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Help us make life a beach
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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One of my favorite pastimes in Liberty County has always been visiting the beautiful beach at St. Catherines Island. This barrier island is truly one of the county’s greatest treasures. It is not only an absolutely beautiful place, but the island played such a significant part in the early colonization and development of this area. I love to go there because it is so simple and quiet and peaceful. It is — most of the time — just you and the sun and the breeze and the waves.
Unfortunately, there is one little problem. It is shocking to me that people can visit this lovely area for recreation and “forget” to clean up their camp sites when they leave. I really don’t think God created beautiful places like this and then said, “let there be beer bottles tossed around here.” I think sea shells and footprints are really enough decoration.
Each year, Keep Liberty Beautiful sponsors a beach sweep cleanup on part of the beach area that’s used most frequently. We always come away with more than a ton of litter and debris that has been left or washed up on that lovely beach. It’s really shameful. Not only do we mar the beach, pollute the ocean and harm aquatic and animal life, but using the ocean as a trashcan hurts us and our way of life on the coast.
The least we can do is periodically try to clean up the mess that’s left there. To do a clean up like this we rely on local boat owners to generously provide transportation to St. Catherines for the volunteers. This cleanup wouldn’t be possible without that support.
If you would like to donate your time or your boat for this cleanup, call 368-4888 or e-mail
We can only take a limited number of volunteers based on available boat space, and volunteers must pre-register. This is a relatively small cleanup group in comparison to our inland cleanups, but it’s definitely one of our most popular and enjoyable events.

Win-dex nominations

It is time again for nominations for the quarterly Win-dex Awards, which recognize attractive local businesses in our community. The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Win-dex Awards program with Keep Liberty Beautiful to honor area business owners who make an effort to keep their establishments attractive and inviting. We need your help in giving these local businesses the recognition they deserve. Each quarter we select two winners — a large business and a small business. The first-quarter nominations will be accepted through March 31.
Attractive exteriors and landscaping make a business eye-catching. A nice setting also makes a statement about our community. Obviously, these businesses are run by people who have figured out that an attractive business is good business. Well-cared for establishments are an important component in creating a thriving and economically healthy community.
Expanding and caring for our business community helps to create more jobs and to maintain a stable local economy, which is good for all of us. Help us celebrate the businesses willing to put forth such an effort.

Here are some things to think about your nomination:

• Is the exterior clean and litter-free?
• Is the landscape well-maintained?
• Is the building exterior attractive and not in need of repair?
• Is the frontage property mowed and litter-free?
• Is the sidewalk and parking area clean and maintained? Is this area free of cigarette butts?
• Are there attractive plantings decorating the exterior?
• Have they recently upgraded or renovated? This could be a simple paint job to spruce things up or a full-scale renovation or new building.
• Is the entryway inviting?
An additional point that could be considered:
• Is the business’s owner a good citizen who works to maintain the roadway or front of their property where the business is located by helping to keep it attractive and litter free?
There are plenty of these attractive businesses out there. Our current winners are Island Realty on Highway 84 and The Coastal Bank — both great choices for these awards. I see possibilities every day, but it isn’t up to me. It’s up to you. Take a look around you. Don’t hesitate if you want to nominate your own business or the business where you are employed.
Nomination forms are available at the Environmental Health offices or at the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce office on Oglethorpe Highway. You can also e-mail me for a form.
The completed form can be mailed to P.O. Box 829, Hinesville, GA 31310, or faxed to 368-4777. If you wish, you can e-mail your information directly by including all of the information requested on the form.
Remember that your reason for nominating a business is a crucial part of the judging process, so make sure you fully explain why your business of choice deserved recognition. Your vote counts — send in your nomination today.

Swida is the executive director of Keep Liberty County Beautiful. For more information, contact her at 368-4888 or
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