FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Outdoor Recreation Division is joining forces with the Fort Jackson Environmental Division to celebrate Earth Day in a most appropriate manner -- cleaning up Semmes Lake and bringing families together for fun and a little good karma .

"The point of this event is to not only clean up all the trash and debris that accumulates along the shores of one of our most scenic cantonment parks on Fort Jackson, but to promote the environmental stewardship theme that is centered around Earth Day," said Mark Smyers, programer, Recreational Delivery System. "Our hopes are to create a family friendly event, where people can do some good and have some fun doing it."

The event, Semmes Lake Earth Day Clean-up, is scheduled for April 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. FMWR will provide trash bags and gloves, as well brief safety and clean-up instructions.

Scott Hawkins, who works with the South Carolina Forestry Commission and is a former WIS morning anchor, will be the guest speaker. Highlights of the event include a children's story time, hands-on tree planting demonstration and giveaways.

Everyone who participates in the cleanup will receive a tree seedling as a special thank you.

"The event will begin at Semmes Lake and, if we have enough volunteers and time, we may even continue on to Heise Pond and Twin Lakes," Smyers said. "And after a great morning of helping to keep our park lands beautiful, as well as maybe picking up a few life lessons along the way, we'll provide a hot-dog lunch for all who participate to wind up the morning's festivities."

Since 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated every year on April 22. Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. senator from Wisconsin is the founder of Earth Day. He was inspired to do so after witnessing the damage done to the environment by a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif. in 1969.

On the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans participated. According to, participants "took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values."

This year marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day.

For more information or questions about Semmes Lake Earth Day Clean Up, call Lisa McKnight at 751-5971 or Mark Smyers at 751-8707.