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Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education
Green Schools Newsletter

Welcome Back to School!!
We can’t wait to see and hear about what you are doing with your students this year! We know that more and more teachers are taking students outside to explore, investigate, ask questions and learn about the natural world.  We encourage you to use the outdoors as an extension of the classroom. We want to see how you connect environmental education with Maryland Green School objectives, STEM, NGSS, Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE), the Environmental Literacy requirement and more. Let us know if you need to know where to start or what to do next to integrate environmental education into curriculum and to build sustainable practices at school. Remember that MAEOE has a network of Green Leaders and Green Centers that may be able to support the work that you are doing.

This year we have 485 Maryland Green Schools. Each newsletter will feature our Maryland Green Schools and the great sustainable practices that their students are doing.  We also want to highlight stewardship actions and community partnerships.  Submit your story in a couple of paragraphs for a chance to be featured in the next 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 and continue sustainable green practices at your school.
For further information about the Maryland Green Schools program, more on-line resources and current training opportunities visit the MAEOE website,, or follow us on Facebook or twitter MAEOE_MD.

The Maryland Green Schools Newsletter contains professional learning and funding opportunities, environmental literacy implementation updates, ideas for green schools and important dates. Please share this newsletter with colleagues and partners interested in the Maryland Green School program and help us to grow more green schools. 

Stay in touch during the school year! If you have comments or Sustainable School practices that you would like to share please contact MAEOE at . 

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


The 2015/2016 Green School Year
 Green Schools Logo

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:

October 20, 2015: Green Center Application Phone Call. GREEN CENTERS ONLY
October 22, 2015: Green Schools/Green Leader Training: 4:30pm- 7:30pm. MAEOE Office, Jessup, MD
November 4, 2015: Green Schools/Green Leader Training: 4:30pm- 7:30pm. The Ward Museum, Salisbury, MD
November 5, 2015: Green Leader/Green Center "Train the Trainer": 10am- 1:00pm. MAEOE Office, Jessup, MD GREEN LEADERS AND GREEN CENTERS ONLY
November 9, 2015: 
Green Schools/Green Leader Training: 4:30pm- 7:30pm. Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons, MD
November 12, 2015: 
Green Schools/Green Leader Training: 4:30pm- 7:30pm. Irvine Nature Center, Owings Mills, MD
December 18, 2015:
Intent to Apply Fee due for schools applying in Spring 2016.
February 29, 2015Green Schools/Green Leader Trainings 4:30pm- 7:30pm. Environmental Concern Inc, Saint Michael's, MD (TENTATIVE)
March 2, 2015Green Schools/Green Leader Trainings 4:30pm- 7:30pm. Alice Ferguson Foundation, Accokeek, MD (TENTATIVE)
March 17, 2016: 2016 Green Schools Applications Due
May 2016: Date TBA: Green Schools Youth Summit

Call for 2016 MAEOE Conference Proposals - Deadline September 14, 2015

 Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) 2016 Annual Conference- Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Stewards: Engaging Students, Schools and Communities

In February 2016, The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) will bring educators, resource personnel, scientists and researchers together to share experiences and ideas. Be a part of the Annual Conference! Do you have great ideas, lesson plans or favorite activities that you want to share? Are you an expert on cutting edge Environmental Education topics? Consider presenting at the 2016 MAEOE Conference, February 4-7, 2016 at the Princess Royale in Ocean City, Maryland.

Please view information at and use the link to submit your proposal for pre-conference workshops, conference sessions and field trips. The on-line proposals are due no later than September 14, 2015, 5:00pm. Thank you for being a part of MAEOE!

MAEOE's Featured School: Roland Park Country School

Roland Park Country School, an independent school for girls (with a Preschool for both girls and boys) located in Baltimore City, is a diverse and inclusive community, which strives to prepare students for life. RPCS was recently awarded the title of “Sustainable MD Green School” after 14 years of being Green, first becoming a MD Green School in 2003!

The school grounds at RPCS provide a diversity of habitats from woodlands to meadow, from pollinator gardens to vegetable gardens. All are employed in challenging students and adults to become stewards of the Earth. The built environment is used as a learning tool; from waste sorting bins to the bottle filling stations located throughout the school. Members of the community are reminded daily of their responsibility to care for the environment on which we all depend and sustain for future generations. Students in the lower grades are outside daily for play and for lessons. A “No Child Left Inside” poster reminds us of the importance of outdoor learning. In the middle and upper grades, teachers incorporate outdoor classrooms to encourage a sense of stewardship and service learning.

Students at RPCS learn about watersheds, natural ecosystem dynamics, observation of soil communities, stream communities, forest communities and the impact of the built environment on natural areas. Many members of the school community have been involved in tree and shrub planti
ng in the Backwoods to help sustain this urban forest patch.

 ***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***

Back to School: The Benefits of Nature and Going Outside


By Gabrielle Cantor, Program Coordinator

It's time to get back to school and environmental educators across the state are excited about getting school students outside.  Formal and non-formal environmental educators recognize many of the benefits of getting students outside.  Some of our most popular posts on social media include articles and blog posts describing the benefits of nature for children and people in general.  Below is a small list of some of the more recent popular articles.  One thing I've learned while at MAEOE is the power we hold in changing the lives of people around us.  If promoting environmental education is important to you, I encourage you to discuss these and other articles with the people around you.  The only way things are going to change is if we make it happen.

Healthy Eaters, Strong Minds: What School Gardens Teach Kids
Why young kids need less class time- and more play time- at school
How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain
Just looking at nature can help your brain work better, study finds
Send children outside: Nature is the best training ground for STEM careers

Find more articles like these on the Children & Nature Network Website

Professional Development Opportunities

  Native Plants for Cleaner Water
Sat, September 12, 10am – 11am
Environmental Concern Inc. St. Michael's, MD
Discover the basics of native plant selection to bayscape your lawn and clean the bay. Participants will learn how to plant and maintain native plants in their landscape.

To learn more about the program please click here

FLOW Education: Facilitating Learning through Outdoor Watershed Education
Starting Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 (7 weeks)
This course is designed for classroom teachers (grades 4-8) to learn about watersheds and outdoor education using the Chesapeake Bay watershed as an example. The course introduces engaging technologies for investigating watersheds and helps you plan and effectively implement outdoor experiences.


           Ag-Education: It’s More than Pumpkin Picking
Thu, October 15, 4pm – 8pm
Baltimore County Ag-Center & Farm Park, Cockeysville, MD
•Network with some of the 50+ farms, organizations and agencies providing Ag-Education courses and experiences for teachers, students and families.
•Take home great curricular ideas/materials​/contacts.
•Practice some lessons/activit​ies with guided hands-on activities and make-n-takes.

http://teachers​onfarm3.eventbr​ www.marylandagr​

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

Maryland Green Apple Day of Service

US Green Building Council (USGBC) Maryland Chapter is calling all teachers, parents, administrators, businesses, and supporters to join us in reaching our goal of 50 Green Apple Days of Service projects in Maryland between September and October
. Green Apple Day of Service is a global initiative of the USGBC Center for Green Schools to organize service projects at schools or in the surrounding neighborhoods.
In Maryland we invite you to implement any project that will work for you in the time frame you choose, be it a few hours, an entire day, one week or over the course of
the full two weeks.  USGBC Maryland can assist you in figuring out a project for your school, connecting you with technical support,and volunteers. Please contact Sabrina Harder, USGBC Maryland's Community and Development Manager, for more information.


 September/October 2015

In This Issue

The 2015/2016 Green School Year
MAEOE Conference Call for Proposals
MAEOE's Featured School                                   
EnviroTip of the Month
The Benefits of Nature and Going Outside
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.




EnviroTip of Month


Back to School!

1. Travel to school efficiently. Ten to 14 percent of personal vehicle trips made during peak morning commuting hours are taking kids to school. You can help reduce morning traffic and protect air quality by carpooling with other parents and kids in the neighborhood. 
2. Look for recycled school supplies. What school supplies do you already have? Over 30 percent of our trash comes from cardboard and plastic packaging. When buying school supplies, look for pens, pencils, notebooks and notebook paper that are packed with and made from post-recycled materials and have minimum packaging. 
3. Power down. The average U.S. home spends 100 dollars each year to power devices while they are turned off or in standby mode. Plug computers into a power strip – when homework is done, shut down your computer and turn off the power strip to save energy. Unplug cell phone chargers, camera chargers and other charging cords when they aren’t in use.
4. Pack Green Lunches.  Consider packing your lunch with reusable containers and utensils.  Avoiding one plastic sandwich bag a day would divert almost 180 bags each year!

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

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

Donald Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grant
Deadline: October 1, 2015
Public and/or Private 3rd- 6th grade teachers, with classes of a minimum of 15 students may apply for indoor or outdoor herb garden grant.
Please go to the website for more information.

The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program

Deadline: October 15, 2015
Small monetary grants to schools, nature centers, and other non-profit and not-for-profit places of learning in the United States with a site available for a stewardship project. 

Find out more here

Audubon Society of Central Maryland School Garden Grants
Deadline: December 15, 2015
Carroll, Frederick, Howard or Northern Montgomery County
These grants have helped primary and secondary school students to develop native plant and wildlife gardens and habitats at their schools and other locations. 

Click here 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, 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.
" 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.

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!

See more ideas and sources here

Contests and Awards
2015 Kid-Powered Fun Contest!
Deadline: September 17, 2015

Enter a short video of up to 30 seconds showing how you are "powering your own fun or activity". Show how you're getting outside and getting active to save energy and power your own fun! Find out more here.

2016 Annual Pass Youth Art Contest
Deadline: October 19, 2015

This Youth Art Contest given by the Assateague Island National Seashore will feature the winners on their Annual Park Pass! Click Here

Questions or comments?

Call MAEOE at 443-733-1220

Laura Collard
Executive Director

Gabrielle Cantor
Program Coordinator

Kim Drake
Administrative Associate


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