By Dr. Karen Bell, Keep Liberty Beautiful.
Keep Liberty Beautiful is giving away trees this month! In February, our state celebrates Georgia Arbor Day. If you love and appreciate trees as much 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 giveaway on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19 in recognition of Arbor Day.
Arbor Day is a unique celebration of trees, and the story of how the holiday began is just as impressive.
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, where it originated. Twenty years later, every state in America celebrated Arbor Day, except for Delaware. Delaware eventually joined the Arbor Day celebration, too.
This holiday encourages people to plant and care for trees, whether in groups or as individuals. Arbor Day has grown to become a recognized holiday in many countries worldwide from its beginnings in Nebraska. 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. Our goal is to encourage as many local citizens as possible to help us grow our tree canopy, so we will be giving away a limited number of trees for planting trees on Arbor Day weekend.
If you want to reserve a tree, we will have several types available: dogwood, crape myrtle, magnolia, fruit and oak.
These trees are very limited, so we want to encourage civic or youth groups, schools, churches, businesses, municipalities and individuals to reserve a tree to plant while our supplies last. On Feb. 1, 2022, registration will begin. You can visit our website or use this link to reserve your tree: https://bit.ly/klb arborday2022.
Reserved trees can be picked up on Friday, Feb. 18, at Farmers Natural Foods on Highway 196 from 9 a.m. until noon, or on Saturday, Feb. 19, at one of our two Recycle It! Fair sites from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. These locations are the Liberty County Community Complex, at 9397 East Oglethorpe in Midway, and Walthourville City Hall, at 222 Busbee Drive in Walthourville. There will also be a Shred It! event at the Walthourville site.
As a reminder, these are the items we will collect at the fairs:
• household paint, as long as the cans are sealed well, not rusted, and at least half full.
• 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 overthe- counter 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 Keep Liberty Beautiful at 912880-4888 or klcb@libertycountyga. com, or check out our website at www.keeplibertybeautiful. org.