News Release

Project Front Yard Launches Community Service & Engagement Portal
Posted: 8/27/2018 8:00 PM
 


 

Approaching the five year anniversary of its launch, Project Front Yard (PFY) is entering a new era of citizen-driven beautification and cleanliness efforts with the release of its web-based application, “Gnome Nation.” Referencing PFY’s environmentally conscious mascot, Yardley the garden gnome, Gnome Nation is Louisiana’s first beautification and litter cleanup portal to bring concepts like gamification to the forefront of community engagement.

As PFY moves towards becoming more data-driven – from collecting information on beautification action items listed in the Comprehensive Plan, to calculating the local cost of litter abatement –  PFY Coordinator Skyra Rideaux will be looking for new and exciting ways to use data on initiatives related to behavior change and community beautification.

“I am proud of the progress that Project Front Yard has made over the last several years and I look forward to what’s in store as we continue to promote the benefits of this important initiative,” stated Mayor-President Joel Robideaux. And those benefits aren’t just esthetics; the impact of a clean and beautiful community affects quality of life issues for residents and even the ability to attract and retain businesses, workers and tourists. “Taking pride in the appearance of our community reflects the joie de vivre of our citizens and serves as the hospitable welcome that Lafayette is famous for.”

The app was developed by interns from CGI, a Canadian-based consulting firm whose IT Center of Excellence is located in Lafayette, working alongside Rideaux and CGI representatives during a 10-week internship. The intern team, made up of five college students and one high school student, developed the map-based web application that encourages community engagement and volunteerism by gamifying beautification projects. The app was designed to empower citizens to create and engage in projects throughout Lafayette Parish. Through the app interface, citizens can create or subscribe to projects, filter past projects, earn badges and points for participating in projects, and ask project participants to support projects by bringing items needed to complete the project.

“Project Front Yard has been a strategic focus of ours in Lafayette since 2014. We care deeply about our parish and this was a great opportunity for us to pair workforce development, our university partnerships, and a local community mission to improve quality of life,” stated William LaBar, Vice President of CGI.

“This new data-driven approach will help guide the strategic focus of PFY and is an important tool for measuring impact and reporting accountability,” Rideaux said. “The information is extracted via a built-in analytics tool which tracks data on the number of projects completed, the number of volunteers and where the projects took place by zip code.” According to Rideaux, Gnome Nation will also have the ability to work in tandem with the “litterati” app, which currently has 218 tagged pieces of litter within Lafayette Parish, to drive where resources and efforts need to be enhanced, modified or restructured.

To create a Gnome Nation account, visit gnomenation.lafayettela.gov​. For more information about the Gnome Nation app, contact Skyra Rideaux at srideaux@lafayettela.gov or William LaBar at William.labar@cgi.com.