Liberty County celebrated National County Government Month with a variety of activities throughout April. This was our fourth year participating in the National Association of Counties’ campaign to raise public awareness and understanding about the many services counties provide.
Our featured event for NCGM was a geocache tour that took people to 18 beautiful, historic sites around Liberty County. Called the #nofilterneeded Geocache Adventure, it was the perfect way for visitors and locals to explore our deep history and natural beauty in a fun, free and family friendly way. We teamed up with several entities to present this special event: Keep Liberty Beautiful, Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau and local geocaching guru Brian Tiner. On April 5, Savannah TV station WTOC aired a live interview with Amanda Scott of the CVB and Tiner to promote the event. The geocache tour kicked off April 9 and, during its first weekend, brought more than 350 people and more than $6,000 in tourism dollars into Liberty County.
At our regular Board of Commissioners meeting April 5, Chairman Donald Lovette signed a proclamation declaring April as National County Government Month. We invited two students from First Presbyterian Christian Academy to take part in the meeting. One student led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and another gave a short history of Liberty County. At the midmonth commissioners meeting April 21, two students from Liberty County 4-H were involved. One led us in the pledge and the second gave an impressive speech on how 4-H has changed his life.
On April 7, we participated in the Hinesville Farmers Market to interact with the public. We set up four booths to highlight our many programs and services that help keep the community safe and secure:
1. The Liberty County Emergency Management Agency provided information on its emergency alert notification program and explained measures to take in case of a disaster.
2. The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office informed residents about public safety concerns and how to better secure their homes.
3. Liberty Regional Medical Center provided information about its health services.
4. The commissioners explained what types of services the local government offers — everything from recreation programs to how to call in work orders on roads.
Also that day, Liberty County Animal Control held a mobile pet vaccination clinic in conjunction with a local veterinarian. This provided a convenient, low-cost way for residents to protect their cats and dogs against rabies and other diseases.
Throughout April, hundreds of residents and many county employees volunteered for litter clean-ups as part of the Great American Cleanup initiative. Groups spent Saturday mornings picking up trash along our roadways. Liberty County Public Works provided all the necessary tools and supplies and fed the volunteers afterward. Beautification projects like this are important to maintaining safe communities.
Another outreach program was the "Commissioners in the Classroom" series, in which several of our commissioners visited government classes at Liberty County High School and Bradwell Institute. They spoke in detail about county government operations and encouraged the students to pursue rewarding careers in government/public service.
For our employees, we hosted a lunch and learn April 15 on the topic of heart health, one of our highest-risk factors that contribute to preventable deaths. Our speaker was Dr. Erasme Coly, a cardiologist from LRMC.
He educated our workers on the importance of being "heart healthy," adopting healthier behaviors and controlling blood pressure.
We participated in the annual Earth Day Celebration on April 22 with the same style of interactive booth we had at the Farmers Market earlier in the month.
Overall, we had a fantastic time celebrating National County Government Month. Our goal was to educate the public on safety, the history of our county and how county government works for our citizens. We made many new friends, and our citizens learned about areas within Liberty County they did not know existed. Out-of-town visitors came and explored our beautiful community, and many commented on its overwhelming history and beauty, vowing to come back and stay longer.
National County Government Month was both fun and a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase our county to the citizens we serve.