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Keep Liberty Beautiful: Shailah’s take on local Great American Cleanups
Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director Karen Bell.

Dr. Karen Bell

Keep Liberty Beautiful

For Shailah Wilson, Keep Liberty Beautiful Volunteer Coordinator, this is her first Great American Cleanup event, and she is so excited! I asked her to do some research on GAC and this is what she provided.

The Great American Cleanup is the leading Keep America Beautiful’s biggest community improvement program. It aids in community greening, recycling, and education. This program is a great way and a green way to give community members in Liberty County an active space to promote change.

According to the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation, in 2022 our state alone collected over 605,000 pounds of litter and debris; over 1 million pounds of materials were recycled; 3,322 miles of roadways, waterways, trails, and parks were cleaned; and 4,919 trees and shrubs were planted. All of those things were an aid in saving not only ourselves from harmful materials but wildlife too. There are countless ways that we can work together and spread the word so that we can contribute even more for 2023.

Starting on March 1, 2023, Keep Liberty Beautiful will begin its Great American Cleanup period for the year. It will be hosted throughout Liberty County until June 30, 2023. During this time, each city in Liberty County will host a citywide cleanup, where members of each city can volunteer in efforts to collect trash and debris off of their polluted roads. During the Great American Cleanup, we always look forward to community members participating and having the space to educate on the importance of taking care of the environment. Most cities will host their cleanups on a Saturday, which makes these events accessible to families that may have school-age children.

Although in recent years with the pandemic, and everything else going on, personal efforts at contributing to the beautification of the environment have not stopped. There are always things that we can do better, to help us live better. Case in point: When everyone found out how harmful plastic straws are to turtles, there was an immediate push to switch to using reusable straws, as well as paper straws. When it was found that the plastic rings from our drinks were unsafe, we decided to cut them before throwing them away. Both of those small changes have led to the saving of thousands of marine habitats and all types of animals. With the Great American Cleanup, Americans can continue to grow their awareness of the impact of our everyday items on wildlife and ourselves.

This year, Keep Liberty Beautiful is celebrating 40 years of service to Liberty County. Forty is a big number, and we have been collectively coming up with big ideas on how to get more of our community involved this year and for many years to come. There are already so many familiar faces that we get to see at each event and so many families that we have come to love because of their love and their dedication to volunteering.

Whether you choose to volunteer one time, or you do so reoccurring, the impact that it has on our community is always life lasting, not just on the environment but on you as well. I volunteered frequently in my adolescent years, and I can recall each place that I helped, and how good it felt to say that I contributed to something good. The cleanups and projects I worked on ended up helping my community for years to come.

If you would like to volunteer with Keep Liberty Beautiful in efforts to continue Keeping Liberty County clean, green and beautiful, please keep a lookout on our Facebook page “Keep Liberty Beautiful” to stay up to date on our latest events, and special announcements. For more information, contact us at (912) 880-4888; email klcb@libertycountyga. com; or check out our website, www.keepliberty

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