I am thankful this year for so many things and so many people. Since we have just completed our Rivers Alive cleanup events this fall, this is a particularly good time for Keep Liberty Beautiful to express gratitude for the fantastic volunteers around our community who made the cleanups in 26 county locations possible.
I love where my husband and I live on a little marsh hammock island in the eastern part of Liberty County. Every morning I wake up to an extremely beautiful and serene view of the marsh, which extends to the river. That view of ours wouldn’t be nearly as serene if it weren’t for the cleanup efforts of the Rivers Alive volunteers. Yes, even the litter that accumulates way over in Walthourville and Hinesville can impact marshes way over on the county’s eastern coast.
Unfortunately, litter really travels. It is blown by the wind. It gets caught up in rain and washed into local creeks where it can take a trip all the way out to the Atlantic Ocean. Litter is often thrown into local waterways and marshes by area residents who think nothing of tossing bottles, fast-food containers, tires and even furniture into bodies of water. Let me clue you in: The county has solid waste convenience centers for trash and even items like furniture. There are also appropriate methods for tire disposal. If you have questions, please call our Solid Waste Department for information at 884-5353. Don’t dump stuff in our wetlands. What are you thinking?
That litter and debris threaten the delicate environmental balance that makes life thrive in our creeks, rivers, wetlands, marshes and oceans. Even if you are not into fishing or boating, you still need to care about the health of our area waters. I am sure you still like drinking clean water and taking showers. If we damage our waterways, we damage our quality of life.
So thank you to to more than 370 volunteers who made the effort to clean up locations from Walthourville to Highway 196 West, from Riceboro Creek to Islands Highway and even the beaches on St. Catherines Island. You rock! These volunteers collected hundreds of bags of trash and a wealth of debris that weighed in at two and a half tons. What a tremendous job. Interestingly, that figure is down more than a ton from the amount of trash collected last year during the Rivers Alive events — even though we cleaned an additional five locations this year.
Each year, Rivers Alive is supported by SNF Chemtall. We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Phyllis Tucker and many of the employees who come out and make these cleanups possible. All of the volunteers particularly appreciate those fantastic Chemtall guys who grill up a delicious meal for our volunteers each year. I secretly believe that some volunteers help just so they can enjoy that delicious lunch!
The Coastal Courier helps us all year long by providing us with space to share information about our programs and activities. Advertising representative Lillian Gray and managing editor Hollie Barnidge, what would I do without your guys’ help? You really help us get the word out!
Thanks also to my co-workers in the Liberty County Public Works Department. Clenton Wells and his staff always make every event easier to accomplish. Mike Howard in Solid Waste faithfully helps every year to get all of the trash bags and debris picked up throughout the county. We also receive a tremendous amount of guidance and resources from the state Rivers Alive office and the state sponsors. Harold and Lacey at the state office go the extra mile again and again to make each year’s effort successful. I often am afraid that I take the Keep Liberty Beautiful advisory council for granted. They are a wonderful group of community leaders who work every day to enhance our community. Thanks to each of you for your commitment.
Then, of course, nothing would happen without all of you site captains who man each location: Willie Cato, Connor Cato, Leah Poole, Jen Beuhler, Kim Sachau, John Henderson, Karen Bell, Kristie Boyd, Gary Gilliard, Krystal Britton, Lindsay Swida, Phyllis Tucker, Joy Kennedy, Dylan Pritchett, Gloria Cook Osbourne, Dot Moss, Shannon Watson, Dennis Fitzgerald, Mayor Clementine Washington, Terri Willett, Ryan Willett, Danny Eason, Susan Johnson, Maria Frigosa, Pastor Christie Connor, Christina Mansfield, David Duke, Mr. Peterman and Mr. McCullough at SGMS, Ron Lynch, Toby Mahan, Dennis Fitzgerald and David C Sapp.
The individual volunteers and these groups also make it happen on the ground and in the waters: SNF Chemtall employees, the city of Riceboro, the city of Flemington, the city of Hinesville, the city of Midway, the city of Walthourville, OMI employees, Crossroads Church, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Snelson-Golden Green Club, YMCA Teen Achievers, BSA Troop 461, Midway Middle School Builders Club, MMS step team, MMS cheerleaders, MMS girls basketball team, Youth Challenge Academy and, certainly, the East Liberty American Legion Post 321.
All of these folks have busy lives just like you and me, but they make the extra effort to care for our community. I sincerely thank each of them. I enjoy that healthy marsh view every day because of all of them.
Check out these upcoming acitivities:
• Through Dec. 31: Win-dex Attractive Businesses of the Quarter nomination period. To nominate a worthy business, call KLB at 880-4888 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Dec. 11: Dunham Farms Holiday Festival of Music and Lights from 3:30-9:30 p.m. Join us at this exciting old-fashioned Christmas festival, which includes a display of trees decorated with ornaments created by local school children from a variety of materials.
For more information, go to www.dunhamfarms.com.
• Dec. 7: Christmas in the Park from 5:30 -8:30 p.m. in downtown Hinesville’s Bradwell Park. Visit our booth and decorate a yummy organic cookie on your way to visit Santa!
• Dec 10: Hinesville’s Annual Illuminated Christmas Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Check out our float and see if you recognize a famous Keep America Beautiful commercial character from the ’60s and the ’80s. He reminded all of us how tragic litter can be.
• Dec. 26-Jan. 8: Bring One for the Chipper. Plan now to recycle your live Christmas tree after the holidays at any Solid Waste or recycling convenience center or at designated locations on Fort Stewart.