Earth Day comes every April, and it is our annual reminder to be a little kinder and show more appreciation for our planet.

In September 2018, Hurricane Florence caused damage to the Wildlife Viewing Area on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, resulting in various wildlife species losing their homes. The strong winds caused trees to fall down or split, litter was scattered all around and the educational signs fell down or were otherwise destroyed.

With the help of the Single Marines Program (SMP) volunteers, the area will become more wildlife-friendly, appealing to visitors and educational due to the cleanup/restoration event that will take place on April 24. The former educational signs will be replaced with a new one in addition to identification signs that will allow visitors to identify the native plants.

“The purpose of this project is to clean up some of the trash and debris,” said Holly Ferreira, a biological science technician for wildlife in the threatened and endangered species section. “We will plant native vegetation to replace the vegetation destroyed by the hurricane, install educational signs for visitors and make the area more wildlife-friendly.”

Earth Day is a global event that occurs annually on April 22 to support environmental protection. It was created in 1970 and is now celebrated in more than 193 countries worldwide.

“To me, Earth Day is an opportunity to educate others on how to be more environmentally-friendly,” Ferreira said. “You become aware of the hazards our natural world is facing and give back to the earth in some way.”

The Wildlife Viewing Area is always open for visitors. After the cleanup and restoration event, it will have more native plants and educational signs for visitors to read and help them identify the new plants.

According to Ferreira, the SMP Marines will hopefully gain an appreciation for the environment, learn about benefits of planting native plants for wildlife and gain habitat restoration skills.

“I hope that the SMP volunteers will return to this area to see the impact their work has made on wildlife,” Ferreira said.

To learn more about ways you can become more environmentally-friendly or for more information on the Earth Day Project event, contact Holly Ferreira at or Emily Gaydos at