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Keep Liberty Beautiful: A new year to make a change with KLB
Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director Karen Bell.

Dr. Karen Bell

Keep Liberty Beautiful

Can you believe that it is the second week of the year? I wonder how many people have made New Year’s resolutions and have broken them already. January seems to make people want to make a change, and I would like to share a couple of changes you can add to your “New Me” list.

Keep Liberty Beautiful could always use more volunteers. How about committing to volunteering or volunteering more this year? According to several research studies, volunteers are happier and feel more fulfilled.

They have lower blood pressure, fewer mental health issues, and live longer on average! Those are things we can all benefit from! There are many opportunities for volunteering in our community. I urge you to find one of those opportunities and sign up because you will make a difference in your life and Liberty County. This year is Keep Liberty Beautiful’s 40th Anniversary of serving Liberty County. KLB is a community education and volunteer action program about protecting our environment. Our key areas are litter cleanup and eradication, recycling and waste reduction, water quality and conservation, and growing a better world and community. If you are interested in any of these areas, here are some ways you can volunteer with KLB in the next few months: In February, we are all about trees! Georgia Arbor Day occurs each year on the third Friday in February.

Why are trees important? A healthy tree canopy in a community provides more than beauty.

It also provides oxygen and shade. It helps cool our community in the summer heat. It provides a habitat for birds and wildlife. We celebrate Arbor Day and Trees each Year by having a tree giveaway to encourage more people to plant and enjoy trees. We will give away trees on Arbor Day Weekend on February 17, 2023, and February 18, 2023.

We need volunteers to help prepare for these events; the duties include tagging, organizing, and moving trees to pick-up locations. If you would like to reserve a tree for planting, we will have several trees on hand, like dogwoods, crape myrtles, magnolias, fruit trees, and oaks. Trees are always very limited! We want to encourage any civic or youth groups, schools, churches, businesses, municipalities, and individuals to reserve a tree to plant. We will start taking reservations on February 1, 2023.

In February, we also hold our quarterly Recycle It! Fairs to help reduce the amount of waste going into landfills and to provide items for recycling to help conserve natural resources. These fairs are held in two locations in Midway and Walthourville each quarter. We accept various things, from electronics to household batteries and other hazardous household goods. We also have Shred Days, so local residents can safely and securely dispose of old financial, medical, and business records.

Cleaning out and organizing your home or business storage is another great way to protect our environment and help your own mental health. These fairs will be held on February 18, 2023, and volunteers are always helpful in preparing for and staffing these locations.

From March through June, KLB partners with local cities and neighborhoods to hold our annual Great American Cleanup events with thousands of other communities internationally. Volunteers are the heart of these events.

On April 5, 2023, KLB will have an Open House to celebrate our 40 years of educating, cleaning, beautifying, and working with our community. All are welcome to our office for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please join us!

In April, we also will celebrate the Earth. It is our home, after all. Who will if we do not keep it clean and our water resources healthy? We hold our largest annual community education event in conjunction with Earth Day each Year. We welcome sponsors and hundreds of volunteers that make this event possible through months of planning and preparations.

This spring, we will also work on beautification GROW projects with schools and organizations and provide some potential educational workshops. re you looking for a project for your church, business, social group, or neighborhood? KLB has project ideas that allow young and older citizens to get their hands dirty and make the world pretty. We are also focused on adding more edible gardens to the community.

I hope I have stirred your interest in volunteering with KLB! Start off 2023 right by finding your way to make the world a better place! For more information on our volunteer opportunities, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at klcb@libertycountyga. com or visit our website at www.keeplibertybeautiful. org.

Happy volunteering in 2023!

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