The Union Recorder

April 12, 2014

Extending community concern to beautification improves quality of life

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Later this month the local community will join observers in celebrating Earth Day, a day set aside to promote environmental awareness and sound earth stewardship practices.

Now that a movement is underfoot to reinvigorate the Keep Milledgeville-Baldwin County Beautiful (KMBB) effort, it seems only timely on the eve of Earth Day that we get behind this organization and show support. Every side and all facets of the community can do a part, from beautifying our own neighborhoods and lobbying local elected officials for funding support for this organization.

As Milledgeville City Council prepares for upcoming budget talks, as county officials will later this year, they must remember to include funding for KMBB. Expanding this organization takes funding and top down community support from local elected officials as well. KMBB’s monthly cleanups have done wonders for sections of town already but to truly fulfill the full potential of this organization and see its mission through financial resources must be available.

The KMBB board recently created a petition asking the City of Milledgeville to include the chapter in its proposed 2014-2015 budget. While City Council has not turned down a KMBB funding request for next year, the effort is largely a show of support going into budget talks.

The previous KMBB chapter that disbanded around 2010 received $5,000 from the city and Baldwin County’s budgets. The board is “aiming high” this year with a $10,000 funding application.

These funds could go a long way in helping beautify the community. Funding would allow KMBB’s pursuit of national programs already designed, cleanups and youth education programs.

As we’ve said before, how a community looks has a key impact on how the overall quality of life is assessed by its residents. It can also reflect either poorly or positively to visitors and those passing through Baldwin County. To extend KMBB’s mission by increasing awareness on the true value of keeping our neighborhoods clean, the organization has to have adequate funding and resources to do so. Promoting cleanups, going into the local schools, having materials on hand for cleanup efforts, adding signage in neighborhoods — it all takes funding.

Appearance says a lot about how a community values itself and its neighborhoods. What we’d like others to see is a Baldwin County that takes pride in its streets and its neighborhoods, shows care and concern for its roadways and passes along principles of sound stewardship to younger generations, not just on Earth Day but each day. Earmarking funds for KMBB in upcoming city and county budgets would demonstrate that local elected officials are behind these efforts, that they truly recognize the need and the importance. It would show that they desire the kind of effective, lasting change necessary to shift our community focus on beautification and aesthetics and that they see their correlation to overall quality of life.