Making a big difference in just a few hours
Every year, on the first Saturday of February, volunteers descend on the small town of Huger, SC, to participate in an cleanup of the Francis Marion National Forest, which is one of South Carolina’s two national forests. Thousands of South Carolinian residents take advantage of the forest’s recreational opportunities each year, from biking trails to rifle ranges. The forest is a crucial economic and natural resource in South Carolina. To protect this resource, PalmettoPride, along with dozens of partners and hundreds of volunteers, hosts a cleanup to remove trash and litter from the forest. To make such an impactful event possible, PalmettoPride partners with the US Forest Service, the SC Aquarium, the SC Department of Natural Resources, Keep Berkeley County Beautiful, and many more organizations.
Individuals and groups are directed to various roadside locations for roadway pickup of trash and debris. Larger groups and partner organizations will be directed into the forest with trucks, Jeeps and other equipment to tackle the illegal dumpsites. The impact of that growth on litter in the area needs to be understood and addressed. Consistent litter cleanup leads to less litter over time. The annual event is usually announced in December. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moving Forward with the FMNF Cleanup
At the 2023 Francis Marion National Forest Cleanup, 476 volunteers removed 11.84 tons of trash and tires from forest and highways that traverse the forest. Each year, PalmettoPride sees the numbers of overall trash decreasing, which is a good sign. Since the very first cleanup in 2003 to this year, we have seen a dramatic reduction of litter, measured by pounds picked up per person – from a staggering 520 pounds per person in 2003 to 50 pounds per person in 2023. While we have seen a decrease in littering in the natural areas of the forest, trash on our roadways that traverse the forest continues to be a problem.