Tangipahoa Parish Councilman Louis Nick Joseph is forming an offshoot of the Tangi Clean for Northern Tangipahoa Parish because he said, “There’s an old saying: Cleanliness is next to Godliness, so if we really believe that then we should get busy helping.”

Joseph held a meeting on June 11, with residents from Independence, Velma, Amite, Roseland, Arcola and Fluker. “They formed their clean up committees, each captain selected a clean up day, time and area they wanted to meet in and clean up during,” Joseph said.

Joseph is patterning his program after a cleanup campaign formed in 2008, Tangi Clean, which is headed up by E.J. Forgotston.

Forgotston said litter is a statewide problem and believes “something can always be done regarding litter, one person is the person who can make the difference.”

Joseph explained the campaign will be known as Tangi Clean North.

“I’m going to meet with the captains at least every two months to check on their progress. At the meeting we had a member from Wildlife and Fisheries present to explain his role in litter clean up, a constable to explain how tickets are issued and the fines involved in littering and some Justices of the Peace to explain the litter ticket process,” Joseph said.

Although the project currently only includes Joseph’s region, he said he is open to the possibility of expanding to other districts if the campaign is successful.

“Hopefully when people see us out there picking up litter it will inspire them to not throw trash on the ground. The big deal is to curtail littering, it’s just so unnecessary,” said Joseph. “If you have a Burger King bag in your car, then keep it in your car until you get home instead of throwing it on the side of the interstate.”

While Joseph is thankful for the ongoing efforts of local cities to minimize litter, he believes there can never be enough helping hands.

“I don’t want to give the impression that the towns I represent aren’t doing anything,” said Joseph. “The mayors are doing all they can do, and the parish has inmates picking up litter as well. We’re going to enhance what the parishes and municipalities are offering. The more hands we have out there picking up, the better.”

Larry Holland, who owns Mrs. Janice’s Sweetie Pie Coffee Shop with his wife in Independence, is a business leader who feels the project is much needed in the area.

“When you start cleaning up in the community people are going to notice. If we make the community look better, people will feel better, and it will help to create a nice, clean, crime-free environment. It’s more than jut about picking up paper. It’s about how people feel about themselves.”

Joseph encouraged residents who can’t take part in the campaign to do their part at home.

“A good place to start is around your property,” he said. “You may not have put that potato chip bag in your yard, but if it’s in your yard go pick it up, don’t wait for the town to come get it.”

For information contact captain for clean up dates:

Independence: Jeramie Hookfin, (985) 974-5607.

Amite: Anthony Harrell, (985) 687-5607.

Roseland: Janice Holland, (985) 606-0035.

Arcola-Fluker: Eve Wilson, (985) 215-1614.

Velma: Dennis Brazil, (985) 320-4634.