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Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education
Green Schools Newsletter

This year has been a fantastic year for Environmental Education. We have so much to celebrate!

On, Thursday, December 10, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act which had been approved and passed by the House and Senate. Environmental Education funding is part of the ESSA. NAAEE’s Sarah Bodor stated, “The key language [of the legislation} sits in Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act—21st Century Schools. Environmental education is called out as eligible for funding under a $1.6B “well-rounded education” grants program and environmental literacy programs are eligible for funding as part of the $1B 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. It’s worth noting that the prioritization of STEM activities including “hands-on learning” and “field-based or service learning” to enhance understanding of STEM subjects may provide additional opportunities for environmental science education programs.”

On Saturday, December 13, 196 nations signed international Climate Change Agreement.

Developed and developing countries alike are required to limit their emissions to relatively safe levels, of 2C with an aspiration of 1.5C, with regular reviews to ensure these commitments can be increased in line with scientific advice. Finance will be provided to poor nations to help them cut emissions and cope with the effects of extreme weather. Countries affected by climate-related disasters will gain urgent aid.” The Guardian

Each of the schools involved in the Maryland Green Schools program is documenting that education supporting Environmentally Literate Students is being embedded in the curriculum.  We see our students leading and participating in environmental actions inside of the school and on the school grounds.  Partnerships are formed to support the work locally.

We know you are the leaders for all things green at your schools. Thank you for all that you do and Happy Holidays! 

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

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The 2015/2016 Green School Year
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If you last certified in 2011 or 2012 you are due to recertify in the 2015-2016 School year.  Although applications are due in the Spring of 2016, we encourage you to treat the application like an Art Portfolio and start collecting documentation as early as possible.  We have online support on the MAEOE website including applications from last year and the rubric used to review applications.  We also have an extensive network of Green Leaders and Green Centers who would love to assist you with the process.
Please take a look at the timeline below to get an idea for how you should be spacing out your school year.  Feel free to email us with any questions that you have might have at

Green Schools 2015/2016 Timeline:
December 18, 2015: Intent to Apply Fee due for schools applying in Spring 2016.
​February 4-7, 2016: MAEOE Conference: Gain valuable Professional Development, learn about the Green School Process and bring your application for a mock review.
February 29, 2016Green Schools/Green Leader Trainings 4:30pm- 7:30pm. Environmental Concern Inc, Saint Michael's, MD (TENTATIVE)
March 2, 2016
Green Schools/Green Leader Trainings 4:30pm- 7:30pm. Alice Ferguson Foundation, Accokeek, MD (TENTATIVE)
March 17, 2016: 2016 Green Schools Applications Due
May 13, 2016: Green Schools Youth Summit: Celebrate your MD Green School Accomplishments, students participate in an interactive environmental literacy fair and more.

2016 MAEOE Conference
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Join us for the 31st annual MAEOE Conference! This year Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and MAEOE are hosting a new Conference Welcoming Happy Hour! After Happy Hour, we welcome for the first time, Dr. Mamie Parker, the keynote speaker during our opening ceremony.
We have a lot of exciting things going on this year:
- Outstanding Thursday Professional Development workshops
- New and exciting Friday workshop offerings and a greeting session for new attendees
- A Friday service project
- Two New Saturday strands: Science Strand and Food, Farm, Environment, School Strand
- Outstanding keynote speaker – Dr. Mamie Parker
- Saturday social with live music
- Kid's offerings – EE for children 5 – 12 years old on Saturday

Be a part of our Conference Celebration! This is our 31st year as a leading state environmental organization; meet old friends, make new friends, stay informed of what is happening in the state and the region and expand your influence and networking opportunities.
This year we are offering multi-day packages with discounts for members. Purchase your registra-tion before January 5, 2015 for great Early Bird discounts. See you in Ocean City this February 4-7!

For more information, please check out or call 443-370-3818 .

MAEOE's Featured School:
General Smallwood Middle School


General Smallwood Middle School strives to meet their school’s mission by educating each student by “broadening their learning experiences, elevating their aspirations, and enhancing their self-image,” examples of which are seen throughout their Green School application. Since they became a Green School in 2014, students continue to participate and lead environmental activities on their school grounds and in their community.

One way that General Smallwood students have broadened their experiences is by creating an outdoor classroom which they did in partnership with LOWES. The classroom contains rain barrels, compost bins, and native plants, a pond, and tables and the classroom is utilized by the whole school. Students have broadened their learning experiences on a national level too. On October 27, students from General Smallwood assisted EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy with Energy Star Day in Washington, DC. Energy Star day focuses on how energy usage around homes and buildings affects climate change. Students conducted experiments on how energy star lightbulbs emitted less heat and used less energy to light up. At the end of the day, students had the opportunity to interview Administrator McCarthy. She shared with them additional ways that they could become more involved with reducing the effects of climate change.

General Smallwood MS students have demonstrated many sustainable practices and will continue to do this as they look to reapply in the 2018 school year. 


 ***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***

Green School Up & Coming School: 
Parkside High School

Parkside High School is a public high school located in Wicomico County, MD that has a student body of over 1,000 students. Parkside students and teachers recently attended the Green School/Green Leader Training at the Ward Museum on December 3rd to find out more information on the Maryland Green School program.

But why should you look out for them? Parkside students in the horticultural class are busy bees in their green houses. Students are involved with the whole growing process, learning all about soil composition, nutrient levels, and specific plant needs. They also learn the business side of running a greenhouse by assisting with the selling of the plants, creating relationships with local nurseries, and learning what it means to be a part of the community. This sustainable program has grown exponentially over the last three years under Jerry Kelley’s guidance (teacher, Parkside High School).

Students have used plants for more than just the horticultural class. Art students have used photographs of flowers to create beautiful paintings inspired by Georgia O'Keefe 
 "Inflorescence", like the ones below. Come see these beautiful paintings, up close at the 2016 MAEOE conference in Ocean City, MD Feb 4 – 7 . We will be on the lookout for Parkside HS Green School application. 

kids plantingkids painting

Professional Development Opportunities

EECapacity and Cornell University
January 4-31, 2016 (4 weeks)
Registration form:

How to use urban environmental education to foster sustainability and human well-being in cities? This course will review relevant theory, curricula, and inspirational practical stories to help you improve your own urban environmental educational program; participants will exchange ideas via a Facebook group. This non-credit course is designed for educators, teachers and leaders in community centers, schools, museums, zoos, universities, parks, urban ecology centers and other organizations that involve urban residents in environmental education. Cornell University will issue an electronic certificate to participants who will complete course assignments. This 4-week course requires 4-6 hrs of work per week. Limited to 25 participants (any level of experience) from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. 

Reforesting Your Neighborhood: Carroll County Forestry Board 2016 Winter Workshop 
Saturday January 16, 2016. 8 AM to 4:30 PM. 
VFW Post 467, 519 Poole Road, Westminster, MD 21157 

Registration includes: Morning refreshments / Lunch/ Course Materials 
Learn how to create healthy residential woodland ecosystems using the sustainable landscaping principles of woodland gardening. Speakers from University of Maryland Extension, Carroll County Forestry Board and Maryland Forest Service will show you how to improve wildlife habitat and pollinator diversity, protect water quality, develop usable woodland crops such as medicinal plants and edibles, select native plant species appropriate for your area, and identify and combat non-native invasive plants. 

The brochure and registration form can also be viewed on the Carroll County forestry board webpage at 

        MADE CLEAR: MD and DE Climate Change Education Assessment and Research
Easton, Maryland: July 18-21 and Abingdon, MD: August 3
Since July 2013, over 80 classroom teachers and informal educators have participated in our Climate Change Academies. The Academies provide up-to-date science content, model lessons and activities, and practical experience while diving into the complex topic of climate change and preparing educators to introduce it to students. Applications for the 2016 Academy are now being accepted. Click here to access the on-line application. You will need to register to get started. As part of the application, you will need to attach a signed copy of this form indicating your supervisor's support of your participation. (A clear scan or photo of the signed form is acceptable.)

Check out for more information. 

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

                       happy holidays

Thanks to our following sponsors for their generosity: 

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 November/December 2016

In This Issue

The 2015/2016 Green School Year
2016 MAEOE Conference
MAEOE's Featured School         
MAEOE's Up and Coming School
Healthy School Tip of the Month
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.




Healthy School Tip of the Month


Achoo! It's that time of year again when germs seem to be everywhere. But what's the difference between a cold and the flu? How can you keep yourself and your students from getting sick?

1. Know the difference between the common cold and the flu. Check out WebMD's information on how to tell the difference between the two. 

2. Teach students to wash their hands and use soap, it's the best way to prevent the spread of germs. Front and back of the hands should be scrub vigorously to get rid off germs for about 20 sec or the time it takes you to sing 'Happy Birthday' twice. 

3. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. 

4. Encourage and demonstrate germ etiquette. Got to sneeze? Do it in a tissue or your elbow. Make sure to wash your hands afterwards. 

5. Encourage good eating habits, drinking lots of water, and sleeping well to build up a healthy immune system. 

Want more tips? Check out WebMD's Grems in the School Room

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

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 4th, 2016

For more information click here.

Available Grants and Resources

Lowe's Toolbox for Education
Grant opens on December 18, 2015 and closes on February 12, 2016. 
It's almost that easy when you take advantage of Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant program. Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) knows how hard you work for your kids and your community and we're dedicated to helping your parent-teacher group achieve even more for your school. Apply for our Toolbox for Education Grant now and build on your already impressive parent group success with Lowe's.
Please go to the website for more information.

The Bill James Environmental Grant   
Deadline: March 31, 2016                              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 Education, K-12 Environmental Education Mini Grant 
January 15,2015
The Chesapeake Bay Trust Mini Grant Program was established to provide accessible funds to schools, organizations, and agencies for pre-K-12 Environmental Education to educate students about their local watersheds and how they can become environmental stewards and make a difference in watershed health. To accomplish this goal the program supports meaningful outdoor learning experiences around a watershed issue investigation including field trips, fieldwork, student-led action projects and schoolyard habitat projects as well as building teacher capacity to implement environmental education including professional development trainings and programs to advance environmental literacy in the Chesapeake Bay region. Click here for more information.

BirdSleuth School Garden Grant
January 1- February 15, 2016
School gardens provide the context for lessons across subjects and offer a wonderful opportunity to engage students in hands-on, project-based learning opportunities. Students that engage in school gardening are likely to experience academic, physical, emotional, social, and even behavioral benefits. We are seeking 10 dedicated teachers who strive to bring STEM and healthy living from the garden to the classroom. These teachers will receive $500-$2,000 grant, gardening supplies, and BirdSleuth’s Habitat Connections kit thanks to our sponsor Alaska Fertilizer. Funds may be used to support the building or revitalization of school gardens. In addition to food gardens, preference will be given to bird, pollinator, native habitat, rain, and other natural projects.

Planning on doing a school garden?
Here are some grants that focus on creating gardens on school grounds. Grants vary by organization. Click here for more details

Innovative Education Award
The UL Innovative Education Award is a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to invest US $250,000 in environmental and STEM education, sustainable communities, and youth empowerment. We offer recognition grants to increase the impact of existing innovative non-profit programs that use the Environment as a pathway to STEM Learning (E-STEM).

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.

Local Businesses
Local business may be willing to make in-kind donations of their products.  Click here for some tips about asking for In-kind Donations. It never hurts to ask!

Contests and Awards
Carton to Garden: 

Show us your students’ creativity by re-purposing milk and juice cartons from your school cafeteria to either build or enhance your school garden. Educators can engage students in a hands-on experience creating teachable moments on environmental stewardship, sustainable packaging and healthy living. The best use of cartons in a school garden gives your school the chance to win one of 14 prizes with a grand prize valued at $5,000. We can’t wait to see your students’ creations—carton planters, garden art, scarecrows, window boxes, irrigation systems… The more creative, the better!
More info click here or go to

Visualize Your Water Contest: 
A Mapping Challenge for Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay High School Students
Open from January 13, 2016 to March 1, 2016.

You are invited to participate in an exciting challenge that will equip your students with new technology skills while broadening their understanding of water quality issues and the environment. The U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Education, Great Lakes Observing Systems, and Esri are launching the Visualize Your Water Challenge. For more information, check out:

Questions or comments?

Call MAEOE at 443-733-1220

Laura Collard
Executive Director

Christina Gladmon
Program Coordinator

Kim Drake
Administrative Associate


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