Whenever we do a program on Keep Liberty Beautiful or an orientation for a new volunteer, someone often says, “I never realized that Keep Liberty Beautiful had this many programs.”
So, I thought I would share an overview of the programs and projects that are a part of KLB. We have grown significantly over the years, and we are proud of the involvement our community provides to make these efforts possible.
KLB is a community education and volunteer action program dedicated to community improvement. The focus areas are litter prevention, beautification and community improvement, waste reduction and recycling and stormwater pollution and water conservation education.
KLB’s ongoing programs and events include:
• Great American Cleanup, held March through May, is part of a national effort to clean and beautify American communities. We hold a citywide cleanup each spring in all six municipalities as well as a number of unincorporated communities.
• Rivers Alive cleanups are held in October on Make a Difference Day in more than 40 locations around the county. Our community’s award-winning Rivers Alive event is one of the largest in South Georgia.
• An annual beach sweep is held to protect the beautiful beach on our barrier island, St. Catherines Island. Local boaters graciously provide rides each year for our volunteers to St. Catherines.
• The Adopt Liberty program offer opportunities for individuals, families or groups to select a special green space, roadway or waterway to “adopt.”
• Cigarette-litter prevention campaigns are held periodically around our community. This year, the American Red Cross Red is leading campaigns on Veterans Parkway and Gen. Screven at the entrances to Fort Stewart.
• Road Warriors are citizens who regularly patrol for litter and debris in their communities as they walk or run. We have many citizens who do this, and we recognize their efforts with the cutest T-shirts ever. We currently are designing T-shirts for Beach Keepers, local folks who clean up more than their picnic sites when they visit St. Catherines Island. If you are a Beach Keeper, we would love to give you a T-shirt for your efforts. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Our popular Earth Day celebration is held each April 22 to engage youth and families in environmental awareness, games and activities. We refer to it as undercover environmental education cleverly disguised as fun! More than 1,100 kids and family members join us each year for this fun-filled, educational event. During the spring, we also hold annual educational events in our elementary schools, highlighting litter prevention and water education. We also distribute more than 7,500 educational place mats in elementary schools and restaurants, highlighting litter prevention and stormwater pollution and water-conservation education.
• Our America Recycles Day is Nov. 15 each year. We have an awareness campaign engaging our schools and local citizens in recycling events. Activities include our custom America Recycles Day educational place mats distributed in elementary schools and restaurants. Recycling collection days for special items, like tires and other special collections for disaster relief, are held periodically.
• Recycle It! Fairs are held quarterly to collect household hazardous-waste items and household goods for recycling or re-use. Our partners — Goodwill Industries, the Liberty County Solid Waste Department and Coastal Auto and Recycling Prescription — make these quarterly recycling efforts possible. Our newest partner, the Hinesville Police Department, also holds prescription take-backs at these fairs so that prescription medications and over-the-counter medications can be collected and disposed of properly.
• Bring One for the Chipper, held after Christmas through early January, collects and recycles Christmas trees. Approximately 1,500 trees are collected each year.
• Arbor Day awareness activities and tree giveaways are held in February to celebrate Georgia Arbor Day. We give away more than 150 trees and information on planting and growing trees to area citizens.
• N.E.A.T. Neighborhoods are recognized each quarter for neighborhood-beautification projects or litter cleanups.
• Our Good Neighbor campaign emphasizes the impact that our choices have on our neighbors. Good neighbors maintain their homes and yards and make sure littering is not happening in their neighborhoods.
• Our native-plant awareness and giveaways are held in the fall to encourage folks to go native with plants. We gave away more than 100 native plants last year.
• This year’s Think 30! Community Garden Challenge, honoring our 30th anniversary for KLB, has encouraged local groups, municipalities and businesses to help create at least 30 community gardens during 2013. Fourteen are completed and 16 are in the planning stages.
• Our Win-dex Awards honor two attractive, litter-free businesses each quarter for their efforts. More than 40 businesses have been recognized in the last six years. We partner with the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce to provide this program.
• Our newest program, HomeProud, is a recognition program for attractive homes and yards in our community. We soon will unveil this new program with our partner, the Coastal Courier.
KLB embraces the goal of Keep America Beautiful: to engage individuals in taking greater responsibility for improving their community environments. This variety of KLB activities requires volunteers throughout the year. We sincerely appreciate the almost 3,000 volunteers who supported these programs this past fiscal year. Their 9,000 volunteer hours make this many programs possible and help to make our community a great place to be.
Whatever your lifestyle and schedule may be, there is a perfect volunteer opportunity at KLB for you!