The state health department is encouraging schools to post “No Idling” signs where parents pick up their children from school in the afternoons. “Children are breathing here,” the signs say.
Idling motors in cars waiting in the pickup line emit dangerous gases, and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control is discouraging the practice. It’s part of an air quality lesson that District 55 and 56 3rd graders will learn during Team Ecology.
A natural resources environmental educational program, Team Ecology began Tuesday morning and will be held through May 19 at District 55’s Joe R. Adair Outdoor Education Center between 9:15 a.m. and 1 p.m.
In case of inclement weather on any one of those days, the program will be held in the Clinton District 56 Transportation Building, former Bell Street Middle School, 600 Peachtree St., Clinton.
This program is held annually by the Laurens County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce. It is staffed with volunteers from the Laurens County Master Gardener Association, retired teachers, NRCS Soil Scientists, Spartanburg Recycling Coordinator, Clemson Extension, Farm Bureau Women, interested community members and the 7th grade Laurens Middle School Montessori students.
A new educational station this year will have the Enviroscape Waste Management (Landfill & Recycling) Model, obtained by the Joe R. Adair Outdoor Education Center with a grant from the Laurens County Community Foundation. This program is in the lower level of the Joe R. Adair Outdoor Education Center.
Students participating in Team Ecology also are participating in a Recycling Relay, art project involving re-used wood, a nature walk, puppet show, and composting with worms.
Team Ecology teaches students not to litter, and grew from the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce’s Beautification Committee’ anti-littering campaign. The committee also sponsors community clean-ups - the next one is planned for June 3. The Chamber has been honored by Palmetto Pride and others for its 4-year effort to clean the roadsides of Laurens County.
A group within the Beautification Committee thought cleaning up after others was fine, but saw the potential in young people being taught not to litter - and to now allow their parents and siblings to litter - fashioning their program after one in Pickens County.
They organized Team Ecology, recruited sponsors that include some of Laurens County highest-profile businesses and groups, and each spring offer the environmental education program.
Older students join the adults to lead groups of 3rd graders, and stage some of the activities including the 7th grade Montessori students’ puppet show, held in an outdoor theater.
Presenting sponsors for the project are Laurens County Water and Sewer Commission, PRTC, LEC, Greenville Health System and the City of Clinton.
Additional sponsors include Ag South, Bush River Realty, Chick-fil-A and Palmetto Heritage.