Columbia, SC—Four schools have been awarded funding for campus conservation projects through the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District’s Conservation Education Mini-Grant Program and the City of Columbia’s Clean Stream Columbia Awards Program. These awards provide up to $500 to support classroom conservation initiatives at Richland County schools. Fall 2016 award recipients are:
- Dutch Fork Middle School--ACTION Team Rain Garden and Wildlife Habitat (Lori Wenzinger)
- Hopkins Middle School--Life Skills Vegetable Garden (Monica W. Jones)
- Montessori School of Columbia--Protecting Water in a Prehistoric Garden* (Misty Dickson)
- Ridge View High School--Rainwater Harvesting, Composting, and Gardening (David Degenhardt)
*Denotes Clean Stream Columbia Award Recipient
At the Montessori School of Columbia—recipient of a Clean Stream Columbia Award—students will learn about water conservation while establishing a Prehistoric Garden of ancient plants and trees such as the ginkgo and magnolia. ACTION Team students at Dutch Fork Middle School will design and install a rain garden to capture runoff and provide wildlife habitat in a school courtyard. At Hopkins Middle School, students will learn life skills such as entrepreneurship, healthy living, and respect for nature, others, and themselves while cultivating a school vegetable garden. Students at Ridge View High School will design and construct new raised bed gardens, grow fruits and vegetables, and install and maintain rain barrels and composters with support from their Mini-Grant.
Projects such as these can “positively impact school culture and environment by enhancing achievement, peer-collaboration, psychosocial development, [and] nutritional and environmental awareness,” says Dr. David Degenhardt, a science teacher who will direct the project at Ridge View High School.
Faculty and staff members of all Richland County schools are eligible to apply for Conservation Education Mini-Grants, while any school within Columbia’s city limits is also eligible for Clean Stream Columbia Awards. The next application deadline is February 3, 2017. Details and the application are available online at www.rcgov.us/rswcd.
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Conservation Districts are political subdivisions of state government under the local direction of five-member Boards of Commissioners. The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District promotes the wise use of natural resources for the benefit of the citizens of Richland County.
Richland Soil and Water Conservation District
2020 Hampton Street, Room 3063A
Columbia, SC 29204
Phone (803) 576-2080
Fax (803) 576-2088