In its 18th year, the Palmetto Gold Nurse Awards Gala recognizes exemplary Registered Nurses throughout South Carolina who are constantly raising the bar in healthcare. Through a nomination and selection process, 100 nurses are chosen each year and honored at the Gala. To date, over 1400 nurses have been honored with this award. This year, DHEC is proud to have 12 of our own recognized.
The gala was held on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Join us as we congratulate our 2019 Palmetto Gold Recipients!
As flu season continues to attack the Upstate, workplaces in Spartanburg County are working on ways to keep employees healthy and productivity high.
Sky Foster, BMW Manufacturing Co. Spartanburg’s department manager of corporate communications, said the company plans for flu and cold season months in advance in an effort to keep as many employees as healthy as possible.
Lake Conestee Nature Park has been awarded a 2017 Phoenix Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for excellence in brownfield redevelopment.
The award was created in 1997 to honor individuals and groups who are working to solve the critical environmental challenge of transforming blighted and contaminated areas into productive new uses, according to a press release.
Our students are very excited about our solar panel project for our school greenhouse. They are having the opportunity to learn about renewable energy options that are very attainable for us right now. They are learning about the kind of energy that the sun provides, how this energy can be used as a renewable resource, about energy flow and how energy affects us. One thing that has helped us out is to feel good about starting out small. Our first project is using the solar power for the irrigation in the greenhouse. This isn’t a critical need and requires a small amount of energy. This low stakes approach has made us more comfortable about experimenting and learning. Because this is not high stakes energy consumption, we can have students be the designers and engineers of the systems. Although we are starting out smaller, our panels and inverter have the ability for higher output. This project will definitely have impacts on our school for years to come because we were able to purchase a high capacity system. We will be able to continue to add to this system until we are giving out students a clear picture of the maximum capacity of these panels.
Our advice for teachers and classes that want to start their own environmental education project is to team up with experts! We really had no one in our school that knew very much about solar energy. We learned from Grape Solar about what type of system we needed, and then we got some great on-site information from Patrick Smallwood, one of our district’s Clean Energy Technology Instructors. Having Patrick come out has led to a great partnership, and Patrick’s students are excited about coming out to our school for Earth Day to help us learn even more about solar energy! Environmental education is so very important for our future. We need to show our students that science, clean energy, and a clean environment are important, fun, and can impact our lives in a very positive way.
Environmental education has been an important part of my life since I was a small child. I grew up in the Midwest, and my grandfather was a chemical engineer at a refinery. When he started out in his career, there weren’t a lot of regulations to protect the environment from what they were doing. He was a pioneer in fighting for protecting the environment in the oil industry. I spent a lot of time with him growing up working on various environmental projects, such as building gardens on vacant lots in our community. He said protecting the earth was a way to show your respect to whichever creator you believe in, and that is something I have carried with me for many years.
The October 2015 flood was the inspiration for our rain garden project. We have an enormous number of storm drains on our campus, that all drain into Carys Lake. At the end of last year, my students had to propose solutions to the issues they saw from our lake studies. Creating a rain garden was one of their ideas to mitigate our campus run off. I think one of the key lessons my students are learning from this project is that protecting our lake environment is an important part of their campus and community legacy. As responsible citizens, it’s not enough to just understand the lake ecosystem. They need to use that information to improve the situation for our community.
I think my favorite part of the project is getting students to apply science in a hands-on way. In designing their rain gardens, it hasn’t just been about research and coming up with a plan. Rather, it has been about applying science and engineering skills to solve a problem they identified in the community. A lot of students are taking huge pride in the fact that their design will be on our campus long after they have graduated and moved on. They are embracing it as their legacy to Dent.
The most challenging part of any project is funding and execution. We have been fortunate that the community embraced our project and we have been extremely well funded. For any teachers who are considering an environment project in their classroom, you always want to identify some funding sources. It can be granted, but it may also be donations or fundraisers. If your students are passionate about the idea, and it is worthwhile to your community, people will help you find the resources to make it happen.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Bureau of Air Quality is accepting nominations for its 2017 “Spare the Air” Awards. Any project that can demonstrate reductions in air pollution in any part of the State during 2016 is eligible.
The “Spare the Air” Awards are presented to environmental stewards that have made a voluntary commitment to promote and practice initiatives that improve air quality in South Carolina.
“Through partnerships and collaborative efforts of individuals, organizations and local governments, excellent work is being done voluntarily to reduce air pollution and conserve energy in South Carolina,” said Rhonda Thompson, chief of DHEC’s Bureau of Air Quality. “Air quality has gained a great deal of attention in recent years and people are recognizing the importance of protecting and improving our air quality.”
Thompson said the awards show appreciation to those who go the extra mile to help protect our environment.
The goals of the awards program are to
Promote a healthier environment through air quality initiatives that are sustainable and replicable;
Educate, build awareness and motivate others to make better decisions about the environment through air quality improvements;
Encourage positive behavioral changes that improve air quality;
Strengthen and build partnerships with businesses, organizations and the citizens of South Carolina to improve air quality.
Award categories include:
Outstanding Local Government
Outstanding School or District
Outstanding College or University
Outstanding Community Campaign
Nominations must be received by February 1, 2017 for 2016 projects. For more information, the award nomination application, and past winners, go to: www.scdhec.gov/sparetheairawards.