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Improve your life, plant a tree
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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The cultivation of trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful, and the ennobling of man.
-- J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day.

This week we went all out to celebrate Georgia Arbor Day in Liberty County. Georgia Arbor Day was actually on Friday, but we realized we needed much more than one day to achieve the celebration of trees we were looking for.
Through a collaboration with the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Forestry Commission, Keep Liberty County Beautiful, and Pascal Brewer at Brewer's Christmas Tree Farm, we set a goal to give away about 65 trees for planting around the community.  The interest was so tremendous that we were able to provide 120 trees for planting. That is in addition to trees planted each year by dedicated groups like the Morning Glory Garden Club, who provide trees in a memorial service each year to beautify Hinesville parks.
Thank you to all of these groups for helping us plan for our future by planting these trees:
cities of Hinesville, Midway, Riceboro, Walthourville, Gum Branch and Flemington, Liberty County, Dorchester Academy, Dorchester Presbyterian Church, Diversity Health, Liberty County Health Department, Gateway Behavioral Health, United Way, District Attorney's office, Midway Museum, Midway Middle School Builders Club, Lyman Hall Elementary, Button Gwinnett Elementary, Bradwell Institute, First Methodist Pre-K, Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, Sign Concepts, Holtzman Realty, Great Southern Exterminating, LBS Tax Service, Dr. and Mrs. Glenn Carter, Dem Heavy Chevy Riderz Car Club, and the Chosen Ryderz Motorcycle Club.
Yes, they were diverse groups, but they all shared one mission: to plant trees that will be here for generations to enjoy. Trees were planted in thirty-one locations.
Trees are such a valuable part of our landscape and lives. It is often too late when we understand their significance, after they have been cut down for development or devastated in a weather disaster.
I hope you don't think trees are just pretty faces. They benefit us in many ways.
Trees reduce energy costs. Properly planted they are a low-tech solution to energy conservation, by reducing air conditioning needs in summer and breaking the wind and lowering heating costs in winter. The U. S. Department of Agriculture notes that a young, healthy tree has the cooling effect of 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
Trees reduce air pollution. They also produce the oxygen. The USDA cites that one acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and produces four tons of oxygen, enough oxygen to meet the needs of 18 people each year.
Trees attract wildlife. They provide habitat for songbirds and other wildlife. When the number of trees is significantly reduced, we jeopardize the survival of birds and wildlife because they have nowhere to live.
Trees slow water runoff and prevent erosion. Tree roots help hold soil in place on hillsides, preventing erosion.
Trees add value along streets and on private property. According to the USDA Forest Service, healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to property value. Trees also add value to retail areas, making them more inviting. Several studies show that sales increase in attractive, well landscaped shopping areas.
Trees also can screen noise and enhance privacy. Forestry researchers have shown that even thin belts of trees can reduce noise by three to five decibels.
There is no doubt about it. Trees are important to us, even when we take them for granted most of the time. So get out there and plant some trees.
Upcoming events with KLCB:
Feb. 16 Community Attitude Survey Day. Stop by a McDonald's between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. or contact KLCB at 368-4888 or or to participate in a survey between now and Feb 22. Note "Survey" in the subject line on email contacts.
Saturday, Feb. 23 8 a.m.-noon Gum Branch Cleanup. Volunteers are invited to join in a cleanup along Highway 196 in Gum Branch. Lunch will be served for all volunteers. Call 368-4888 to volunteer.

For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, call Swida at 368-4888 or email her at
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