The Great American Cleanup season officially has begun! Thousand of communities just like ours are gearing up to clean up and “green up” their neighborhoods, roads and schools as well as look for ways to beautify and enhance green spaces. Why go to all this effort? Clean and attractive communities are healthier, safer, environmentally balanced and usually economically healthy, too. Those are all goals that I have for Liberty County and I hope you do, too! Activities already are in the works for the next few months. Just one thing is missing — we need you involved. Here are a few highlights of some of the upcoming events:
The national Great American Cleanup’s main goal is to — duh! — clean up. Here are some of the cleanups already scheduled:
• Riceboro cleanup day: March 26
• Neighborhoods and communities cleanup days: March 26 and April 16
• Flemington cleanup day: April 16
• Walthourville cleanup day: April 16
• Allenhurst cleanup day: April 16
• Hinesville cleanup day: April 23
• Midway cleanup day: April 30
Our local municipalities and the county government always are supportive in co-sponsoring the city cleanups. We appreciate the volunteers who spruce up our streets and roads. And thank you to the cities for providing picnic lunches for all those hungry volunteers after their cleanups. All volunteers receive official Great American Cleanup T-shirts with a special design that was created by Imprint Warehouse. It is worth participating just to get one of those cute T-shirts!
KLB provides all the supplies and water for the cleanup efforts. Most cleanups begin at 8:30 or 9 a.m. and conclude around 12:30 p.m. after the appreciation picnic. Please call my office to register and to find out the meeting location and time for the cleanup that you are interested in. We want to make sure that we have enough supplies and food so please register ahead of time.
We also have a couple of days designated for neighborhoods and unincorporated communities to hold clean-up or beautification events. As a special incentive, we will have a raffle this year for a Troybilt backpack blower, Troybilt trimmer and a couple of other useful pieces of equipment. All neighborhoods that participate this spring will be entered into the raffle. We hope that these items will be beneficial as volunteers maintain their neighborhoods. Each piece of equipment would become the property of the winning neighborhood association or neighborhood watch group.
We also will have entrance signs for participating neighborhoods and communities to display for the next quarter noting that they are N.E.A.T. neighborhoods.
What is a N.E.A.T. neighborhood?
N: They never take the appearance of their community for granted.
E: They encourage their homeowners to take pride in their own yards, the roads and the entry ways to their communities.
A: They always keep their yards and streets clean.
T: They tell everyone that they care about where they live by making it look neat!
We want everyone to know who the NEAT neighborhoods and communities are in our county! We will provide cleanup supplies for all groups that register so please call our office at 880-4888 to schedule your cleanup.
Don’t forget — the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Win-dex awards recognition program with Keep Liberty Beautiful to recognize businesses in our county who make that extra effort. Help us give these local businesses the recognition each quarter that they deserve. Each quarter we select two winners — a large business and a small business. A variety of businesses have been recognized in the past couple of years — offices, retail stores, auto services, car dealerships, schools and hotels. The business type really doesn’t matter because any business can maintain a litter-free and attractive appearance. These winners make all of us look good!
Nomination forms are available through March 31 at Keep Liberty Beautiful (call 880-4888 or e-mail email@example.com) or at the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce office (call 368-4445). Or you can mail your nominee’s information to P.O. Box 829, Hinesville, GA 31310.
One other event coming up is Liberty County’s fifth annual Earth Day celebration on Friday, April 22, at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center. The festival will be held from 3:30-7 p.m. It’s free to the public and fun for all ages.
The event is sponsored by Keep Liberty Beautiful and Georgia Power Company with funds from the Lowes Charitable Campaign, the Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Woodmen of the World, the cities of Hinesville, Flemington, Allenhurst and Walthourville, and Liberty County.
Earth Day provides several hours of environmental education cleverly disguised as games, crafts, exhibits, prizes and entertainment. Green has never been so much fun! The festival will be followed by an environmentally positive, free family movie, “Furry Vengeance,” sponsored by Target, the Hinesville Area Arts Council, the YMCA and the Georgia Theatre Company. Mark your calendars for this “don’t-miss” event!