Columbia, SC—The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has awarded five Conservation Education Mini-Grants in amounts ranging from $250 to $1,000 to support local schools’ environmental efforts. Projects funded this fall include:
Longleaf Middle School: We Could BEE Heroes ($1,000)
Description: Funds will be used to supply beekeeping equipment for the school’s Bee Club and to create pollinator habitat on the school campus.
Project Lead: Ray Greiner
Camp Discovery and Bookman Road Elementary School: Up a Creek to Go Programs ($500)
Description: Camp Discovery’s Up a Creek Water Conservation Program provides hands-on student instruction in aquatic biodiversity and data collection. Students at Bookman Road Elementary School will participate in a special Up a Creek program extension to continue their learning about water quality and how human actions affect local environments.
Project Lead: Amy Ellisor
Dent Middle School: Birdify Dent ($500)
Description: Students will create and enhance on-campus bird habitat, maintain bird feeders, and regularly conduct bird counts as part of an urban bird project.
Project Lead: Dr. Rachel Tustin
Windsor Elementary School: Composting 2.0 ($250)
Description: Windsor Elementary School seeks to institute school-wide, year-round composting to reduce food waste and enrich its Farm to Table Outdoor Classroom.
Project Leads: Tracy Goodwin and Gretchen Schoel
Brockman Elementary School: Edible Outdoor Classrooms ($250)
Description: Funds will help with school garden rehabilitation, converting unused planting areas into living, edible classrooms and encouraging use of the school’s greenhouse.
Project Lead: Tara Felder
At Longleaf Middle School, more than 30 students currently participate in the Bee Club. These students are responsible for maintaining two bee hives on the school campus, harvesting honey, and making beeswax candles, lip balm, and other products. Funding from the Conservation Education Mini-Grant will be used to purchase beekeeping suits, gloves, and other tools and safety equipment for students and adult volunteers. It will also support the planting of a crimson clover field to provide forage and habitat for bees and other pollinators. "This project educates students about honeybee biology and conservation and promotes pollinator health and habitat,” says science teacher Ray Greiner. “Students will come to understand the global importance of pollinators and will research and plant vegetation to make the environment [around Longleaf Middle School] better suited for pollinators.”
Richland SWCD Chairman Kenny Mullis says “We are excited to partner with Longleaf Middle School to enhance pollinator habitat and encourage pollinator education and conservation. The National Stewardship Theme for the 2019-2020 school year is ‘Where Would We BEE Without Pollinators,’ and students participating in Bee Club will gain a deep appreciation for the important roles honeybees and other pollinators play in our ecosystem.”
Conservation Education Mini-Grants are offered to Richland County K-12 educational institutions twice each school year. The next mini-grant application deadline is February 3, 2020. For more information and application details, visit www.richlandcountysc.gov/rswcd or contact Chanda Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Conservation Districts are political subdivisions of state government under the local direction of five-member Boards of Commissioners. In South Carolina, Conservation District boundaries conform to County boundaries. The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District promotes the wise use and care of natural resources for long-term sustainability.
Richland Soil and Water Conservation District
2020 Hampton Street, Room 3063A
Columbia, SC 29204
Phone (803) 576-2080
Fax (803) 576-2088