News Releases

News Releases

DHEC Accepting Grant Applications for ‘Champions of the Environment’ Project Funding for New School Year

Aug. 16, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced today that the “Champions of the Environment” grant application period is open for the 2022-2023 school year. Kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers can now apply for grant funding to support classroom projects that build environmental awareness among students.

Established in 1993, Champions of the Environment has been empowering youth environmental action for 29 years by providing funding for projects that educate young people, protect the natural world, and inspire environmental awareness and action. For the 2022-2023 school year, educators have until Sept. 30, 2022, to submit their applications. Grants of $2,500 will be awarded this year, and merit awards of a lesser amount also may be presented to help get projects started. 

In addition to a cash award, grantees also have their projects highlighted on the Champions of the Environment webpage. Previous grant-funded projects include: 

  • Habitat restorations
  • Weekly trash sweeps
  • Pollinator gardens and wildlife oases
  • Hydroponics and alternative gardening methods
  • Air quality monitoring

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to share gardening and an outdoor classroom with these students and the school community,” said Heather Reitenga from Ballentine Elementary School in Richland County, who previously received funding for a gardening project for her students.

“We had many teachers come help us in their free time and it has been a very rewarding and therapeutic opportunity for kids and adults alike,” said Dr. Deborah Ezell from Chesnee High School in Spartanburg County, who previously received funding for a sustainable ecosystem project. “The students’ sense of ownership and pride was very important in the success of the project. The students will never forget the meaning of sustainability and how they can make a difference because they participated in the creation of this teaching tool.” 

Champions of the Environment is sponsored by DHEC, Dominion Energy, and Sylvamo, with assistance from the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina. Learn more about the Champions of the Environment program and apply for a grant



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