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Bringing life to scarecrows
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Finally! It is actually beginning to feel like fall. Autumn is a good time to pay homage to the ultimate ‘recycled’ creation—-the scarecrow.
We will be doing that at the Community Fall Festival at the YMCA on Oct. 13. Keep Liberty County Beautiful will be sponsoring a recycled scarecrows contest from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This will be a fun time for kids and families. We want to see how creative local folks can get making scarecrows with big personalities.  
I have made scarecrows in the past. You may have, too. Basic scarecrows are traditionally made from a mix of re-used items like:
• An old broom or mop to give Mr. or Ms Scarecrow some backbone
• Stuffing like straw or rags to give some “body” using canvas bags or old pillow cases to hold the stuffing together
• Painted or stitched “faces” on canvas bags or old pillow cases for the head and face with a hat to give the ‘“crow” some character and to shield his face from the hot sun.
• Old jeans and old cotton or flannel shirts for clothes and old shoes for feet and work gloves for hands
All of these elements are tied or wired together to make a scarecrow worthy of any field needing protection from birds.
But scarecrows do not have to stop there. When researching information on scarecrows, I was surprised to find out how popular scarecrow contests are, particularly, in Great Britain.
Scarecrows can range from “celebrity crows” (could you imagine Paris Hilton made from straw?) to rock stars (your favorite rocker might benefit from a broom for structure and stability) to political and royal figures ( one site had “crows” resembling Prince Charles and Camilla — they actually looked pretty good as scarecrows).
So your scarecrow can take on any personality you choose  — from a “scary crow” to an “outer space crow.”
I hope you will encourage your children and/or grandchildren to participate in this fun community event. It is a great way for families or youth group leaders to encourage kids to think out of the box about ways to re-use common everyday items rather than automatically tossing them in the trash. We will also welcome any grown up kids who want to participate as well — as long as space is available.
We will provide basic items — brooms, hats, gloves, clothes, connecting materials (twist ties, wire, markers, etc.) — for up to 25 scarecrows —- in case children do not have items available at home to bring. But we encourage you to start looking around your house for the items and accessories you want to bring to make your own one-of-a-kind scarecrow. We will have the finished scarecrows available for local municipal offices and businesses who might want to incorporate a scarecrow into a fall display at their location during the fall season.
We would welcome any help in collecting items for constructing these scarecrows. Fun hats, jeans, shirts shoes, gloves, brooms and mops would all be helpful. So look around your house and your business and see if it is time to get a new broom or move out some old yard clothes in your closet. We will have drop-off boxes in several locations around the county for your donations. Our local scarecrow “creators” will appreciate your contributions.  
I hope you will join us at our  “scarecrow construction site.”
Fall Festival sponsors are providing prizes by age group as well as for the best “group crow” and the most “creative crow.”
Winners will be announced around 3:30 p.m. at the festival.
For information on the contest or donating used items for this project, contact me at 368-4888 or

Dates to remember:

• Oct. 13 (11 a.m.): Recycled Scarecrows Contest at the Fall Festival at the YMCA
• Oct. 20 (8:45 a.m.): Rivers Alive Cleanups at several locations in Liberty County. On foot volunteers, kayakers, and small boats needed. Sponsored by SNF Chemtall and the Coastal Courier. To volunteer, contact me at 368 4888 or 
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