Educator Wins S.C. Environmental Awareness Award
Jane Hiller, education director with Sonoco Recycling, was announced as the winner of the 2020 S.C. Environmental Awareness Award during a ceremony held at the State House in Columbia in June 2021. Governor Henry McMaster presented her with the award.
“We have focused considerable efforts on protecting South Carolina’s environment and natural beauty over the years, but we simply can’t do it without the help of extraordinary South Carolinians like Jane Hiller,” said McMaster. “Ms. Hiller’s work to teach the young people of South Carolina about the importance of being good stewards of our environment will pay dividends for generations to come and certainly deems her worthy of receiving this prestigious award.”
The General Assembly established the S.C. Environmental Awareness Award during the 1992 legislative session to recognize outstanding contributions to the protection, conservation, and improvement of the state’s natural resources.
Jane Hiller (center) was honored as the 2020 recipient of the S.C. Environmental Awareness Award. Pictured with her are (left to right) Gov. Henry McMaster, state Rep. Chip Huggins, and SCDNR Director Robert H. Boyles, Jr. Photo by Joey Frazier, S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
During the ceremony, S.C. Department of Natural Resources Director Robert H. Boyles, Jr. described Hiller’s contributions:
“Ms. Hiller is recognized and respected by her peers as a keystone member of the environmental education community of South Carolina,” Boyles said. “She is an environmental educator of exemplary service and leadership, and her efforts have been directed to thousands of citizens through her work with the South Carolina Green Steps Schools initiative, the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina, and Sonoco Recycling.”
The S.C. Green Steps Schools initiative, founded in 2003, is a partnership sponsored by the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, Keep the Midlands Beautiful, and Sonoco Recycling. Hiller, as an extension of her work with Sonoco Recycling, has been a constant leader in the partnership, actively directing and developing projects for the initiative. S.C. Green Steps Schools’ projects cover a range of environmental topics, including wildlife habitat, school gardens, composting, erosion control, water quality, air quality, energy efficiency, waste reduction, resource conservation and reuse, and recycling.
As the recipient of the 2020 S.C. Environmental Awareness Award, Jane Hiller joins a line of 26 previous winners recognized by the award. Each year the public is invited to submit nominations that are then reviewed by an awards committee, which includes representatives from the state’s natural resource agencies. In judging nominees, the committee considers excellence in innovation, leadership, and accomplishments that influence positive changes affecting the natural environment. Members of the awards committee represent the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, S.C. Forestry Commission, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.