Georgia’s Gen. Beauregard Lee may have predicted six more weeks of winter last weekend, but several Liberty County organizations are prepping for spring as Keep Liberty Beautiful kicks off its Think 30 campaign.
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Keep Liberty Beautiful has set a goal to plant 30 community gardens this year, according to Executive Director Sara Swida. The effort also is an action step toward community beautification, a priority leaders identified in March 2012.
4-Hers brighten Midway signs
Four seventh-graders with the 4-H Junior Crew on Tuesday took part by planting daylilies and liriope at four Midway municipal signs on Highways 84 and 17.
Swida prepped the students — Alex LeFevre, Janell Bacon, Destiny LeCounte and Sonia Heard — as well as Midway Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington on planting procedures as they took on the first garden.
“We wanted a spot of color there, something that finishes off the gateway signs for Midway, but also something that would be very easy to maintain down the road,” Swida said. “They’re really pretty when they bloom, they’re green when they’re not blooming, and they really will survive a lot. They just keep hanging in there.”
The group planted two types of lilies that will grow to different heights and take different colors. The Midway Fire Department has volunteered to water them while they take root, Swida said.
Even before a beautification committee was established during last year’s countywide planning session, the city had constructed the signs and knew they would want the areas landscaped down the road.
“It adds beauty. It should add a sense of ownership, it should add a sense of pride,” Washington said, adding she hopes it encourages Midway residents to undertake similar projects.
A few minutes later, a motorist stopped her car and asked the students what school they were from.
“Thank you for making the front of our neighborhood look so much better,” she said as she turned onto Cross Creek Drive.
LeFevre said he had no gardening experience but could see himself taking an interest.
“I think that this is going to be very good for everybody in the community, whether you’re going to or coming from Midway,” he said. “They’re going to think that this looks good, and they’re just going to love that people are trying to make the environment look better around here.”
Liberty County 4-H Agent Kasey Bozeman, who also is a member of the KLB board, said 4-H is a project partner because such community service projects are one of the group’s core values.
“We strive for our young people to learn the importance of being a productive, contributing citizen to our community,” Bozeman said.
The Citizens of Georgia Power Company also recently sponsored a Memorial Garden planting at the Liberty County Division of Family and Children Services site on Highway 84.
In addition to action, KLB also is dedicated to education, Swida said. One of the objectives is to let people know that any planting project that enhances the community’s appearance can count as a “community” effort.
“We’re sometimes attached to certain types of gardens, but any type of garden or any type of landscaping counts as one,” she said.
All are part of the group’s current “Good Neighbor” campaign that encourages people to take steps toward preserving their communities.
Swida plans to engage senior citizens by encouraging potted gardens that require little agility to maintain.
In coming weeks, the group will roll out a community initiative through a Burpee Seed Company grant that will provide military families with seeds for vegetable gardens.
Also coming soon is HomeProud, a residential version of the group’s quarterly Win-Dex awards, which recognizes businesses for improving and maintaining attractive exteriors.
KLB also is collaborating with other organizations to pursue a grant for a community vegetable garden to be planted downtown and is working toward planting educational and reflection gardens at the Liberty County Community Complex in Midway, Swida said.
Other groups interested in joining the initiative can call at 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.