The Richland County Soil and Water Conservation District has several opportunities for K-12 teachers, staff and students to get involved in conservation efforts as the school year kicks off.

Conservation Education Mini-Grants 
Faculty and staff at public, private and alternative schools in Richland County are eligible to apply for Conservation Education Mini-Grants in the amounts of $500 or $1,000 to support campus conservation projects and youth environmental education initiatives.

The funds can be used to support projects including, but not limited to, outdoor classrooms, school gardens, nature trails, wildlife habitats, rain barrels, composting initiatives, air quality campaigns, litter cleanups, rain gardens, erosion control and stream bank restoration.

The fall application deadline for the Conservation Education Mini-Grants is Monday, Sept. 30.

2020 Youth Conservation Poster Contest 
K-12 students in Richland County are invited to show off their artistic skills and scientific knowledge in the 2020 Youth Conservation Poster Contest. Participants are asked to create an illustration based on the theme, “Where Would We BEE Without Pollinators?”

County winners will advance to the state competition, with state winners progressing to the national competition. Cash prizes will be awarded to winners at each level.

Entries for the poster contest are due by April 10, 2020.

Richland County’s Conservation Teacher of the Year 
Nominations are open for Richland County’s Conservation Teacher of the Year. The award aims to recognize County educators who prioritize environmental learning and teach their traditional curriculum through a conservation-minded lens.

The winner will receive a cash award as well as a $500 Conservation Education Mini-Grant for their school. They will also progress to the statewide Conservation Teacher of the Year competition sponsored by the S.C. Association of Conservation Districts.

Nominations for Conservation Teacher of the Year are open through Feb. 3, 2020.

For more information, visit the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District page at or contact Chanda Cooper at [email protected].