Ouachita Green cleans up Bayou Desiard

Chloe Chapel, [email protected]

“The Best on the Bayou.” This phrase is displayed across the outside of the library and can be heard time and time again at campus events. 

Many of ULM’s qualities such as the students, buildings and history give the university the title, “the Best on the Bayou.” 

But what about the bayou itself? With other duties to be completed around campus, the bayou can often be abandoned, which leads to a buildup of trash.

To help clean up the bayou, members of  Ouachita Green joined together to volunteer in keeping the bayou beautiful. 

Ouachita Green is a non-profit organization that plans, promotes and participates in community enhancement projects intended to clean and preserve Ouachita Parish, according to the Ouachita Green website. 

Ouachita Green has held many events at the university and across Ouachita Parish that encourage students to volunteer their time to clean up litter. 

Billy House, a freshman pre-pharmacy major, said he felt volunteering to clean up the bayou was a great way to pass the extra time in his day and encouraged other students to do the same. 

“There was trash all along the bayou, and I wasn’t going to use the time I had, so I volunteered,” House said. “Offering volunteer hours for organizations that need it is a good way to help out.”  

Students like House spent three hours walking around the bayou and riding in kayaks in order to clean most of the area. 

John Radcliffe, a senior mathematics major, said he enjoyed getting to kayak and look at the animals while helping out. 

“I really enjoy kayaking, so to just take that stroke down the bayou and clean trash along the way was fairly enjoyable,” Radcliffe said. “You [also] notice turtles, ducks and frogs, so by cleaning the bayou we can preserve the beauty in nature and provide a home to these small creatures.” 

Michelle Manuel, a board member for Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful—an organization affiliated with Ouachita Green said there are many benefits to keeping the bayou clean besides the aesthetics. 

One benefit is “the health of our waterways, which is very important to wildlife here,” Manuel said. She also said it “teaches you to give back to your community.”