It’s Memorial Day weekend. It’s going to be hot…REAL HOT. The crowds will be flocking to the beach. The movies, restaurants, and malls will be packed with people. The traffic will be awful. Where can I go to just get away? To relax, avoid the crowds; and, maybe, do some good for the environment? How about Kingstree? How about the Black River in Williamsburg County? How about a river cleanup?
Fortunately, that was the thinking for many people on Saturday, May 25. A group of intrepid volunteers gathered in Kingstree for the Fourth Annual Kingstree Lions Black River Cleanup. Volunteers from local paddling groups, conservation organizations, charitable entities, and civic leaders made the 7.2 mile trip directly below Kingstree from Mill Street Landing downriver to Bub’s Landing on SC Hwy 377. With the recent drought conditions the water level was dropping quickly, but paddlers and motor boats were able to complete the entire trip in less than six hours. Volunteers came from Columbia, Bishopville, Sumter, Florence, Hartsville, and the Grand Strand area.
Even though this stretch of Black River had been “cleaned” three of the last four years, the quantity of debris/garbage/waste/junk was still quite staggering. The result was three pickup loads of trash being removed with the largest piece being a wooden picnic table. The majority of the trash was plastic bottles, cans, and fast food containers. This has been a long-term problem for Kingstree and its residents, and cannot be rectified by outsiders. This is a problem caused by us…the people of Williamsburg County. When we travel down the highway and litter, it flows from the ditches into the river. When we throw the deer carcasses off of the bridges, they decompose and contaminate our river. When we sit on the bank and fish, our fast food wrappers and bait containers wash into the river. When we fish in our boat and don’t carry our trash off the river, it adds to the volume. Black River in 2001 was designated one of South Carolina’s State Scenic rivers. It’s a beautiful 75 mile stretch that runs from Clarendon County, thru Williamsburg County, to Georgetown County. However, the Williamsburg County segment is ALWAYS the part that has the majority of the trash. The Kingstree Lions Club would like to thank everyone that makes this annual event possible.
The Kingstree Lions Club will continue to try to do its part to keep our area beautiful thru this service project, but we’re only a small group. Please find a way to make a difference…It is our river.
Lions Club International https://lionsclubs.org/en
Black Scenic River Advisory Council https://www.facebook.com/blacksrac/
SC Waterfowl Association https://scwa.org/join/scwa-chapters/kingstree-chapter/