Cleanest City Contest
Each year, the Louisiana Garden Club Federation sponsors the “Cleanest City Contest.” Lake Charles has won in the past, but since Rita, the city has not entered.
Happily, the city is ready this year. It will participate through its Beautification Committee, with the contest sponsored locally by The Diggers & Weeders and The Lake Charles Garden Club. The district judging will be held on Thurs., April 7.
It would be a great honor for Lake Charles to win this award. A clean city means that we care. Everyone benefits from living in a clean, beautiful environment, and it encourages businesses and folks to settle here.
Lake Charles can’t win this contest without the help of its citizens. So, inform your friends and local businesses about the contest. Keep lawns mowed and sidewalks edged, and improve your landscape by planting flowers and shrubs. Pick up litter by your home or business and encourage neighbors to do likewise. Most important, don’t throw cigarette butts or any trash out of the windows of your vehicle. Judges will especially be looking for cigarette butts, so put them in a container and not on the ground.
If you would like to volunteer your or your organization’s time, contact Ellie Lemoine (Lake Charles Garden Club) at 474-5876, or Kathy Tell (Diggers & Weeders Garden Club) at 598-5998.
City Conducts Ryan Street Streetscape
The City of Lake Charles conducted a groundbreaking ceremony recently at the northeast corner of the intersection of Ryan St. and Pujo St. for the Ryan Street Streetscape project. The ceremony marked the kick-off of a major remake of seven blocks of Ryan St. from Clarence to Pine.
The goal of the Ryan Street Streetscape project is to calm traffic and provide pedestrian-friendly improvements that will bolster economic development in the Downtown District.
The Ryan Street Streetscape project will concentrate on the enhancement of the streetscape by providing improvements consisting of special paving, overhead lighting by decorative lamp posts, banners, street furniture, landscaping, irrigation and utility services. Traffic lanes will be narrowed, providing for the addition of approximately 64 spaces of on-street parking.
“Ryan Street Streetscape, like the Lakefront Promenade, should provide a sense of beauty and place that will further promote downtown Lake Charles as a unique, quality destination location,” said Mayor Roach. “Streetscape should also enhance the connection between downtown and the lakefront, helping support future economic growth for the entire area.”
Ryan Street Streetscape will be developed in phases starting at the corner of Clarence and Ryan St. Detour routes will be suggested for each intersection affected during construction.
Work is scheduled to begin March and the entire project is estimated to be completed by spring of 2012.
The Birds are Back at Shangri La Botanical Gardens
Every year, more than 5,000 birds of 17 different species arrive at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, Tx., including Great Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills, Anhingas, Cormorants, and many others. Most birds choose the area as a nesting ground because the cypress trees provide protection from local predators. From the end of March through June, families of birds, including new hatchlings, can be seen nesting in the trees in and around the Shangri La waterways.
Special cameras in the state-of-the-art bird blind located at the Shangri La heronry is the perfect place to get an up-close look at the birds that make this area their home. The bird blind overlooking the heronry is handicap-accessible, with restrooms and a café nearby. The blind provides a convenient experience for bird lovers who normally would have to be out in the elements to see birds in such a natural setting.
“Soon, we’ll have baby birds bustin’ out all over,” said Shangri La Director Michael Hoke. “From about mid-March until the end of June, nests will be filled with hatchlings. It’s a great time to come to Shangri La and see the nesting birds.”
Shangri La is located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas. The gardens are open to the public from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tues.– Sat. and noon – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets may be purchased at the Admissions Window. Group tours and school tours are welcome, but must call in advance for reservations.
For more information, call (409) 670-9113 or visit www.shangrilagardens.org.