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Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education
Green Schools Newsletter

The 2014/15 school year is well under way! We hope that you all have a fantastic year. 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.

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 Md Green School program.

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)


The 2014/2015 Green School Year
 Green Schools Logo

If you are planning on applying for the 2014/2015 Green School Application cycle here are some things to remember.
1.  The Intent to Apply Fee and Form are ready and due December 19, 2014.  If you need an invoice before sending the money please fill this out sooner rather than later.
2. Assemble a green team/committee at your school. Include multiple stakeholders including administrators, teachers, facilities staff, parents and/or students.
3. Set-up a staff-wide folder system so that other staff members can help you collect the documentation.
4.  Contact your local Green Center or Green Leader.  Green Centers and Green Leaders can act as regional support to help you get through the application process.  If you have questions about the application, need help setting up a Sustainable Practice, or would like someone to present to your staff, Green Centers and Leaders may be able to help.  Contact for more information.
5.  Review the timeline below.  Notice the deadlines, trainings and other events.

We have online support on the MAEOE website including the applications from last year and the rubric used to review applications.  We have scheduled several training opportunities in the fall and winter that can help you understand the process better.  We are excited to hear about your Green School activities, we are always looking for opportunities to share your accomplishments. Please feel free to email us with any questions that you have might have at, you can also check out our frequently asked questions (faq) on the MAEOE website.

Green Schools 2014/2015 Timeline:


December 19, 2014:  2014/2015 Green School $50 Intent to Apply Fee Due.  Schools that applied in Spring 2014 and are resubmitting in the 2014/2015 school year will not be required to file an additional application fee. However, please contact to confirm your fee status and intent to apply.

February 5-8, 2015: MAEOE Conference (Professional Development, Green School Application Feedback, Green School and Green Center Trainings and More). Speak with your administration about possible funding.

March 2015: Application Review Training (All welcome, recommended if applying for 2015/2016 and if you are interested in assisting with the application reviews in April 2015. )

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

Early April 2014: Application Reviews (New and Old Reviewers Welcome, recommended if applying for 2015/2016)

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.                                               

2015 MAEOE Conference

Email_bannerIn 2015, The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education is celebrating 30 years of bringing educators, resource personnel, scientists and researchers together to share experiences and ideas. Be part of our 30th Annual Conference!  This year we will have new and old workshops, networking time, internet tools, our keynote speaker Dr. J Drew Lanham and more.  The registration guide and all sessions are now available to be viewed! Registration will be opening shortly, check back next week!

Please view more information at


MAEOE's Featured School: Independence School Local 1

Independence LocalIndependence Local_C

Independence School Local 1 is a unique charter high school in Baltimore City.
Our school’s academic program embodies three principles: authentic learning through the real world; dealing with children one mind at a time; and providing a forum in which students form a strong social identity with respect to their history and their surroundings.

We are wholly committed to connecting students with their environment. Every Tuesday, students participate in field work activities which range from gardening, to researching the urban water cycle, to local improvement projects. As a school, we are developing and implementing a curriculum to use storm water management facilities as an integrative instructional tool. Our school has been an integral part of the Pathways to Environmental Science Literacy Math Science Partnership Project funded by the National Science Foundation (taking place at the Baltimore Ecosystem Study and three other Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites around the nation).

Our coordinated and cohesive environmental curriculum connects every student at every grade level to the green space by way of maintaining the gardens, studying how parts of Hampden have an effect on the urban water cycle, and using our outdoors to study the microcosm of the larger environment. 

Independence School is the only high school in Baltimore City to offer a CTE program in Environmental Studies. We work with local business and non-profit partners on a variety of community greening projects. Many thanks to GWWO Architects, Bella Roma Pizza, Giant Food, Falkenhan’s Hardware, Parks and People Foundation, Blue Water Baltimore, Real Foods Farms, Great Kids Farms, Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability, and many more for their support of our program!

Congratulations to Independence School Local 1 on becoming a Green School in 2014!  We look forward to seeing more of your environmental work over the next 12 years. 

 ***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***

Monarch Sister Schools Program


The Monarch Sister Schools Program (MSSP) was created in 2008 by the educational nonprofit Natural Partners to involve students in a real environmental problem; specifically the ongoing destruction of Monarch butterflies’ habitat in the U.S. and Canada and over-wintering habitat in Mexico resulting in a precipitous decline in the Monarchs population. Through hands-on projects, students learn about the habitat, life cycle and amazing migration of the Monarchs, while collaborating across borders on projects to restore habitat for future Monarch generations.
  To date MSSP has planted well over 30 habitat gardens in DC and MD, and multiple tree nurseries in Mexico.

MSSP works with schools to engage students in 3 main action areas. First habitat restoration is done by having students plant and maintain a butterfly habitat garden. In Mexico students create a schoolyard tree nursery to produce native Oyamel trees needed to reforest logged areas of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve where that Monarchs overwinter.

Next, we focus on hands-on learning by using both the U.S. habitat garden and Mexican tree nurseries as outdoor classrooms. This allows children to be in touch with nature and learn in a participatory way about habitat, life cycle and migration using high-quality lesson plans.

The most exciting aspect of our program is the opportunity for U.S. schools to partner with a Mexican sister school located inside Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. The classes get to engage in an exciting cultural exchange through class-to-class Skype sessions. This exchange inspires not only habitat restoration but also history, geography, and language.  

For more information on MSSP please go to or email Kelly Lawhorn 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?).

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!

To find out more visit or contact Cassie Doty at

Professional Development Opportunities

Maryland Water Monitoring Council Annual Conference
November 21
The Maritime Institute, North Linthicum, MD
This year’s conference will highlight the advances in monitoring, improvements in methods and equipment, technological innovations, and environmental trends. Possible themed sessions include Stream Restoration Effectiveness Monitoring, Water Quality Trends in Chesapeake Bay, Freshwater Streams, and Coastal Bays, Columbia as an Early Attempt at Sustainable Development, Fish Kills, Maryland’s Coldwater Fishes, and Volunteer Monitoring.

Please see the website for more details

Image of Agriculture: Ag Evolution, Food Revolution
December 3
Ellicott City, MD

The Image of Agriculture Symposium is an all day event with several sessions. The goal of the symposium is to reach out to consumers and groups that are interested in where their food comes from and present the story of the totality of agriculture in Maryland.

Please see the website for details.  Registration closes soon!

WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands
December 10
Environmental Concern's Waterfront Wetland Learning Center, St Michaels, MD
These courses are designed for formal and non-formal educators who are interested in learning more about wetlands, and who would like to bring the excitement of wetland education into their classroom. 

Please see the website for more details

30th Anniversary MAEOE Conference
February 5-8, 2015
Princess Royale, Ocean City, MD
For the 30th Anniversary Conference, MAEOE will be featuring new and old workshops, internet curricular tools, our Keynote speaker Dr. J Drew Lanham and more.  The registration guide and sessions are now available.  Scholarships, carpooling, and our green initiatives can also be viewed on the website.

Please see the website for more details

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

 November/December 2014

In This Issue

The 2014/2015 Green School Year
MAEOE's Featured School: Independence School Local1
Monarch Sister Schools Program
November/December EnviroTip
2014 Green Ribbon Schools
MASS FieldScope
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.





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.

November/December EnviroTip


The holidays are just around the corner so we have some gift ideas for how to make your holiday season a little more environmentally friendly.
-Consider wrapping gifts in old newspaper, maps or sheet music.  Old paper is also a good substitute for packaging peanuts. 
-Give home-baked goodies in reusable containers like baskets, tins or jars
-Give non-materialistic "green" gifts that do not require wrapping, such as gift cards for massages, to restaurants, cooking classes, sailing lessons, etc. Experiences are remembered long after other presents wear out.
- Make a charitable donation in the recipient's name or give a membership to a museum, environmental or other non-profit organization.
- Give a compost bin, can crusher, rain barrel, house plant or bird feeder.

See these examples and more at the North Carolina DPPEA website

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

The Audubon Society of Central Maryland Garden Grants
Deadline: December 15, 2014
The Audubon Society of Central Maryland offers cash grants to schools and other organizations in their area. These grants helped primary and secondary school students to develop native plant and wildlife gardens and habitats at their schools and other locations.  Please go to to download more information about the 2014-2015 grant program

Sow It Forward Garden Grants
Deadline: January 9, 2015

Sow It Forward is the grants and partnership program of Kitchen Gardeners International. The grant is for nonprofit causes or organizations (schools, 501c3s, food banks, community gardens, colleges, libraries, prisons, senior programs, etc.) interested in starting or expanding food garden projects that are of general benefit to their community.

Chesapeake Bay Trust Environmental Education K-12 Mini Grant
Deadline: January 16, 2015

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.

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.
Deadline: N/A

" 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
Deadline: N/A

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 kelly@monarchsisterschools.orgFind out more here.

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

Contests and Awards

Robert Finton Award
Every year at the MAEOE Conference, an outstanding environmental educator is awarded the Robert Finton Award.  Nominations are due in Mid December.  Nominate an outstanding teacher today! Click Here.

2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest 
The Endangered Species Coalition (ESC) is pleased to announce their 2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest, which is open to students in grades K-12. The contest is an integral part of the 10th Annual National Endangered Species Day on May 15, 2015. For more information on the contest, including an art lesson plan for teachers and other resources, please visit, 

2015 Young Reporters for the Environment
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! 

World of 7 Billion Video Contest
The contest is open to all high school students worldwide and the deadline for submissions is February 19th, 2015.All videos must include a) how population growth impacts the issue, b) why the issue is important, and c) at least one idea for a sustainable solution. 

Chesapeake Bay Trust Student of the Year Award 
Awarded to a Maryland high school or college student who motivates and inspires others and participates in efforts to improve the local environment and/or community. The winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship award. Nominate here.

Chesapeake Bay Trust Arthur Dorman Scholarship 
Recognizes a Maryland high school or college student of color who motivates and inspires others and participates in efforts to improve the local environment and/or the community. The winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship award. Nominate here.

Questions or comments?

Call MAEOE at 443-733-1220

Laura Collard
Executive Director

Gabrielle Cantor
Program Administrator

Anita Ilonze
Volunteer Maryland Coordinator


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