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Keep Liberty Beautiful: Keep Arbor Day and recycling in mind
Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director Karen Bell.

Dr. Karen Bell

Keep Liberty Beautiful

February, our state celebrates Georgia Arbor Day. If you love and appreciate trees as I do, please join us in celebrating trees this month by planting trees and increasing our community tree canopy. To make that easier, we have a limited number of trees to give away on February 16 and February 17, in recognition of Arbor Day. Arbor Day is a special celebration of trees, and the story of its beginning is just as special.

Arbor Day originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on April 10, 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, approximately 1 million trees were 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 on the third Friday in February - which is a great time to plant trees in our climate.

Trees and a healthy tree canopy in our community certainly improve our quality of life. We will be celebrating trees by providing a limited number of trees for planting. Our goal is to encourage as many local residents to help us grow our tree canopy. We will be giving away trees on Arbor Day Weekend on February 16 and 17.

If you would like to reserve a tree, we will have eight types of trees this year: persimmon, crepe myrtle, catalpa, yellow poplar, white and gray dogwoods, white oaks, and red buds. Trees are very limited! 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 are interested while our supplies last. If you would like to reserve a tree this week - and we encourage you to do so - go online to https://bit.ly/4b9Gr1c to reserve your tree. You can also contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at (912) 8804888 or klcb@libertycountyga. com.

Trees can be reserved for pick up on Friday, February 16, at Farmers Natural Foods on Highway 196 from 9 a.m. until 12 noon and at Melon Bluff Nature Center on Islands Highway from 1-3 p.m. You can pick up trees from one of our two Recycle It! Fair sites from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 17. These locations are: Liberty County Community Complex 9397 East Oglethorpe in Midway Walthourville City Hall 222 Busbee Drive in Walthourville- There will also be a Shred it! Event, at this site Just a reminder: these are the items we will collect at the Recycle It! Fairs:

• electronics

• household paint as long as the cans are sealed well, not rusted, and at least half full.

• CFLs and fluorescent light bulbs

• used motor oil and antifreeze

• car batteries.

• household batteries

• printer ink and toner cartridges

• telephone books, large sale catalogs, and books

• household goods and clothes and shoes

• old prescription medications and over-thecounter medications 

Please help us expand our tree canopy in our towns, cities, and neighborhoods by planting trees! For more information on recycling or the upcoming tree giveaways, contact us at (912) 8804888 or klcb@libertycountyga. com or check out our website at www.keeplibertybeautiful. org. Think trees!

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