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Lafayette Stages Largest BGC workshop

LUFC president Steve Shurtz presents session titled "The Visual Effects of Green Laws" to the group assembled for the "Building Green Cities" workshop.

Over 100 participants attended the Louisiana Urban Forestry Council’s workshop, “Building Green Cities,” to learn about smart growth and incorporation of urban forestry and its benefits into the scheme of city planning.  Participants included city and community leaders for Lafayette, Abbeville, Carencro, Scott and Youngsville as well as professionals, educators, students and citizens.  Scott Mayor Purvis Morrison and Youngsville Council members Dianne McClelland and Kenny Ritter were impressed with the program.  “We will be trying to share what we have learned today with our other Council members this evening,” McClelland said.  Many cities in the area have been investing a lot of attention to storm mitigation and growth issues such a drainage and traffic.  All of these were discussed during the workshop.

Michael Knobloch, LUFC director, thanked TreesAcadiana for pulling together the largest workshop they had ever held.  President Sarah Schoeffler commented, “We hope to see all that was learned today brought home to table and put into practice as much as possible throughout our communities. “ She added, “Additionally, we can begin thinking, right now, about Louisiana Arbor Day.  It will be here before we know it!”   School principals can contact TreesAcadiana.org and request seedlings and/or a large tree (8-10 foot tree) to facilitate their education programs for Arbor Day.  Louisiana Arbor Day falls on January 21 this year.  TreesAcadiana plants trees that day.  Last year, the site was on the boulevard next to the South Regional Branch Library.  This year, the site is yet to be determined and recommendations can be made on their FaceBook page.

Members of "Keep Abbeville Beautiful" made their own statement by traveling to Lafayette in support of the LUFC program.

The membership of TreesAcadiana reiterates their thanks to their sponsors, which included the American Institute of Architects – S. Louisiana Chapter, DOTD – District 3, Corne-Lemaire Group and MBSB Group Architects, the League of Women Voters, Lafayette Parish Master Gardeners, Lafayette Garden Club, UL’s SPEAK, Pack and Paddle, the publishers of Natural Awakenings Magazine: Michelle and Steve Castille, all the cities mentioned above, Jim Foret – the consulting arborist who had been attending to the Mr. Al oak and Joey Durel, City-Parish President.  They also appreciate the refreshments and food provided by The Coffee Depot in Scott, Edies, Hub City Diner and MelloJoy Coffee and the staff and support of South Louisiana Community College administration and staff.

AOC Community Media recorded the program.  The workshop sessions will eventually be aired on the Open Channel station as a six-part series.

By Theresa Rohloff

Volunteers with the League of Women Voters assisted with registration for the program.

Louisiana Urban Forestry Council Director Michael Knobloch and TreesAcadiana Sarah Schoeffler provide opening remarks for the LUFC "Building Green Cities" workshop for over 100 participants.

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