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Program support starts at top
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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As many of you know, the Great American Cleanup every spring is an extremely busy time of year for Keep Liberty Beautiful. During this period, which is usually from March through June, volunteers participate in roadside and area cleanups, educational events, tree plantings, beautification projects and recycling fairs in the community and at local schools.
Although program activities are all year, spring and fall are jam-packed.
As we wrap up this year’s Great American Cleanup, I must say I’m exceedingly thankful for the individuals, businesses, civic groups and other organizations that are responsible for our program’s success. I cannot take much credit because without volunteers, KLB wouldn’t be able to accomplish  much.
Our volunteers’ dedication and support make all the planning and coordinating worthwhile. Next week, we will have a volunteer appreciation for everyone who has helped this year. Volunteers are invited to drop by the old Mills House, 500 Oglethorpe Highway, from 5-7 p.m. Thursday for food and fun. This is our simple way of saying thank you. I hope you can join us.
We will recognize many groups and businesses that have gone out of the way this year to make a difference, but we know all of you — more than 1,000 participants in the past few months — make a tremendous difference. Thank you.
There are a few organizations for which I am extremely grateful, and I’m not sure I voice my appreciation enough. KLB is a small program in a small community. The Liberty County Commission has made our program possible and recognizes its value in the community. There are many counties in Georgia that don’t benefit from a program like ours.
Keep Liberty Beautiful is part of a national group of affiliates through Keep America Beautiful. For more than half a century, Keep America Beautiful has worked with a network of programs across the country to improve America’s communities and environment. KAB is the largest community-improvement organization in the United States. It provides our local program with training and grant opportunities and a wealth of program ideas. Each spring, KAB provides supplies for our Great American Cleanup efforts. The thousands of garbage bags and other items donated each year by national sponsors, like Glad, maximize our funds and allow us to have as many cleanups as possible.
This year, another national sponsor, SOLO, provided hundreds of biodegradable cups and plates for use at events. In the past few years, we also received funding for a national photo award, and several pieces of landscape equipment from national sponsor Troy Bilt. This support makes a significant impact on KLB.
At the state level, Keep Georgia Beautiful and the Office of Environmental Management through the Department of Community Affairs are extremely supportive. KGB State Director Lynn Cobb and her staff provide training, communication and informational support throughout the year. Often, as funds have allowed, they provided program supplies for cleanups and educational events.
I can always count on Lynn, Kanika and Kim to help if I have a question or am looking for information. Randy Hartmann and his environmental management staff have supplied me with information and ideas. KLB also has received several grants to promote recycling, litter eradication and statewide awareness campaigns.
Additional components to our local program, like the Away from Home recycling event and the Don’t Blow It Away awareness campaign, help us grow our organization and step up our fight against litter in Liberty County. Statewide, the Georgia Recycling Coalition also provides information, ideas and communication suggestions about state recycling efforts.
Georgia’s economic situation the past few years has not made it easy for state departments and organizations like these. As valuable as the groups are, this budget year hasn’t been kind to them. I hope things turn out better next year, but under the circumstances, they’ve done the best they can. I want to thank these people and programs for all they have done. They continue to make KLB better each year.

More upcoming KLB events that are waiting for you:
• May 27, 5-7 p.m.: Great American Cleanup volunteer appreciation at the old Mills House, 500 Oglethorpe Highway.

For more information, call 880-4888 or e-mail

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