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Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education
  Green Schools Newsletter

Whether you are a teacher or a non-formal environmental educator we hope that you find the information provided in these bi-monthly newsletters helpful in your efforts to build sustainable green practices. You will find professional learning and funding opportunities, environmental literacy implementation updates, ideas for green schools and important dates. 

—Laura Johnson Collard

Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE)

2014 Green Schools and Centers

The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) is pleased to announce significant additions to the Maryland Green Schools Program. This year, MAEOE has certified 58 schools for the first time and has retained 77 schools through the program’s recertification process, bringing the total number of schools in the Maryland Green Schools Program to 460. We also recertified 7 Green Centers and added Brookside Gardens as a new Green Center, to serve as excellent resources throughout the state.  This substantial growth in the program illustrates a persistent commitment to sustainability and environmental literacy in Maryland Schools. These schools have demonstrated and documented a continuous effort to integrate sustainable best management practices, environmental education curriculum, professional development opportunities, and community engagement into their daily operations.

2014 MDGS: By the Numbers

58: New schools that were admitted to the program this year
58: Schools that Recertified for the first time this year
16: Schools that were Recertified this year for the second time
3: Schools that were deemed “Sustained Green Schools” for being in the program for 14 years– the highest honor for a Maryland Green School
7: Recertified Green Centers
1: New Green Center
40,603: square feet of green roofs installed
5,381: Trees planted
146,000: square feet of riparian buffer installed
324: storm drains painted
109,044: square feet of rain gardens installed
1,248,178: pounds of paper recycled

The 5th Annual Maryland Green Schools Youth Summit

Governor and students

The 5th annual Maryland Green Schools Youth Summit will take place on May 30th 2014 at beautiful Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. The Summit will feature an awards ceremony to honor the great work that our Green Schools have completed this year, as well as an environmental literacy fair that will allow students and teachers to gather ideas for their continued work towards sustainability. Keynote speaker Davey Rogner spent three years walking across America picking up over 200,000 pounds of trash and speaking to thousand of students about living in harmony with the earth. You do not need to be Maryland Green School to attend.  Find out more here.

Teacher, Chaperone, and Student Registration (only one sign-up needed per school)

Volunteer Sign-up (Volunteers Needed!)

Exhibitor Registration (Exhibitors Needed!)

MAEOE's Featured School: Mechanicsville ES


Mechanicsville Elementary School is just shy of the St. Mary’s County line and has been pursuing BIG efforts with recycling and reusing solid waste.

The first thing they did was to have fifth graders go to the primary classrooms and read to the students about the importance of recycling.  Classroom teachers read to the older students.

Next, the fifth graders helped the younger students to make correct choices by placing recyclables and trash on our quiz board.

Afterwards, students took actual lunch items to the cafeteria where they practiced putting them in the correct containers.

 Their staff and students have been incredible!  Each day students empty breakfast and lunch remains into four different bins – Liquids, Recycling, Trash and Juice Pouches.  That Trash can has gotten very small!

In addition, each hallway now has its own recycle can labeled with signs stating what is and isn’t recyclable.  Classrooms empty their bins into the hallway cans and once a week, our Green Team rechecks all the rooms and empties the hallway cans.

They are also participating in Terracycle – they’ve been sending in pairs of shoes, dairy containers, juice pouches, etc. and their PSTO does a “Wear and Share” sale, two times a year.  Great job Mechanicsville!

 ***If your school 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***

Professional Development Opportunities

Nature Preschool Conference
June 6-8, $50-$250

Nature based preschools are becoming an integral part of building a foundation for children and their connection to nature. Join Irvine Nature Center for their third annual Nature Preschool Conference. Engaging workshops will include: Nature Immersion & Wild Nature Play, Nature-based Learning in Urban Settings, and Best Practices & Curricula in Nature Preschools. Join Mary Hardcastle for her Keynote Address, "Growing Up Wild in City Parks" Friday, June 6th 7-9pm. Accommodations available are onsite camping and nearby hotels. Professional development credits available.

Project WILD and Project WET
June 13th: 9:00 am-5:30pm
Project WILD and Project WET are engaging and interdisciplinary programs that emphasizes awareness, appreciation and understanding of wildlife, water, and natural resources. The programs are designed for educators of all types who work with children from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Fee: Free! Please bring a bagged lunch.

Audience: Educators, naturalists, community leaders, etc who work with K-12 students

For more Project Wet and Wild Workshops or to register for this one please click here.

Baltimore Partnership for Environmental Science Literacy
● Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
June 23- 27, 2014
Apply to participate in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) 2014-2015 Teachers’ Institute.  We are looking for dedicated middle and high school teachers from the Baltimore Region to join this exciting year long program.  We are specifically encouraging teacher teams to apply.  An ideal teacher team consists of one science teacher and one teacher from another discipline (math, social studies, etc.) from the same institution.

For more information contact: Bess Caplan, Ecology Education Program Leader, 410-455-1863,

Chesapeake Classrooms
July 7-11, 2014

Join us for a five-day, hands-on course that focuses on urban land use issues and how our decisions affect the rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Learn about Baltimore’s ecosystems and how to use them as valuable teaching tools to cover STEM material. We will use inquiry-based teaching techniques to explore Baltimore city schoolyard habitats and land-use issues. This course will give you the tools to build your students’ environmental literacy with a rigorous, interdisciplinary approach. Participants will take home an array of activities and lessons that can be incorporated into the school curriculum.

When: July 7-11, 2014 
Where: 5 local day-trips in the Baltimore area 
How: Go to to register 
Cost: $50 resource fee to cover course materials (will be refunded upon completion of the course) 
Credit: Earn 3 MSDE credits or graduate credit (extra fee for graduate credit) 

Data and the Estuary
In partnership with the National Estuarine Research Reserve
August 4–8
This course is open to Maryland middle and high school educators.

This five-day program is designed to provide middle and high school teachers with the resources, knowledge, and experience necessary to facilitate the integration of estuaries and their related issues into the classroom. The program accomplishes this through hands-on field-based investigations carried out in the diverse environments of the Delmarva Peninsula and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Teachers will have the opportunity to gather authentic data on land use, water quality, biotic communities and other parameters, analyze that data, and ultimately use this information to develop action projects that will have a positive impact on the natural systems of the Chesapeake Bay.
Length & Location:5 days/4 nights at CBF's Karen Noonan Education Center
 $50 non-refundable resource fee.  The course fee is covered through a partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
To Register: Register online |  Register by mail/fax

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

May 2014

In This Issue

Follow MAEOE

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May Enviro Tip

Large amounts of waste have many negative side effects including increasing pollution, contributing to global warming and huge costs to natural resources and the economy. The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do this Spring to reduce your own waste.  Among these include recycling, donating slightly used items, and composting.  Some counties such as Montgomery and Howard Counties offer FREE COMPOSTING BINS. You can also purchase many different kinds (many times through county or master gardener sales) or make your own.

Prepare for Your Next Green School Recertification

If you last certified in 2011, you are eligible to recertify for your Green School Status in April 2015.  If you last certified in 2010 please contact the office to discuss your eligibility for recertification.  Here are some tips to help prepare you for your application.

Review the most recent application
: Although the application changes slightly from year to year, the most recent application may refresh your memory and give you a better idea of what you will need to prepare.

Create an outline of what your application will look like: Outline the three objectives and fill in what your school does that fits into each section.

Start collecting documentation now:  Your application will need documentation to support each section.  If you can start collecting pictures, agendas, student work and other artifacts now, creating the application will go a little smoother.

Browse the MAEOE website for resources:  The MAEOE website has example applications, example projects, professional development, and other great resources.

Green Leaders Needed
Do you have experience putting together a green school application? Interested in assisting another school with their green school process?  Sign-up to be a Green Leader! Explore the Green Leader Page here.  Email for more information

Two Maryland Green Schools Named National Green Ribbon Schools  

The U.S. Department of Education has announced that two members of MAEOE’s Maryland Green Schools Program were recipients of the 2014 National Green Schools Award. North Carroll High School in Carroll County and Travilah Elementary School in Montgomery County were among forty eight schools nationwide that received this prestigious honor. North Carroll was certified for the first time in 2013, while Travilah recertified for the first time just this year.

Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery said North Carroll High and Travilah Elementary deserve to display the Green Ribbons.  “These award-winning schools represent the tireless efforts going on throughout Maryland, part of our State’s long-term commitment to environmental education and to practices that improve our world for future generations,” said Dr. Lowery.

This is the GRS program’s third year of existence.  The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government-wide aim to increase energy independence and economic security.

If you are a certified Maryland Green School, we encourage you to apply to the program.  For more information please contact Gary Hedges at

Available Grants

Environmental Education K-12 Mini Grant Deadline: June 13, 2014

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is currently accepting applications for its Environmental Education K-12 Mini Grant program. This program supports activities around a watershed issue investigation including field experiences, fieldwork and student-led action projects as well as teacher professional development and programs to advance environmental literacy in the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. To learn more about this grant program, click here.

Anne Arundel Community Tree Planting Grants Available

The Anne Arundel County Forest Conservancy District Board and the Chesapeake Bay Trust announce a partnership to provide small community-based grants (less than $2,500) to help communities and organizations increase the number of trees and tree canopy in neighborhoods, parks, and communities. To learn more about this new program, read the full RFP here.

Montgomery and Howard County Free Compost Bins
No application necessary.  Must be a resident of Montgomery or Howard Counties.  Please see below for details

Montgomery County

Howard County

Questions or comments?

Call MAEOE at 443-733-1220

Laura Collard
Executive Director

Gabrielle Cantor
Volunteer Maryland Coordinator

Sara Campbell
Program Coordinator

William Allenbach
Communications Intern

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