By Betsy Finklea
Volunteers from Dillon County will be among those participating in Power Plant SC, a statewide effort to plant three million tree seeds in a single day making it the largest single-day tree planting event in U.S. history.
Jacorie McCall, the coordinator for Dillon County, said this is one of the “boldest initiatives” that he could think of when it comes to the governor’s floodwater initiative,
Brant Tomlinson and Lt. Governor Pamela Evette joined McCall and others on a recent Zoom call to discuss the seriousness of the project and why it is so important for Dillon County and the Pee Dee.
Tomlinson explained what the initiative is and how it started. In 2018 with the persistence and leadership of the governor and the lieutenant governor, the S.C. Floodwater Commission was formed. Tom Mullikin, the chairman, and the commission took a 10-phase approach to look at flooding across the state as a whole. He said they looked at storms coming in from the Atlantic, from the Gulf, and from the residual flooding coming in from North Carolina to South Carolina. He said this has affected the Pee Dee Region greatly since 2015, With this they started Power Plant initiative where they are going to plant three million trees on Earth Day 2021. With every tree planted, 60 gallons of water run-off is avoided, 443 gallons of rainfall is intercepted, and 133 pounds of carbon dioxide is sequestered.
“What we’re doing is making a huge difference,” said Tomlinson, “and we cannot do this without the help of every South Carolinian. This is a call to every single South Carolinian to participate.” There are still some trees available. Lt. Governor Pamela Evette said the governor has been forward thinking when it comes to the environment, rainwater, and flooding. She said one thing she has learned is that litter and garbage adds to the problem of flooding.
A litter effort leading up to Earth Day is also being planned. She said they are still looking for partners such as scouts, schools, etc. to help out. She said she is proud of what they are doing.
McCall asked what are some of the ways that people can get involved if they can’t plant trees. Tomlinson said they could help with planned events, seed distribution, helping with social media, trying to involve other people in the project, etc. He said any help at all is huge.
More information will be available as the project nears.
By Betsy Finklea