The Litter Wars have gotten a fantastic start! The city of Gum Branch held a Great American Cleanup last Saturday.
A crowd of 75 volunteers came out and met the challenge despite the threat of rain. These hard-working volunteers labored all morning to clean almost five miles of Highway 196, collecting almost 2,000 pounds of trash! Let me tell you, there was a lot of trash on that road.
Event coordinator Leah Poole worked with community partners, Commissioner Connie Thrift, Mayor Richard Strickland, Canoochie EMC, the Liberty County Health Department Adolescent Health and Youth Development Program and the dedicated volunteer firefighters with the Gum Branch Fire Department to create an event that really cleaned up.
Local volunteers joined with volunteers from Youth Challenge Academy and the Target Distribution Center to sweep up the litter from the ballpark to Airport Road in just a few hours. Then the fire department proved that not only are they good at fighting fires, they can cook too. They grilled up a delicious feast for the volunteers.
A ton of litter is a lot of trash on the road, particularly when you consider that much of it lightweight items; paper cups, fast food containers, etc. The hundreds of bags of trash were collected in a container provided by the Liberty County Solid Waste Department.
We want to thank all of the volunteers and sponsors, particularly Poole, who made this event such a success. The only way to win the fight against litter is for all of us to join together in cleaning it up, helping to enforce and prevent it, and educating those who cause it.
The Litter War is winnable, but only if we accept the challenge to make a difference where we live.
This spring during the 2008 Great American Cleanup you have a chance to take that challenge and put litter in its place. This year's cleanup is all about friendly rivalry, pitting business against business, neighborhood against neighborhood, city against city, school against school. Who can get out the most volunteers and get up the most litter in our county between now and May 31? My bet is on you and your neighbors or coworkers or fellow churchgoers, if you are willing to take the challenge.
We are scheduling a number of events now. Worried that your group might be too small to compete? Don't be. Most of the challenges issued so far are based on the percentage of volunteers, not numbers.
Top winners from adult groups will be honored at a BBQ in June. Top groups will also receive trophies and bragging rights. Top youth groups will get a pizza party and trophies as well. Get started now, though, because the City of Gumbranch, Target, and the Youth Challenge Academy have already started racking up their numbers.
Upcoming events with KLCB:
Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup, March 1-May 31. Join in litter roadside cleanups, waterway cleanups, a beach cleanup, city cleanups, recycling events, and Earth Day fun. Are you up for the Clean Community Challenge? Call 368-4888 or email email@example.com to volunteer.
March 19-21 Business E-Recycling Collection. Contact KLCB for information.
March 22 Community Recycle It! Fair 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Turn in electronics and other household hazardous waste for recycling.
March 29 8:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. St Catherine's Beach Cleanup. Boats and volunteers needed. Limited volunteer space available.
April 5 City of Riceboro Cleanup
April 14-15 Earth Day Water Programs in Schools
April 22 Earth Day. Think Green exhibits and sidewalk chalk art contest
April 26 Highway 84 Challenge 8 a.m.-noon. Clubs and other groups will clean up a major corridor in our community. Contact KLCB or any Kiwanis club member for information.
May 3 City of Flemington Clean up. Contact KLCB or any YALL student for information.