the Great American Cleanup from March to May. During this time, KLB affiliates will conduct more than 30 cleanup and beautification projects.

It’s estimated that about 2,000 volunteers will pick up more than 1,500 bags of litter from roadways, waterways, parks and green spaces; beautify public areas with fresh paint and graffiti removal; weed and mulch gardens; and collect recyclables and hazardous waste, the release stated.

Cities and parishes participating in Friday’s Leaders Against Litter initiative included Abbeville, Assumption, Baton Rouge, Bossier, Covington, De Ridder, East Feliciana, Eunice, Greater Lake Charles, Hammond, Jefferson, Lacombe, Lafayette, Mandeville, Monroe, Morehouse, Natchitoches, New Orleans, Ouachita, Shreveport, Slidell, St. James, St. John, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Union, West Baton Rouge and West Monroe.

To get involved, call Keep East Feliciana Beautiful at (225) 683-8577 or visit keep louisianabeautiful.org.