It has been another record year for Liberty County’s annual Rivers Alive events, held annually in October and into November.
This year, 619 volunteers participated to protect our local waterways. This was an increase of 45 volunteers over last year. 2013 also was a record-breaking year with an increase of 110 volunteers over 2012.
These numbers in themselves are just that — simply numbers. The big deal is the number of citizens who cared enough about the quality of local waterways to make time to help where they could in over 58 cleanup locations throughout the county. We are so thankful for this kind of participation.
Rivers Alive was designed 15 years ago to create awareness of and involvement in the preservation of Georgia’s water resources. The state program targets cleanups in creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and the ocean. Rivers Alive is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Keep Georgia Beautiful in collaboration with the international efforts of The Ocean Conservancy.
According to riversalive.com, from 1999 through this year, over 368,000 volunteers have extracted more than 9.2 million pounds of garbage from 26,237 miles of waterway.
I wish I could list every person who volunteered, but here are the groups that recruited volunteers to participate this year. We sincerely thank every volunteer who joined us in this effort to clean up in Liberty County:
SNF Chemtall, Ardyss K Bell Group, Lexington Neighborhood, Forest Lake Neighborhood, Beta Gamma Gamma, New Day Community Church, Liberty County 4-H, Bradwell Institute WBL, LCHS Interact Club, LFMS Environmental Club, Mrs. Medford’s LFMS Group, East Liberty American Legion, city of Allenhurst, city of Walthourville, city of Midway, city of Flemington, city of Riceboro, Ladies of Character Organization, Georgia Forestry Commission, Target Corporation, Youth Challenge Academy, Guardians in Action, American Red Cross Red Club, Pine Ridge Neighborhood, Westview Neighborhood, Tommy Long and Friends of Colonels Island, Water Systems Management, Treasure Savannah, the Johnson Family, Top Ladies of Distinction, Top Teens of America, MMS Green Team, Georgia Power Company, Southland Knights, Eleven Black Men of Liberty County, LCPC, HDDA, Harrison Heights Neighborhood, Patricia Nash Family, United Military Care, Pedrick and Company, G.I.F.T.S., the grandchildren of Mrs. LeGirtha Jones and Azalea Street Neighborhood, Pure Platinum, CH2M Hill and OMI, Connection Church, Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, MEDDAC, DENTAC, Liberty County financial employees, Liberty County Solid Waste department, Liberty County information technology department, Liberty County EMA, DPTMS, city of Hinesville and certainly our St. Catherines Beach captains and crew — David C. Sapp, Ron Lynch, Trent Long, John Ryon, Greg and Ellen Loskoski, Daryl Chandler and Cpl. Mack.
A very special thanks goes to Phyllis Tucker and her SNF crew who prepared a delicious thank-you lunch for all our volunteers on the main-event day, and to SNF for sponsoring this event each year and making it possible.
Thank you, Liberty County citizens, for a great Rivers Alive event this year!
Swida is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.