The gateway into Midway off of Interstate 95 just got a little bit nicer.
The Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau held a ribbon-cutting Friday for a renovated gazebo at the Parker’s gas station off of I-95.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development awarded the CVB a $5,000 grant, which the CVB used to spruce up two gazebos, the one near I-95 and the other on Barrington Ferry Road in Riceboro. There are two other gazebos on county-owned property.
The Midway gazebo was pressure-washed, sandblasted and freshly painted. Receptacles to collect dog waste and cigarette butts were installed at the site, and yellow day lilies were planted. Keep Liberty Beautiful donated the receptacles and flowers.
The information kiosk was also cleaned and features a new roof to match the gazebo. One side of the kiosk lists information about Liberty County’s historic areas, including Fort Morris Historic Site, Dorchester Academy and Geechee Kunda. Next to each site is a quick-response code. When scanned with a smartphone, the QR code will map out a route from the user’s current location to the historic site. On the other side of the kiosk is a display is the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce’s #nofilterneeded advertisement.
Leah Poole, the CEO of Chamber and CVB, said information at the kiosk will be changed periodically to let visitors know about different events in Liberty County, such as Riceboro’s RiceFest and Hinesville’s Blues, Brews and BBQ.
The CVB has applied for another grant from the state for $10,000 to renovate the other gazebos and install benches in all four gazebos and refurbish an information kiosk at a Riceboro pier. The gazebos were built in the late 1990s and had not been tended to since.
Local leaders, including KLB Director Sara Swida, and community members attended the ribbon-cutting.
“Anything we can do to beautify it and improve it, and make it inviting to those persons who should stop here, this gateway, and learn about our county, what we have to offer, makes us all Liberty County proud,” Liberty County Board of Commissioners Chairman Donald Lovette said.
Midway Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington said she is proud that the city’s gateway was beautified. She added that she is excited about the renovation and hopes the community will continue to work together to invest in the county.
State Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, said he is happy to see the collaboration between the state and CVB.
“What better than to have it at this intersection, with I-95 as busy as it is,” Williams said. “To be able to come and help discover the great secrets of Georgia — and that’s Liberty County — and more people will come and realize the history that we have here.”
After the ceremony, Poole talked about the purpose of the renovations.
“For us, it means travelers have a nice place to stop, and they have a nice place to walk their pets if they’re out here, which they’re already doing,” she said. “When the information wasn’t there, they don’t really learn anything about our county, and we want them to know that we’re a coastal community. We want them to know about our natural resources, we want them to know about our historic sites.
“That’s really what our impetus behind doing this was. We want to give people a nice place to stop, nice place to sit in shade, but also all the information they need to want to stay and visit.”