Donaldsonville — Eleven members of the Donaldsonville High School basketball team left the court Saturday to pull weeds, shovel dirt and pick up trash.
The players took part in the Donaldsonville Downtown Development District’s Stash the Trash cleanup project along La. 3089.
DDD Executive Director Missy Jandura said the players were joined by more than 40 volunteers who spruced up the city’s entrance way.
“We are concentrating today on making our entry way into the city as clean as possible,” Jandura said.
Past events have been held along Railroad Avenue and throughout the city’s Historic District, she said.
DHS basketball coach Barry Whittington said the project was a way for his players to give back to a community “that we usually are asking for support from.”
That sense of community pride is one of the outcomes of the community cleanup, Jandura said.
While the main goal was to clean up various parts of the city, Jandura said, the projects encourage residents from all parts of the city to come together for one common goal — a clean Donaldsonville.
Mayor Leroy Sullivan and members of the Donaldsonville City Council joined the efforts by picking up trash along the main highway leading into the city.
Volunteers with Word of Life Church, members of Teach for America, representatives of Donaldsonville’s Louisiana Development Ready Community group and DDD board members also joined forces to paint the city’s informational kiosk and clean up flower beds around the kiosk and Welcome to Donaldsonville sign.
The volunteers were working with new shovels and tools purchased in part thanks to a $5,700 grant from Keep America Beautiful, Jandura said.
“Now, thanks to the grants we’ve received from KAB, we have tools for our volunteers to use,” she said.
In addition to the community cleanup, Jandura said, the DDD is planning a new community garden. Standford Knockum, the DDD’s new education coordinator, is working with school groups to plant the new garden, she said.
“Mr. Knockum fits the role perfectly and has been a great addition to our team,” she said.
This was the third cleanup held in 2012 and Jandura said three projects are planned for next year.
For information on DDD projects, visit the agency’s Facebook page.