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POSTED: May 6, 2014 11:30 p.m.

Almost 3,000 volunteers each year help make our county cleaner and more attractive through neighborhood projects and area litter cleanups, but if you are interested in going to the next level, consider “adopting.”
Adopt Liberty is a new take on an old idea. It is a community-appearance program sponsored by Keep Liberty Beautiful in conjunction with local municipal governments. The program serves as an umbrella for several “adopting” possibilities in our county and cities. The idea is to create public interest and support for local roads and bodies of water, as well as public spaces such as trails, green spaces, parks, neighborhood blocks and county facilities.
We all seem to take better care of things when we assume ownership of them. I rented apartments in my 20s, and we have owned our own homes since then. I find I’m much more conscientious about the care and maintenance of these permanent living spaces because they are ours. It actually seems to be the same for communities, roads, streets and neighborhoods. When we take ownership of public areas, surprisingly, everyone seems to respect those areas and take better care of them. Neighborhoods that are well taken care of not only are cleaner, but also statistically have less vandalism and other crime.
We currently have more than 35 areas adopted in Liberty County. Who can adopt? It can be individuals or families, neighborhood groups, civic organizations, youth groups, school groups, church groups and businesses. We have a few areas that have been adopted in memory of loved ones.
If you’re in the program, we ask you:
• to commit for a minimum of a year. Most of our adoptees continue long-term for the areas they adopt.
• to try to have a cleanup once a quarter at a minimum.
• to submit basic information on each cleanup — date of cleanup, number of hours, how many volunteers, how many bags collected and any other debris collected. This information can be called in (880-4888), emailed (klcb@coastalnow.net) or mailed (P.O. Box 889, Midway, GA 31320). We have a form, if needed.
• to let me know a week ahead if you need any supplies. We can provide safety vests, garbage bags, work gloves, pick-up tools and water for volunteers. We also can arrange for pickup of large debris and garbage collected, if needed, with adequate notice.
Keep Liberty Beautiful will print road signs and install them in your area — with your approval — noting your adopted spot or road location.  
If you choose an area on a state highway, we will help coordinate your application and Georgia Department of Transportation reports. Areas of waterways also can be adopted through the state Adopt a Stream Program, and we will be happy to assist in that process.
To volunteer or for more information, call 880-4888 or email klcb@coastalnow.net.

 

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