Earth Day volunteers keep Semmes Lake clean
April 26, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson community members came together Saturday to do their part in keeping the post beautiful. In celebration of Earth Day, volunteers gathered near Semmes Lake to clean up the shoreline and plant trees at Semmes Park.
The event was organized by the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Outdoor Recreation program.
"It makes sense for us to team up for this type of event," said Mark Smyers, Outdoor Recreation director. "Keeping the environment clean, keeping it useful for other people to come out to enjoy -- for the next person to come out -- it matters to us; it matters to Outdoor Rec."
Organizers provided grabbers and gloves to the volunteers to pick up trash and recyclables, and canoes were available to those who preferred to venture onto the lake to fish for trash in the water.
Among the volunteers was a group of students from the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center.
"We thought we'd participate in the life of Fort Jackson a little bit," said Navy Capt. William Fauntleroy, the school's commanding officer. "At the chaplain school that's part of our mission -- taking care of creation. It's important for us to be out here and do that kind of thing."
Leah Allen, a family member, took the opportunity to give her two sons, 1 and 3, an early start on environmental responsibility.
"I thought it would be good for the kids to see (how to) keep the earth clean," Allen said.
She said she has participated in Earth Day activities since she was a teenager and that taking care of the planet is important to her.
"It's our home. We have to keep it nice so that it'll be here when my kids have kids," she said.
The event's guest speaker was Stephanie Kolok, forest education coordinator with the South Carolina Forestry Commission.
"Earth Day is important, because all we have to depend on is this planet we call home. So we have to keep it pretty and take care of it," Kolok said.