Spring Lake Sweep happening May 6 - 14, 2017; call the FOLKS office to be part of the great clean up!

Since 1994 FOLKS has conducted twice-annual (usually May and September) lake sweeps involving over 100 volunteers -- For the sake of the lake!

There is a week set aside in the spring and fall for the event. About 100 boats go out and collect whatever trash they find along their designated section of the 370 mile shoreline.

The large plastic bags are provided by Duke Energy. The location of any very large items is reported to Duke Energy Lake Services (DELS) and they have a contractor pick up these large pieces. The bags collected by the volunteers are dropped off at the closest Duke Energy Access Area and are collected by their maintenance employees.

Most of the trash comes from packaging for picnics, diapers, broken plastic rafts, and some “unmentionables”. Hundreds of bags are collected each year and the total since 1994 ranges up into the tens of thousands!

The large items are anything from golf bags, broken charcoal grills (by the way, fires are prohibited at the access and the islands) and pieces of white unincapsulated foam dock floats. Back in 2008 there was a large derelict pontoon boat abandoned close to where Crooked Creek enters Lake Keowee. It was necessary to have the boat cut in half in order to get it out of the water – the owner who abandoned it was a “guest” in a North Carolina Prison!

FOLKS is always looking for additional volunteers for Lake Sweep as it is vital to keep the thousands of pounds of trash out of this beautiful lake. Trash affects not only the beauty of being on Lake Keowee but can damage boats and is harmful to fish.

It's another service provided by FOLKS to the people of Oconee and Pickens county to help maintain the single most valuable asset of this area. Please join us!


The Adopt an Island program began in December 2009 with a grant check presented to then President Bill Graham and Idea Champion, Jack Lewis. The funding provided for producing new aluminum island signs which were “planted” in concrete by a group of volunteers led by Jack. The GPS coordinates of the Island number signs were given to DNR as well as the Oconee County Marine Patrol so boaters having a problem could cite the island number nearby and the patrols would know where to go to assist. Although not official navigation aids, they do help boaters get around the lake.

Individuals and HOA’s volunteered to adopt islands and the program was off to a good start. However we are always in need of additional volunteers as others retire from the project. The individuals or group check the island during the official lake sweeps and at least two more times a year as needed. One of the issues is that people are not aware that islands are only for day use and no fires are allowed.

Please consider calling the FOLKS’ office at 882-3655 to find out about adopting an island near you. There are still several islands that need to be adopted! Adopt An Island Report Form


Volunteers measure water clarity, nutrient content and contaminants on a regular basis. This data provides early warning of potential issues and is utilized to help eliminate or mitigate those problems before they negatively impact the entire

While DHEC samples Lake Keowee water periodically, only FOLKS maintains on-going water testing programs. This key activity is a meaningful contribution to the long term health, clarity and high quality of this lake that everyone loves.

FOLKS has implemented EPA/SCDHEC grants exceeding $750,000 since 1999 and led Duke Energy's relicensing effort to include Source Water Protection Program funded with $1,000,000 by Duke Energy.

Volunteers take samples at various locations on a regular schedule and perform laboratory testing for Chlorophyll "a", a nutrient indicator.

Join your neighbors in helping keep Lake Keowee clean, clear, safe and beautiful!


Volunteers are the mainstay of this "volunteer organization." FOLKS has a paid Office Administrator and Executive Director but depends on volunteers to carry out the numerous tasks of keeping Lake Keowee clean, clear, safe and beautiful. Additionally, volunteering is a great way to meet new people and have a great time while making a difference to our community.

Fill out the form on the CONTACT page and let us know how you want to be involved. Not a member? JOIN NOW and become part of protecting Lake Keowee, which plays a critical role in the future economic wellbeing of the Upstate!


There are numerous additional ways volunteers help FOLKS continue to be an effective organization. Please call the office (864 882-3655) to join other "like-minded" volunteers or fill out the form on the contact page.

  • Mailings: Help fold, stuff, and label envelopes
  • The Sentinel: Writing, editing, production liaison, solicite advertising. The Sentinel is an excellent publication with a focused demographic of lakeside residents -- an advertiser's dream!
  • Public Relations: Help write press releases and serve as spokesperson for FOLKS when needed.
  • Legislative Committee: Monitor legislation at the county and state level, attend County Council and Planning Commission meetings, research and report to the board on pending bills.
  • Membership Committee: Be part of a group of dedicated volunteers who spread the word to individuals, businesses and organizations about the value of FOLKS to our community. Be a "Welcome Wagon" for new residents.
  • Fundraising: FOLKS no longer holds Golf Tournaments as the number of tournaments in the area has increased and the return has decreased. FOLKS is looking for volunteers to help develop and conduct new fundraising activities.
  • Grant Writing: There are numerous sources for various grants and FOLKS needs volunteers with experience in writing grants.
  • Complaint Investigation (Ombudsman): Periodically FOLKS receives complaints from residents about poor development practices or failing septice systems or other issues in/on the lake. The Ombudsperson goes out to investigate and follow up with the appropriate department or builder/developer. We always try to work with the builder to resolve issues begfore bring the issue to Building Codes or DHEC, etc.