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Keep Liberty Beautiful: Investing in the future by planting trees
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Wille Cato, Randy Mayfield, Stacy Bell, Tyena Ellis volunteered with Keep Liberty Beautiful.
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January is the start of a very busy and eventful year for Keep Liberty Beautiful. Our first event of the year was Bring One For The Chipper, where Liberty County collected 276 trees, with 21 volunteers, and 54 people came out to participate this year. Since that event, KLB participated in three more events. As I was shopping for one of our upcoming events, I overheard a couple talking about having MLK Day off. They could not wait to sleep late and relax. 

When I got to work, I was still thinking about their conversation and Google MLK Day to see what would come up. I found the following information online: The national Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of King. MLK Day of Service is a way to honor his life and teachings by engaging in community action that continues to solve social problems. Service breaks down barriers by bringing people from different experiences together – volunteering can unite Americans of all ages and backgrounds while building stronger communities.

Wow, that information made me realize that maybe that is why I like volunteering! When there is a project and people from all backgrounds and ages come together, we can Make A Difference! So, Martin Luther King Day of Service is a special day for KLB and Georgia Power. Every year we partner with Georgia Power with a beautification project. This year the project included potting over 150 trees for Arbor Day activities and cleaning up the Reading Garden in the Liberty County Community Complex. 

We had several volunteers come out to support the project, from Georgia Power, Randy Mayfield, Willie Cato, and Stacy Bell. We had a teacher and families from Lyman Hall and Joseph Martin Elementary, Liberty County High School, and First Presbyterian Christian Academy. We also had our KLB Staff and their families and our Green Leaders with their families. The work provided on this Day of Service will ensure we have more trees to giveaway for our upcoming Arbor Day actives. 

February, our state celebrates Georgia Arbor Day. If you love and appreciate trees as I do, then please join us in celebration of trees next month by planting trees and increasing our community tree canopy. To make that easier, we have a limited number of trees to giveaway on Feb. 14 and 15 in recognition of Arbor Day. Arbor Day is a special celebration of trees, and the story of the beginnings of Arbor Day is just as special.

Arbor Day originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on April 10th, 1872. J. Sterling Morton, who served as President Grover Cleveland’s Secretary of Agriculture, was the founder of Arbor Day. Morton had the idea for Arbor Day because he thought there were not enough trees in Nebraska. On that first Arbor Day, there were approximately 1 million trees planted, which is incredible! On April 22, 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska, the state where it originated. 

Twenty years later, every state in America celebrated Arbor Day, except for Delaware. Delaware eventually joined the Arbor Day celebrations, too. This holiday is to encourage people, whether in groups or as individuals, to plant and care for trees. From its beginnings in Nebraska, Arbor Day has grown to become a recognized holiday in many countries around the world. In 1970, President Richard Nixon declared the last Friday in April to be National Arbor Day. Ultimately, each state named its own Arbor Day, which varies depending on the planting season and climate. That is why here in Georgia, we celebrate our Arbor Day in February.  

Trees and a healthy tree canopy in our community certainly improve our quality of life. Our goal is to encourage as many local citizens to help us grow our tree canopy. We will provide the instruction on how to reserve a tree on Jan. 29. We want to encourage any civic or youth groups, schools, churches, businesses, and municipalities as well as individuals to reserve a tree to plant. 

If you want to learn more about recycling or want to know how to volunteer for Keep Liberty Beautiful, you can call (912) 880-4888 or email 

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