Since 1990, Jefferson Beautification, Inc. (“JBI”) has raised over 2.8 million dollars for beautification and educational programs throughout Jefferson Parish. With projects spanning both the East and the West Banks of Jefferson Parish, the projects are executed in cooperation with government entities, businesses, individuals, civic groups, garden clubs, and schools. JBI’s projects are vast, including park benches, planting trees, landscaping projects, erecting the bronze Greek Muses statues at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center, working with District 5 to develop plans for a Botanical and Community Garden at Bucktown Harbor, planting an oak colonnade at Hope Haven, and reconstructing the Agrarian Garden in Lasalle Park, to name a few.
To provide funding for tree planting and beautification on public green spaces in Jefferson Parish and to promote tree planting and beautification through education and public awareness.
In 1988, the then Jefferson Parish President, Michael J. Yenni created a new department under the Department of Streets to address the aesthetics of public green space in Jefferson Parish. The new department was named “Parkways.” The new department had no budget of its own and had to rely on the Streets Department which was able to provide money for grass cutting alone.
Mr. Yenni wanted to coordinate a citizen participation volunteer program based on contacting businesses, civic groups, garden clubs, and individuals to beautify and maintain public green space in their respective areas.
Shady Oaks Garden Club had recently sponsored a fund raiser to beautify the entrance to River Ridge. Two garden club members were asked to start the all- volunteer program. The program was started in 1989 and named “Adopt a Parkway,” The program served as the groundbreaker for public awareness of the pleasant surroundings promoting economic growth.
In 1990, Mr. Yenni asked the volunteer coordinators to form a separate, private-sector non-profit corporation to raise funds for beautification. Jefferson Beautification, Inc. was incorporated on February 6, 1990, and in the past 32 years has completed projects totaling over $2.7 million.