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Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education
Green Schools Newsletter

Happy March! March has entered like a lion! PARCC tests are happening across the state and Maryland Green Schools applications are coming together - Whether you are a teacher or a non-formal environmental educator we now that you are busy.  We hope that you find the information provided in these bi-monthly newsletters helpful in your efforts to build and continue sustainable green practices at your school and in your community.

This month the newsletter contains professional learning and funding opportunities, ideas for green schools and important spring dates.  Please share this newsletter with colleagues and partners interested in the Md Green School program.

Join us around the state for an application review training or come along to review some of this year’s applications (information below).

If you have comments or Sustainable School practices that you would like to share please contact Gabrielle Cantor at .

Laura Johnson Collard
Executive Director
Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE)


Arbutus ES exploring wetlands

The 2014/2015 Green School Year
 Green Schools Logo

We are excited for the Spring Season to come around and hope you are too.  As a reminder Green School Applications are due April 1, 2015.  We have online support on the MAEOE website including applications from last year and the rubric used to review applications.   We are excited to hear about your Green School activities, we are always looking for opportunities to share your accomplishments.
For schools who are not applying by April 1, 2015 we have scheduled several training opportunities in the spring that can help you understand the process better or give you a refresher. Please take a look at the timeline below to learn about our upcoming events and trainings.  Feel free to email us with any questions that you have might have at

Green Schools 2014/2015 Timeline:

March 9, 2015, 4:30pm- 5:15pm. FieldScope Webinar Training. See our MASS-FieldScope information page and contact to RSVP.

March 10, 2015, 4:30pm- 7:30pm: Green School/Green Leader Training Session.  MAEOE Office, Jessup, MD. Find out more here.

March 12, 2015
, 4:30pm- 7:30pm: Green School/Green Leader Training Session.  Black Hills Regional Park, Boyds, MD Find out more here.

March 24, 2015
, 4:30pm- 7:30pm: Green School/Green Leader Training Session.  Oregon Ridge Nature Center, Cockeysville, MD. Find out more here.

April 1, 2015:  2014/2015 Green School Application Due, instructions and drop-off locations can be found on the MAEOE website.

April 2015: Application Reviews (New and Old Reviewers Welcome). Sign-up here. Dates and locations are below:

  • April 7, 2015, 9:00am- 3:00pm: Green School/Center Application Reviews.  Location: Robinson Nature Center, Columbia, MD.
  • April 8, 2015, 9:00am- 3:00pm: Green School/Center Application Reviews.  Location: Arlington Echo, Millersville, MD.
  • April 9, 2015, 9:00am- 3:00pm: Green School/Center Application Reviews.  Location: Prince George's County location TBD .
  • April 13, 2015, 9:00am- 3:00pm: Green School/Center Application Reviews.  Location: Chesapeake College, Wye Mills, MD
  • April 14, 2015, 9:00am- 3:00pm: Green School/Center Application Reviews.  Location: Black Hills Regional Park, Boyds, MD.
  • April 14, 2015, 5:00- 8:00pm: Green School/Center Application Reviews.  Location: Parks and People, Stone House Location, Baltimore, MD.
  • April 16, 2015, 9:00am- 3:00pm: Green School/Center Application Reviews.  Location: MAEOE Office, Jessup, MD.

May 29, 2015: Maryland Green School Youth Summit, Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, Maryland. Volunteer, exhibit or attend.  Your schools does not need to be a current Md Green School to attend.  Newly Certified and Re-certified Md Green Schools will receive their awards here at a special ceremony.

June 6, 2015, 
10am- 1pm: Green School/Green Leader Training.  Environmental Concern, St. Michael's, MD. Cost: 5$. Sign-up will be available shortly


2015 MAEOE Conference

The 2015 MAEOE Environmental Education Conference took place from February 5 -8 at the Princess Royale Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland. With around 500 environmental education and conservation professionals in attendance, the conference allowed regional educators to make connections and share their knowledge with other members of their field. This year’s conference featured over 60 half and full-day workshops over three days, ranging in topic from school gardens and birding to building environmental education capacity and environmental literacy. For a full list of all the interesting conference workshops visit the conference page on MAEOE’s website and click on the link for the conference program.  Conference presentations can also be viewed on the conference page.

The conference officially kicked off on Friday, February 6th with a speech by MAEOE Executive Director Laura Collard, who lauded the efforts of educators that were making a concrete difference in combating the effects of climate change by developing earth stewards. Dr. J Drew Lanham, award winning teacher and researcher, gave a poetic and moving keynote speech about wondering and wandering in nature. John Tapscott, John Tapscott, Captain Snow Goose, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, was the recipient of the 2015 MAEOE Bob Finton Environmental Educator of the Year Award. As a captain and educator, John safely and skillfully helps all that step aboard the Snow Goose join in the investigation of their river’s and its inhabitant’s health. Congratulations John! Do you know an environmental educator with passion like John’s, someone who inspires children and adults through teaching? Let MAEOE know who that is; nominations open in late summer.

There were many exciting parts to this year's conference including the 30th anniversary 80's celebration on Saturday night, the exhibit hall with over 30 exhibitors, the photo booth, Kid's sessions, and internet curriculum round tables.  Thank you to all of our conference sponsors, board members, volunteers, exhibitors and presenters for helping us put on the 2015 MAEOE Environmental Education Conference! We look forward to the 2016 MAEOE Conference in Ocean City, MD and hope to see you there.


MAEOE's Featured School: Baltimore Lab School

eddie and oyster_BLSI got this_BLS
Baltimore Lab School is a recently (2014!) certified independent school in Baltimore City.  At Baltimore Lab School, we apply our multi-sensory, experiential, arts-based Academic Club Methodology approach to adventure-based learning and environmental literacy goals. Through academic classes, adventure activities, outdoor day trips, and longer excursions, students explore their world, build their self-esteem, and emerge with a stronger sense of themselves as leaders and environmental stewards.  

The form and content of outdoor environmental activities are designed to give students an “I can do it!” experience, and help them meet specific environmental-issue instruction goals.  Environmental literacy is developed in scope and sequence in all grades and "threaded through" the arts, sciences, social studies, and humanities, in addition to a wide variety of experiences outside of school. Teachers in these disciplines collaborate to add content, meaning, and hands-on extension activities that 
allow our students to become true stewards of the environment. 

 ***If your school or center has been doing Green School Activities that you would like to share, send a write up of 200 words and a few pictures to and your school could be featured in the next newsletter***

MAEOE Youth Summit

Youth Summit 11bYouth Summit 11Youth Summit 11c

Save the Date: May 29th, 2015

The annual Youth Summit is held at Sandy Point State Park, along the shore of the majestic Chesapeake Bay. This event is for all Maryland schools, teachers and students. There is a $2 fee per child and chaperone. Discover programs and resources for your schools and experience hands on learning with local environmental education providers. It is a day of celebration for new and recertifying Green Schools & Green Centers. Whether or not you are receiving an award, students and teachers participate in:
- Award Ceremonies
- Youth Leadership Activities
- Environmental Literacy Bazaar

More Information is available at

Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Schools (MASS) FieldScope
 MASS FieldScope

Check out the new Mid-Atlantic Sustainable School (MASS) FieldScope website ( This website provides an opportunity to showcase your school’s sustainable (or “green”) efforts! It’s also a resource that you can use to locate other schools that might advise on your own efforts. It’s an educational tool that your students can use to explore environmental and social studies questions (for example, are sustainable schools more common in some regions and why might that be?).

Note, all Maryland Green School applicants are required to add their sustainable practices (formerly called “best management practices” data) into the MASS FieldScope site. Applicants need only do this once every four years, but are encouraged to update it every year. Not all categories must be filled out to meet the Green School Application requirement. Existing Maryland Green Schools are also encouraged to add their schools to this important resource. Add your data today!

There is one final Webinar that you can sign-up for on March 9, 4:30pm-5:15pm.

To find out more visit or contact Cassie Doty at

Professional Development Opportunities

Invasive Species Learning Options: Online Free Webinar
March 24, 2015. 7:30pm
Online Free Webinar

Unlike many large scale environmental issues, students and youth groups can usually do something about invasive species and in a hands-on, experiential way. In this webinar, Sue will review a variety of educational strategies and fieldwork planning tools that support young people tackling invasive species locally.

Please see the website for more details

Maryland Master Naturalist Training
Multiple Week Course Starting in March
Various Locations

Want to be a Master Naturalist?  Instruction is specific to one of three physiographic regions in Maryland: the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, or Mountain Region. The course fee is $250 per person. Individuals interested in becoming a Master Naturalist apply to a Host Site in their region.  Once you're accepted into the Master Naturalist volunteer training program, you will receive 52 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of hands-on experience outdoors (60 hours total training).

Please see the website for more details

Partnering with Pollinators Teacher’s Workshop: Human Sustainability by Sustaining Plants and Pollinators
Workshop Length: 2 hours
Location: At your school (Serving Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince George's and Calvert Counties)
Fee: $1 ($2): Resident (Non-Resident)

Objectives include: Learn facts to engage interest & comfort of staff, Lesson demonstrations to be shared with students,  Discover stewardship practices for school, Gain cross-curricular concepts to involve every subject, Receive resource CD that includes lesson plans, Plan next stage of your school’s pollinator habitat. The Department of Parks and Recreation encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities. Register a minimum of two weeks in advance of the program start date to request and receive a disability accommodation.

For Reservations:
Call: 301-627-6074 or Email:

Scholarships Available for Hog Island Audubon Camp, Sharing Nature: An Educator's Week
July 19-24, 2015
Muscongus Bay, Maine

Join environmental educators from around the country for a dynamic and fun-filled residential program on Audubon's famed Hog Island, in the scenic mid-coast area of Maine.  Designed for both science and non-science educators, this session will generate exciting ideas for creating and incorporating environmental education activities into your curriculum and teaching. Our inspiring and experienced instructors will share their favorite approaches, methods, and activities for engaging you, and your students, with nature. The National Audubon Society is looking for Teachers from Diverse Ethnic Backgrounds for this exciting annual program. Scholarships and CEU credits are available.

For more information please go to or email

WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands
August 3, 2015, 10am – 4pm
Environmental Concern’s Wetland Learning Center, St. Michaels, MD

WOW! introduces participants to wetland ecology through a study of the three parameters of wetlands: vegetation, soils and hydrology. Participants will also learn about wetland functions and values by utilizing K-12 cross curricular, inquiry based activities. Leave with a wetland resource guide with over 50 hands-on, multidisciplinary activities, and ideas for student action projects.
Cost: $45

For more information click here

For more Professional Development Opportunities, please see the Professional Development Calendar on our website at

 March/April 2015

In This Issue

The 2014/2015 Green School Year
MAEOE's Featured School: Baltimore Lab School
MAEOE Conference
MAEOE Youth Summit
March/April EnviroTip
MASS FieldScope 
Build A Bottle Brick Bench
Professional Development
Available Grants and Resources
Awards and Contests

Follow MAEOE

Follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as our blog for the latest information about professional development opportunities, job announcements, and Green Schools deadlines.




March/April EnviroTip

Are you ready for the Spring?  The begining of Spring sometimes brings the starting of new gardens or freshening up of old ones.  Here are some tips/ideas to get you started on your garden courtesy of EarthShare:

1) Go native. Drop that English Ivy and pick up Richard Tallamy’s book Bringing Nature Home to learn why native plants are a better choice for wildlife. Then visit the US Forest Service site Gardening with Wildflowers or National Wildlife Federation’s native plants database to find a list of plants native to your region.

2) Give wildlife what they need. Birdbaths, flowering plants, and bee houses are just a few of the potential elements of a wildlife-friendly yard.  You can get thousands of ideas online about how to make feeders and houses out of recycled or previously used materials.

3) Get kids involved. Your yard is the perfect place to introduce nature to children. Being outdoors helps kids with all kinds of modern maladies from ADHD to obesity. 

4) Avoid chemicals. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides can harm the very organisms that protect and enrich your vibrant garden: toads, wasps, birds and more. Learn organic gardening methods like composting and companion planting to eliminate the need for chemicals. 

See more Green Tips Here

Green Leaders Needed
Do you have experience putting together a green school application? Are you interested in assisting a school or more with Sustainable Schools activities or helping a school build a green team?  Sign-up to be a Green Leader! Explore the Green Leader Page here.  Email for more information

Available Grants and Resources

Unity Gardens' 2015 Spring Grant
Deadline: March 15, 2015
This Grant cycle begins January 15, 2015 and runs through the March 15, 2015 deadline. Up to $1000 grants are awarded to non-profit organizations such as neighborhoods, churches, schools, scout groups and community organizations in Anne Arundel County who support the building of community partnerships through the creation of greening projects, environmental enhancement and education. For more information and to apply, please visit the Unity Gardens website We encourage applicants to apply early so Unity Gardens can assist you in preparing a complete application for review and consideration.  For questions, contact Barbara Dowling at or 410 703-7530.

The Bill James Environmental Grant
Deadline: March 31, 2015

This grant offers up to $1,000 to school groups, science and ecology clubs, and other nonprofit youth groups for proposed environmental education projects. The objectives of the grant is to encourage a sense of stewardship and personal responsibility for the environment; stimulate a better understanding of environmental issues and more.

For questions, please click here, call 410-514-7900 or email

Chesapeake Bay Trust Restoration and Outreach Grants
Categories include Restoration, Environmental Education and Outreach. Do not limit yourself to environmental education, there may be opportunities in the other categories. Explore the opportunities here.

Green Our Planet Crowdfunding Platform
Green Our Planet is a unique, mission-driven, non-profit funding platform for green projects worldwide.
Raise funds via your community as well as worldwide corporate sponsors.  There are no fees and unlike other crowd funding platforms you will be able to keep the funds you raise, even if you don't meet your original funding goal.  For assistance with this process please contact

Find out more here.
" is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers post classroom project requests on the site, and [donors] can give any amount to the project that most inspires [them]." Green Schools can use this method to get materials for outdoor classrooms and other environmental education activities. Before using this site, please refer to your district's policy for accepting donations.

Local Bussinesses
Local bussiness may be willing to make in-kind donations of their products.  It never hurts to ask!

How to Build a Bottle Brick Bench: Workshop for Teachers and Environmental Educators
bottle brick bench workshop
The Harvest Collective and Summer at Sandy Spring will be hosting a 10 day workshop to teach environmental educators how to build a bottle brick bench – a bench made from up-cycled plastic waste, repurposed dishware, discarded concrete, and cob – a mix of sand, clay, and straw that hardens like concrete. This workshop is specifically for environmental educators seeking to build a bottle brick bench, to learn and spread the skills to their school or nature center. The workshop will also explore classroom lessons pertaining to making bottle bricks, making cob, environmental stewardship, and placemaking as a community organizing tool.  The workshop will occur 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM, July 27th – 31st and August 3rd – 7th. The cost for attending the workshop, including a lunch each day, is $400. Options for housing are available on Sandy Spring Friends School campus are available . Bottle brick benches are an incredible community building activity that encourages us all to turn waste into useful space.

To register, please visit:

Contests and Awards
Color Maryland Green
March 13, 2015

COLOR MARYLAND GREEN is an art and poetry contest designed to inspire Maryland students to enjoy and respect the State’s great outdoors and natural resources. All Maryland students, grades K-12, are eligible to participate -- one entry per student only, please.
Entries may be submitted individually or in bundles through the classroom. 

For more information please click here.

Presidential Innovation Award for an Environmental Educator
Deadline: March 13, 2015

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. Up to two teachers from each of EPA's 10 regions, from different states, will be selected to receive this award. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers this award to honor, support and encourage educators who incorporate environmental education in their classrooms & teaching methods.

Please click here for more information

2015 Young Reporters for the Environment
March 15, 2015

NWF’s Young Reporter’s for the Environment competition is for students ages 13-21 to explore and share topics in environmental journalism through writing, photography, or video. Check out the YRE handbooks for each medium and enter the contest today!

Please click here for more information.

Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship Award: Summer Camp
Deadline: March 27, 2015

The family of Craig Tufts, Family Summits, Inc., and National Wildlife Federation are pleased to announce the 6th annual Craig Tufts Educational Scholarship Award, which is given to a young person between the ages of 8 and 18 to attend a week-long summer outdoor educational adventure camp with a parent or guardian

For information about the essay and application please click here

Climate Change Amazon Student Summer Trip
Deadline March 31, 2015

This program is designed for adventuresome high school students, grades 8-12. Ideal participants demonstrate leadership skills, academic merit, interest in the natural world, and an affinity for science. Program involves a cost but some scholarships are available. The trip is from July 7-15, 2015 to Iquitos, Peru.

For more information 
Please click here

Help Save Gorillas
Deadline: April 3, 2015

Save gorillas and help the environment by entering the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Go Bananas! Challenge sponsored by Gorilla Glue! Answer the call by collecting and recycling cell phones, which contain an ore called coltan. One of the only places in the world where this ore can be found is right in the middle of gorilla habitats. Recycling coltan reduces habitat destruction for many endangered species.

For more information


Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
Deadline: April 15, 2015

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes invites nominations for its 2015 awards. The Barron Prize celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young people ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and our environment. Each year, fifteen winners each receive a $5,000 cash award to support their service work or higher education. Half of each year’s winners are chosen for their work to protect the environment.

For more information

Weather and Climate Day Contest
Deadline: April 15, 2015

The National Aquarium and Climate Central invite Maryland middle and high school students (grades 5 through 8 and 9 through 12) to participate in a contest that examines the impacts of climate change. Participants will be invited to attend Weather and Climate Day at the National Aquarium on May 16. Entrants can submit their work in one of three categories: Artistic expression (dance, song, hip-hop/rap, drama, poetry, art), News report or weathercast OR Science poster or presentation (eg., Bill Nye, Mr. Wizard, researcher).

Please click here for more information

Environmental Student Award and Internship
Deadline: May 1, 2015

The Environmental Science Student Award and Internship recognizes high school seniors that have excelled in environmental science programs. Students who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and participation in environmental projects in school or the community such as recycling drives, school beautification projects, stream or litter cleanups and other types of environmental projects are encouraged to apply. The Awardee will receive a paid summer internship at MDE. The two runners-up will each receive a monetary award. All three will receive a plaque acknowledging their achievement.

Please click here for more information.

Questions or comments?

Call MAEOE at 443-733-1220

Laura Collard
Executive Director

Gabrielle Cantor
Program Coordinator

Anita Ilonze
Volunteer Maryland Coordinator


1) Go native. Drop that English Ivy and pick up Richard Tallamy’s book Bringing Nature Home to learn why native plants are a better choice for wildlife. Then visit the US Forest Service site Gardening with Wildflowers or National Wildlife Federation’s native plants database to find a list of plants native to your region.

2) Give wildlife what they need. National Wildlife Federation, an EarthShare member charity, lists the elements you need to provide to wildlife: food, water, cover and a place to raise young. Birdbaths, flowering plants, and bee houses are just a few of the potential elements of a wildlife-friendly yard.

3) Get kids involved. Your yard is the perfect place to introduce nature to children. Being outdoors also helps kids with all kinds of modern maladies from ADHD to obesity. Read The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids for fresh ideas on making gardens great places for your own wild ones.

4) Avoid chemicals. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides can harm the very organisms that protect and enrich your vibrant garden: toads, wasps, birds and more. Learn organic gardening methods like composting and companion planting to eliminate the need for chemicals. Planting with native plants (#1 above) also reduces the need for chemicals as these plants are better suited to the local environment.

5) Register your garden. National Wildlife Federation has been certifying wildlife habitats since 1973 – there are now nearly 150,000 certified habitats around the country! Even businesses, schools and places of worship participate. When you get certified, you can put a sign in your yard to share the importance of wildlife gardening with your neighbors.

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