With a new year upon us and so many new resolutions, Keep Columbia County Beautiful (KCCB) has compiled its own list.
This new organization was formed when county commissioners voted not to renew the contract with the Metro Augusta Clean and Beautiful (MACB) in 2005, but rather create our own entity. The MACB has since dissolved.
With the county's support, KCCB will be able to better market our own programs, increase awareness and educate our citizens while supporting our mission: Preserving the natural beauty and environment of our community through the beautification of our streets and roadways, litter reduction and prevention, recycling efforts, ensuring the quality of our streams, and educational programs.
Currently, the KCCB programs include:
Adopt-a-Road - A litter maintenance program targeted to civic groups, businesses, schools, families, etc., to adopt a 1-mile section of a road and commit to help maintain its cleanliness. Adoptees are recognized for their support by a road sign at their particular section and agree to quarterly clean-ups. We are very proud of the 34 current adoptees; however, KCCB is aggressively recruiting new adoptees to volunteer and assist.
Adopt-a-Stream - Similar to Adopt-a-Road, this is a litter prevention program for streams. Concentration is primarily focused on Euchee Creek, Reed Creek, Jones Creek, Crawford Creek and Betty's Branch. Dr. John Graham coordinates all stream inventory data, cleanups and volunteer training. This too is a huge undertaking, and the importance of accurate water readings is crucial.
Recycling - With the Baker Place landfill closing, KCCB and the Solid Waste Authority are actively pursuing recycling programs for Columbia County comparable to cities across America.
Unlike some municipalities, the county does not offer trash service, but rather this service is provided by private haulers. While some private haulers offer a curbside recycling service, not all do. Until this research is complete, we have provided 18 newspaper/magazine recycling bins located at 12 elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools, the government complex and three nearby churches.
This service also serves as a fund-raiser for the participating schools, with each school receiving money from their collection bin. Further, there are aluminum-can bins located at six fire departments and at Fitness Plus (on the corner of Davis and Washington Road). These proceeds are donated to the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation. For a detailed list of recycling locations, please visit the county Web site, www.columbiacountyga.govand follow the "Residents" menu to the KCCB webpage.
Our 2006 goals include a completion of the study to identify possible locations, potential recyclable materials, additional recycling bins and better educational opportunities.
Point of Pride Award - This quarterly award is to recognize businesses that have made a significant landscaping enhancement to their property. GreenThumb West is the winner for the first quarter of 2006, while 2005 winners include Friendship Park in Grovetown, Pete Alewine Pool and Spa, Starling Funeral Home in Harlem and the Evans Crossing (Kroger) Shopping Center.
Beautification Projects - With booming growth in our county, we have an abundance of opportunities for streetscape developments. Last year we completed projects on Ronald Reagan Drive and Stevens Creek Road. Goals for 2006 include the landscape enhancement of approximately 1 mile of medians on Furys Ferry Road (the first median is complete) as well as Baston Road at Washington Road. These endeavors are essential to promoting a better lifestyle for our citizens, as well as providing a positive impression to potential businesses or families visiting our county.
Community Events - Among the many projects of KCCB, there are several community events throughout the year with their involvement. These include Bring One for the Chipper, Arbor Day, the Great American Clean-Up (March 25), and Earth Day (April 23).
In addition, on Saturday from 8:30-10:30 a.m., KCCB is organizing a shoreline lake cleanup. With national television exposure for fishing tournaments heading our way this spring, this clean-up will spotlight our largest natural resource, Clarks Hill Lake.
As you can see, KCCB has a huge challenge for 2006. While we can spearhead the efforts, we desperately need your support and participation. Columbia County is filled with proud citizens willing and able to help our community thrive. If you would like to volunteer on a committee, adopt a road, or get involved with KCCB, please feel free to contact me at (706) 312-7191, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Stacie Adkins is manager of Keep Columbia County Beautiful and of Special Events.)
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