Wow! I have so much to be thankful for!
November is the month when we remember to be thankful, right? We remember to be thankful for the things we should be thankful for every day of the year. Well, I am certainly thankful for the many local citizens who have participated in our 10th annual Rivers Alive events so far. We have such a wonderful community with so many people who have a deep concern for our environment and waterways! So far, more than 530 volunteers have given hundreds of hours of their time to keep litter and debris from affecting our waterways.
And we are not through yet. We have several more groups still scheduled in the next few weeks and have room for more if you or your group or business would like to participate! Contact us at 880-4888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We try to target as many locations as possible where litter occurs before it gets in our waterways. It is much easier to clean up that way, but we also have many volunteers wading in marshes and around boat ramps and in kayaks and boats, cleaning up around the edges of larger bodies of waters like the Jerico River and Riceboro Creek. We have students who include nearby streams as part of their campus cleanups.
All these locations matter, because eventually, much of the litter discarded or blown into these areas will end up in larger waterways. We all live downstream and are affected by what happens farther up from us. Creeks, small streams and wetlands in areas in the west end of the county and in cities like Hinesville and Walthourville are just as critical as large waterways when you are fighting stormwater pollution.
We ultimately are only going to be as healthy as our local environment. Thankfully, these 500-plus citizens recognize that. We all have to step up and make a difference in our local communities.
We want to extend our sincere thanks to the following groups for their participation: Isle of Wight, MMS Green Team, Georgia Forestry Commission, Top Teens & Ladies of Distinction, LOCO, Kuelling Family, City of Midway staff and citizens, Savannah Geocachers, Johnson Family, Greene Family, Beasley Family, Gregory Family, Bradwell Institute WBL Class, Tommy Long & Friends of Colonel’s Island, Youth Challenge Academy, Water System Management, Long County 4-H, City of Allenhurst, Citizens of Georgia Power, Front Runnerz MC&A Plus Realty, Oak Hampton Neighborhood Watch, Bouffard Group, Armstrong Center, Vaden Nissan of Hinesville, Liberty County Staff, Street Dreamz, Highsmith Foundation, T.E.L.L., Rogers Family, Connection Church, City of Flemington, CH2M Hill, Southland Knights, Liberty County 4-H, Guardians in Action, Liberty County Public Safety, Savannah Tech Auto Club, Pine Ridge Neighborhood, Timber Ridge Neighborhood, Lexington Subdivision, ARC Red Club, Together Teens & Tweens, B.O.S.S., Girl Scouts, Pure Platinum, Forest Lake neighborhood, South Georgia Bank, The Heritage Bank, Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission, Harrison Heights Neighborhood, Eleven Black Men, City of Hinesville staff and citizens, Ardyss K. Bell, Jane Chatman group, New Day Community Church, City of Walthourville staff and citizens, Beta Gamma, Alpha Kappa Alpha, New Zion Church, New Anderson Grove Baptist Church, Hinesville Housing Authority, SNF employees, City of Riceboro citizens, Division of Child Support Services, East American Legion, Pedrick and Company, Homeschoolers of the Hinesville/Fort Stewart Area, United Military Care, Lewis Frasier Middle School and Emmett King.
Our Rivers Alive event would not be possible on the scale that it is without SNF Chemtall. Each year since we started this effort in 2006, SNF has supported it with funds for public awareness and a generous cookout after the cleanups. The SNF staff members grill us up a great thank-you meal each year that I know our volunteers appreciate. We owe a special thanks to them and to Phyllis Tucker, who coordinates the arrangements for us.
We also could not possibly have these events all over the county without the leadership of the following Keep Liberty Beautiful advisory-board members and site leaders: David C. Sapp; Willie Cato; Evanne Floyd; Margaret Bess; Amanda Scott; Walthourville Mayor Daisy Pray; Lindsay M. Swida; John Henderson; Rebecca Beasley; Lelia Jones; Leah Poole; Pearl Richards-Axson; Joe Harris; Phyllis Tucker; Kathy Poole; Gloria Cook-Osbourne; Midway Mayor Clemontine Washington; Midway City Councilman Levern Clancy; Krystal Hart; Rodney Edwards; Mike Davis; Lillian Gray; Karen Bell; Kim McGlothlin; Terri Willett; Jan Williams; David Duke; Kasey Bozeman; Brian Tiner; and Courtney, Patricia and Ryan Kuelling.
The state Department of Natural Resources and Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation and their state sponsors make these events possible around our state. We are proud to be a part of this statewide effort. The state coordinators tell me that Liberty County is one of the largest Rivers Alive efforts in South Georgia. It is no surprise to me. We may not be one of the most-populated counties, but we evidently have a lot of people here with big hearts and a big love for where we live. I am pretty proud of that and very thankful for that.
Swida is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.