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Volunteers clean up parish

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STERLINGTON, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Ouachita Parish is taking part in the Great American Cleanup, under the theme, Ouachita Green.

On Saturday, the cities of West Monroe and Monroe, along with Sterlington, Richwood and other areas of the parish, got together to participate in the community- wide clean up.

Over in Sterlington, they picked up trash in the morning and held an Easter parade and egg hunt in the afternoon.  

Ben Hackler grew up in Sterlington, moved away for a number of years, and has only recently moved back.

 "It's great. It helps people to have ownership, giving people the chance to pitch in together. I hope we see more of that. Not just to pick up litter, but to clean stuff up and being proud of what we got," Hackler said.

Sterlington Mayor Vern Breland said they merged the Easter and clean up events, to draw a bigger crowd.

"We had about 150 participants this year and picked up over a 100 bags of trash. We haven't weighed them yet, but we know it was a good turn out for us," Breland said.  

Wayne Heckford heads the Keep Ouachita Beautiful Committee and set up a booth at the Rivermarket to promote the cause. He said the parish-wide event drew in about 600 to 700 volunteers.

"The less government has to spend on litter, the less we have to use our tax dollars to do something like that," Heckford said.

Hackler said the parish looks a lot different from when he grew up, but there is still work to be done.

'I think we need to start picking up. Those are our roads. They belong to us," Heckler said.

But Hackler also said, overall, Ouachita Parish is a great place to live, work and play. And above all else, to keep beautiful 

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