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)
Students at Arundel High School, a Maryland Green School, created this mural out of recycled clay.
The 5th Annual Maryland Green Schools Youth Summit
Over 3,000 students and teachers gathered at Sandy Point State Park on May 30th for MAEOE's 5th annual Maryland Green School's Youth Summit. The summit featured an awards ceremony that honored the 135 schools that were accepted into MAEOE's 2014 Maryland Green Schools program. Over 40 organizations were on hand to run interactive learning stations that provided schools with more ideas about how to lessen their environmental impact. The learning stations included everything from animal encounters to energy audit demonstrations. The enthusiasm from schools throughout the day illustrated that developing a generation of environmentally literate earth stewards can make a significant impact in the fight against environmental degradation.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley attended and addressed students about the importance of protecting the earth's natural systems. O'Malley discussed a new "Restore Your Schoolshed" initiative that encourages students and teachers alike to clean up streams and creeks in proximity to their schools. The Governor brought down the house when he whipped out a guitar and performed a song about respecting the Chesapeake Bay.
WATCH A VIDEO OF THE MAEOE YOUTH SUMMIT
Historic Chesapeake Watershed Agreement Encourages Environmental Literacy Progress
The governors of six states in the Chesapeake Bay region, along with the mayor of DC, and EPA administrator Gina McCarthy converged in Annapolis last month to sign into place the newest edition of the Chesapeake Watershed Agreement. The multi-faceted Agreement incorporates ten diverse goals that aim to restore the health of the Bay, engage and develop an educated citizenry, and prepare for the environmental ramifications of climate change.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley identified environmental literacy as one of the “critical emerging issues” that the Agreement will confront with the goal of enabling every student in the Chesapeake Bay region to graduate with the knowledge and skills to act responsibly to protect and restore their local watershed. The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s programs will directly contribute to accomplishing the region-wide environmental literacy goals established in this Agreement.
In addition to water quality and land use conservation efforts, the Agreement mandates that students must participate in one meaningful watershed educational experience at every stage; elementary, middle, and high school. Students will also receive related rigorous, inquiry-based instruction. The Agreement encourages the involved states to “continually increase the number of schools in the region that reduce the impact of their buildings and grounds on their local watershed, environment and human health through best practices, including student-led protection and restoration projects.” According to the Agreement, participating states should adopt a comprehensive and systemic approach to environmental literacy that includes policies, practices, and voluntary metrics.
MAEOE is a part of the Chesapeake Watershed Agreement’s Education Workgroup that was formed to develop the environmental literacy components of the Agreement and monitor state implementation of meaningful watershed educational experiences.
The state of Maryland has already made significant progress towards meeting the environmental literacy requirements of the new Agreement. In 2011, Maryland became the first state in the nation to approve an environmental literacy graduation requirement, ensuring that all students will become informed stewards of the earth by the time they graduate high school.
To read more about the other goals of the Agreement, click here. To read the Agreement in its entirety, click here
MAEOE's Featured School: North Carroll High School
North Carroll High School is located in Hampstead, in Carroll County. Over the past three years, NCHS has been “Going Green” and has seen a shift in culture to one of positive environmental stewardship shown by staff, students and community members. The green initiative began as the NC Green Team, a student-lead club, was created by Assistant Principal, Ms. Gina Felter.
The NC Green Team increased recycling, began school-wide composting, constructed a blue-bird trail with the help of local boy scouts, and improved native habitat plantings around the school grounds. Energy conservation increased with “Turn it off Tuesdays” and education of all staff and students took place using “Green Fact Friday” morning announcements. Professional development at Hashawha Environmental Center and through CBF, raised awareness in the faculty of North Carroll so that they began using the environment as an integrating context for learning in all content areas throughout the school.
NCHS was named a MD Green School in 2013 and a USDE Green Ribbon school in 2014. The success of the green initiative at NCHS was due to the overwhelming support and participation by students, staff and community members to do positive things to impact our local environment in Carroll County.
| ***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 firstname.lastname@example.org and your school could be featured in the next newsletter***
|Professional Development Opportunities
Early Childhood Environmental Education
July 17, 2014
This is a combined workshop including Project Learning Tree Early Childhood Education guide and Growing Up WILD (from Project WILD). Participants will gain certification in and receive both guides that are specifically designed for learners ages 3-7.
Location: Evergreen Heritage Center in Allegany County. For more info see www.evergreenheritagecenter.org or contact email@example.com
STEM Summer Institute for Teachers
Jul 28 – Aug 1, 2014, 9am – 4pm;
Notre Dame of Maryland University, 4701 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD
You can help your K–12 students become more engaged in STEM activities by being more engaged yourself. Notre Dame of Maryland University offers a graduate-level STEM Summer Institute—a week-long program that provides teachers with the resources, knowledge and methodology to engage their students with subject matter related to natural resources. Each day will focus on a different topic using guides created by the Department of Natural Resources, including: Water Education for Teachers, Project WILD, Project Learning Tree, The Wonders of Wetlands, the National Geographic Field Scope and Climate Science 101. Earn 3 graduate credits for a reduced fee of $1,200 (covers registration, books/materials) and have fun while you learn. Course: ENV561. Dr. Juliann Dupuis, 410-532-5148 firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Concern's Wetland Boot Camp
August 2, 2014 - 10am-4pm: Wetland Plant ID: Know 'Em and Grow 'Em
August 6, 2014 - 10am-4pm: WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands
August 7, 2014 - 10am-4pm: POW! The Planning of Wetlands
August 8, 2014 - 10am-4pm: Schoolyard Habitat Integration with Core and E-Lit Standards
All workshops will be held at Environmental Concern's Wetland Learning Center. 201 Boundary Ln, St. Michaels, MD 21663. Space is limited, please register no later than July 21, 2014. For more information or to register contact Environmental Concern at 410-745-9620 or visit www.wetland.org.
Data and the Estuary
In partnership with the National Estuarine Research Reserve
August 4–8, 2014
This course is open to Maryland middle and high school educators.
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
Length & Location: 5 days/4 nights at CBF's Karen Noonan Education Center
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
In This Issue
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Build a Butterfly House: If your yard doesn't provide enough dense foliage to allow butterflies to hibernate and nest, build them a box they can use that offers protection from predators and harsh weather. The interior walls of the box should be rough enough to allow butterflies to grab a foothold. Scatter small twigs and leaves inside to promote hibernation and egg laying and include thin vertical slats on the front to allow the butterflies to enter and exit. Make sure the box is hung no more than four feet above the ground and has a south or southwest exposure.
More Green Tips
|Maryland Green Ribbon Schools
The Green Ribbon Schools award is given to select schools across the nation that the U.S. Department of Education recognized as schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement. This year's applications are due January 5th, 2015.
For more information click here.
|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 email@example.com for more information
|MAEOE Launches New Website
MAEOE is proud to unveil its new website design! It can be viewed at www.MAEOE.org. You will find a lot of features and resources from the old site are still in place, only better organized and more aesthetically pleasing. Our job board, professional development calendar, and Green Schools resources pages were built with the purpose of advancing environmental education in the state of Maryland.
Chesapeake Bay Trust Environmental Education K-12 Mini Grant -
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.
Deadline: August 8, 2014
The 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 region. To learn more about this grant program click here.
Anne Arundel Community Tree Planting Grants Available
Maryland Native Plant Society Research Grant
For 2014, the MNPS has allocated funds to support a small number of grants to support research that will further its mission. The Society especially encourages teachers and students at all levels to apply. The projects must concern Maryland native bryophytes, vascular plants, and/or the habitats of Maryland native plants. A committee comprising of local educators and scientists will review applications and administer the awards. The maximum amount awarded will be $2000.