PICKENS COUNTY — State parks in South Carolina will participate in the National Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 15, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. The parks will host volunteer cleanups and improvement projects in the spirit of public service.
In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a day of service – a “day on, not a day off.”
In that spirit, a clean up of Sam Hill Cemetery at Hampton Plantation State Historic Site in McClellanville will be held at 10 a.m. Volunteers will be asked to remove debris and help improve the overall aesthetics of this 18th-century site, where many free and enslaved African Americans were laid to rest. To volunteer, contact the park at 843-546-9361. For more information about Hampton, visit www.southcarolinaparks.com/hampton.
At Huntington Beach in Murrells Inlet, volunteers can help build tent pads on each of the park’s six rustic tent sites in the main camping area. To make the sites more level and comfortable for tent campers, volunteers will install a double layer of treated wood as a retaining wall and back fill each site with screenings. All materials and tools for the project will be available. Volunteers should meet at 9 a.m. at Huntington Beach’s gift shop parking lot. Pre-registration is preferred. Call the park at 843-237-4440. For more information about Huntington Beach, visit www.southcarolinaparks.com/huntington-beach.
At Poinsett State Park in Sumter County, volunteers can paint historic Civil Conservation Corps cabins 3 and 4 for National Day of Service. They are asked to meet at the park at 9 a.m., bring a picnic lunch and, because work will take place outside, dress for the weather. Also wear protective eyewear, closed-toe shoes, hats or hair ties and clothes that can get paint on them. All painting material will be provided by the park. To register, contact the park at 803-494-8177. For more information about Poinsett, visit www.southcarolinaparks.com/poinsett.
Chester State Park will host its National Day of Service at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13. Volunteers will help the park staff install new picnic pads, picnic tables and grills in the day-use area of the park. Volunteers are asked to meet at shelter 2, bring water, gloves and closed-toe shoes. For more information about the project, call the park at 803-385-2680. For more information about Chester State Park, visit www.southcarolinaparks.com/chester.
Last, but not least, Pickens County will host volunteer crews at Table Rock to help restore the area around the historic Hemlock Shelter for public use.
Located in a mountain cove away from the main areas of the park, the shelter is one of the best examples of CCC stonework at Table Rock and was built along with several individual picnic sites around 1936. Volunteers will clear old trails leading to the individual picnic sites, build timber-frame picnic pads, install grills and build picnic tables. Everyone will meet at the Hemlock picnic shelter parking lot at 10 a.m. Participants are asked to wear comfortable work shoes and clothes, bring work gloves, water and lunch. For more information about the project and to register, call the park at 864-878-9813.
For more information about Table Rock State Park, visit www.southcarolinaparks.com/table-rock.