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Sometimes you have to ‘Stop it Karen!’
Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director Karen Bell.

Have you ever had a job that you love to come to? There’s an old saying, “That if you love what you do, then you will never work a day in your life.” I must admit that I have had some great jobs over the years.  One job was in the US Army for 26 years and now working for Liberty County at Keep Liberty Beautiful.  Sometimes, it is hard to turn off your work brain when you should be relaxing and enjoying your family and friends.  This is what leads to, “Stop It, Karen!!”  

While driving down the road on a trip to the beach, I spotted some trash.  Before thinking, I shouted out, “We need to have a cleanup on this road!” “Wow, I need to have Lisa contact the Adopt Liberty group to see when they plan to clean up their road.” After a couple of more statements like that in other counties, I was hit with “Stop It, Karen.” Now I was a little shocked because I did not understand where that was coming from.  The car was quiet for a minute, and then I started talking about how KLB was collecting shoes and how hard it was finding fruit trees for our Liberty Green Thumb project.  

The people I was driving with asked me a couple of questions that I really had to think about. “Karen, do you ever stop working?” “Do you ever stop thinking about work?  Wow, I thought I was just making conversation.  I did not realize I was talking about my job so much.  So, I apologized and told them that I can stop thinking about work, and starting now, it’s all about having fun and relaxing. 

It was not two minutes later that I started telling them about native plants and how we will be at the Hinesville Farmers Market on Thursday, September 2nd, giving out free local honey and plants.  All I heard was, again, “Karen, Can You Stop It!” I guess when you love what you do, you want to tell everyone!  (smile) So, I have more to share!  

Keep Liberty Beautiful gave out over 110 trees for the Liberty County Green Thumb project so far.  Thank you, Target, for providing the grant for that.  We also gave out local honey and native plants for Native Plant Day, which was on September 4th.  It was great to remind people that planting isn’t just for springtime and that fall is a fantastic time to plant.  Native plants are a natural and healthy way to create greener and more beautiful communities. There are many benefits for all of us to work toward having a greener community. When we add native plants to the mix, there are even more benefits.

Attractively landscaped private properties and business properties benefit our community’s ability to attract new retail businesses and other industries.  Green landscaping can add up to 28% to a property’s value.  For homeowners, that can be significant. Attractive landscaping and exterior appearances can increase retail sales for businesses as well. If you consider selling your property, a pleasing landscape can reduce the property’s time on the market by 10 to 15 %.  

Adding well-placed trees and plants can have a positive effect on your quality of life, too.  Did you know that just gazing at trees and green spaces for five minutes can reduce your stress level?  According to a study by the University of Texas, a pleasing landscape reduces stress. Other studies show that hospitals with windows overlooking greenery can improve patients’ healing. Access to public green spaces in communities has also been shown to lower heart rates and reduce stress levels for local citizens. 

Check out our website: this month for more information on Native Plants and the September PTP with the Liberty County Chamber.  Remember that the KLB Recycle it! Fairs on September 18, 2021, in Midway and Walthourville, as well as the Shred It! Day at Walthourville City Hall.  

Do not forget to join our Beach Sweep Cleanup on September 11, 2021, at St Catherine’s Island. We need more Boat Captains too.  Sign up at , or contact us at Keep Liberty Beautiful at (912) 880- 4888 or email to get involved today. 


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