DHEC awards up to eight Champions of the Environment grants each school year. Smaller Merit and Seedling awards are available for runner-up projects. Winners are selected based on the quality of their environmental projects.
Projects must address one or more of the following: prevention or reduction of pollution in the air, water or land; waste reduction; restoration, preservation or enhancement of natural areas; water or energy efficiency. Projects must also educate the community and make a lasting difference to the environment.
K-12 students, their teachers, and environmental educators carrying out an environmental project in South Carolina.
One student or a student group of any size. Applicants that educate K-12 students outside of a formal classroom setting (such as an environmental education center) are encouraged to partner with a school, classroom, or teacher.
A 30-second TV commercial featuring their project
Their project highlighted on the Champions' website
Note: No additional application is needed to be considered for a Merit or Seedling award.
Print the Champions of the Environment Grant Application Help Sheet for instructions on how to complete the application.
Electronically submit the completed Champions of the Environment Grant Award Application.
If you have any questions, or have trouble accessing the Grant Award Application, email the Champions' coordinator , or call 803-898-4183.
Fill out the application and tell us about your environmental project.Be sure to supply all the requested information. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Your application will not be considered if it is submitted after the posted deadline.
Applicants who are not chosen to receive a grant award are encouraged to revise their application and apply to Champions of the Environment again.
What If I Don't Have A Project Idea Yet?
You must have a project to apply, but if you need an idea:
Visit the Recent Grant Winner's page to see what others have done, and
Visit the Advice & Ideas for suggestions for successful projects.
Projects seeking funding through a Champions' grant are evaluated on the degree to which they satisfy the following criteria.
Benefits to the environment – positive outcomes for the environment through one issue or cumulatively through multiple issues
Sustainability / long-term environmental benefits – ability to sustain the project and/or sustain the environmental benefit or education gained through the project
Student education – learning opportunities
Student involvement – as appropriate for the age and skill level of the students
Outreach – education (and involvement) of those involved with and outside the project - including students, school, parents or the community
Realization factor – likelihood of completion
Suitable Use of Funds – funds used on items that support the goal(s) of the project
Consideration is also given to innovation, creativity and partnerships
The Champions' Partnership awards grants to environmental projects that are logical, well-planned and have the potential to be implemented to meet the project goals.
The Champions of the Environment program is a competitive grant program. A limited number of projects will receive funding.
Based on the quality of the applications received, the Champions' selection committee reserves the right to award fewer than eight grants on an annual basis.