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A city’s beauty is more than skin deep

Keep Liberty Beautiful

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POSTED: September 17, 2012 3:00 p.m.

I’m really not shallow. I know that it is not just about appearances. Although a number of the programs promoted by Keep Liberty Beautiful seem to focus on a cleaner, more attractive community, we have a deeper purpose than just superficial appearances.

What does our community look like to those who pass through or stop to visit? What does our community look like to those who live here? Does it matter? At Keep Liberty Beautiful, we respond with a resounding “Yes!”

That is why much of what we do is about making a cleaner, more attractive place in which to live, work and enjoy. Beautification projects help add beauty to different areas through volunteer efforts. Litter education and cleanups focus on creating cleaner roads and neighborhoods and green spaces. Waterway cleanups, like our fall Rivers Alive events, keep our creeks, streams, rivers and ocean in conditions in which we can all enjoy them. During the next year, gateway projects will help create attractive focal points at our community entrances.

But beauty is more than skin deep. Our community’s look has a distinct effect on our quality of life. Each of our KLB programs has goals that extend far beyond appearances. The Win-dex Awards are given out because we know that a clean, attractive appearance is a magnet for customers. Appealing communities and business districts can attract more businesses, which can create a stronger economy.

Beautification projects and Adopt Liberty programs match volunteers with areas that need a little tender, loving care. Whether it is a street corner, a local park, a neighborhood entrance or even a solid-waste convenience center, if the area looks well-cared for, those who visit will take better care of it. Numerous studies have proven that cared-for living areas are safer and have less crime. Yes, I am saying that litter cleanups and community improvement projects can deter crime.

Attractive, clean communities improve property values, too.

And then we get to litter, the bane of my existence. Litter is like airing our dirty laundry; it says we don’t mind nasty, germ-laden trash marring our roads. It says we have no pride. Also, litter is unhealthy for us and our waters and wildlife.

Speaking of our waterways, we only are as healthy as our rivers, creeks, streams and ocean. Litter in our waterways is unhealthy and eventually will cripple our way of life here in Coastal Georgia unless we are vigilant in taking care of these precious waterways. It is astounding when we do these beach cleanups on St. Catherines Island (that can only be reached by boat). Last weekend, we collected more than 900 pounds of litter and debris from just a few miles of beach. The garbage included large tires, pieces of metal and plastic, old grills, camping equipment and leftovers from beachgoers who should have taken their trash home with them and disposed of it appropriately. What a shameful thing to do to such a pretty beach.

There is plenty to do, but we need you. Start where you live; picking up a few pieces of trash on your street is a good start. Take a look as you drive home and try to see your roads and your streets through the eyes of a stranger. Things that you take for granted because you see them every day may be a real turnoff to those who visit your area. Change starts with each of us. Shouldn’t it start with you?

Liberty County has great bone structure — gorgeous trees, beautiful coastal areas and lovely marshes and green spaces.

We just can’t take for granted taking care of this lovely place. After all, our community’s beauty really is more than skin deep.

Upcoming Keep Liberty Beautiful events

Saturday, Oct. 27 — Liberty County’s seventh annual Rivers Alive events, 8:30 a.m-12:30 p.m. Rivers Alive is part of a statewide waterway cleanup. Volunteer to help care for more than 30 locations and protect our waters and wetlands. The first 450 registered volunteers will receive official Rivers Alive T-shirts. Liberty’s Rivers Alive is a Make-a-Difference Day event. To volunteer or for more information, call 880-4888 or email klcb@coastalnow.net.

 

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