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Take the Earth Day pledge
Keep Liberty Beautiful

Happy Earth Day! Today, we begin a week full of opportunities to celebrate — and make a difference for — the wonderful planet we live on.

The sixth annual Earth Day Celebration in Liberty County is from 3-7 p.m. Monday, April 23, at the YMCA soccer fields at the corner of Mary Lou Drive and Tupelo Trail. This week’s activities include free family environmental fun and games and a chance to “picnic for the planet.”

It also includes a chance to take the Earth Day pledge and make a commitment to keep our world healthy.

This week also offers opportunities to volunteer in the community for upcoming city cleanups in Hinesville and Walthourville. Whether you are a young environmentalist or a seasoned citizen wanting to go green, there is plenty to do this week.

If you are ready to take the pledge, this is a good week to start.

Why do we celebrate Earth Day? In 1970, Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. senator from Wisconsin, felt that an Earth Day event would help increase an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution. It would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media. He and his co-chairman, Pete McCloskey, a Republican congressman, built a national staff to promote and implement events across the country. Yes, interestingly, the first Earth Day was a bipartisan event. So for those of you who think that environmental matters are important only to “tree huggers” and “leftover flower children from the 1960s,” you are wrong.

The health of the earth should matter to all of us. Surprisingly, I was too young to be a flower child or a tree hugger and, quite frankly, I really have never understood that time period.

I think I am like most everyday Americans. We want clean air. We want clean water. We want a healthy environment. I think most of us feel there is a need to have a balanced and realistic approach on many of these environmental issues that will work but not take us over the edge into excessive government regulation.

There definitely are some issues that I know have clear-cut answers that can make a difference. Litter is one of them. Litter hurts our world economically and environmentally. It kills wildlife. It pollutes our waterways. It damages aquatic life. We cause litter. Let’s stop it.

We also need to reduce the amount of waste going into the waste stream. We need to conserve natural resources. Recycling, reuse and minimizing the amount of waste we create are ways to do this. We create waste. And we can find ways on a daily basis to limit the amount of waste we create. We can recycle so many items we use every day to be made into new products. By doing so, we also conserve many natural resources.

These are just a couple of the things that you and your family can find out more about Monday at our Earth Day event — in a fun way, of course. On Saturday, anyone in our community can make a contribution by picking up litter for a few hours in Walthourville and Hinesville.

No matter who you are or what you think, making our world healthier and cleaner helps all of us.

I hope you will join us Monday and Saturday. The details for these events are listed below.

Upcoming Keep Liberty Beautiful events
• Community cleanups: Hinesville and Walthourville cleanups are Saturday, April 28. Hinesville volunteers should meet at 8 a.m. in Main Street Park. Walthourville volunteers should meet at 8:30 a.m. at Walthourville City Hall.

To volunteer for this year’s Great American Cleanup events, call Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or email All cleanup supplies, a picnic lunch for cleanup volunteers and free T-shirts will be provided.

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