On Friday, the city received its award. Members of the Louisiana Garden Club Federation presented Abbeville with its state award during a function at City Hall.
Jean Gilstrap, chairman of the LGCF State Clean City Contest, said she is proud to have presented the award to Abbeville.
“I’m especially proud of Abbeville,” Gilstrap said. “The city had gotten out of it for a while. With the vision of the mayor to that something like this was needed to bring the community together. That’s what the city did and it has been a wonderful thing.
“We are thrilled to death to be able to come back and say, look what has been accomplished.”
Even if Abbeville had not won the state title, a win took place.
“No matter what, you are a winner because you cleaned up the town,” Gilstrap said of those who helped. “Nobody in this contest is ever a loser.”
For Abbeville Mayor Mark Piazza, this win is indeed special.
“It’s been over 31 years since we won the contest,” Piazza said. “It’s a tremendous accomplishment for us to have achieved this in such a short period of time. We’ve only been (back) competing for three years.
“With everything we have done during my administration, this is one that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. This is something I feel is really important for Abbeville.”
An important aspect in both Abbeville’s district win in April and the state win is the newly formed Abbeville Garden Club. The club’s impact did not go unnoticed by Gilstrap.
“It makes all the difference,” she said. “What happens when you have a garden club in your town it that it invigorates that part of town. The people in it come from all parts of a town. Every part of town they are from gets invigorated. It also gets people club members know involved and is usually a lot.
“The city did great last year, don’t get me wrong. But having the garden club this year made all the difference in the world.”
Many people made a big difference this year. Piazza said Friday’s event was about honoring those who helped.
“We wanted to do something special,” Piazza said. “The city workers worked so hard to make this possible. We wanted to recognize the members of the newly formed garden club, as well as Keep Abbeville Beautiful. We also want to thank the Vermilion Parish Police Jury and Sheriff Michael Couvillon.
“They were all instrumental in making this happen.”