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Giving Thanks!

The leaves are finally falling after turning brilliant red/purple, glowing orange, and golden yellow. It's an amazing process from being green and photosynthesizing to then finally decomposing as the cycle of life continues. Being a Green School and Green Center, we are continuing the sustainable practices to power our cycle of life!

Autumn has been incredibly busy with staff sharing the Maryland Green Schools and Green Centers programs throughout Maryland and nationally. We would like to thank the centers who provided space and resources for us to hold the Maryland Green Schools Information sessions and these are: Adkins Arboretum, Anita C. Leight Estuary Center, Carroll County Outdoor School, Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor School, Fountain Rock Nature Center, Nanjemoy Creek Environmental Education Center, and The Ward Museum. Oregon Ridge Nature Center also provided a wonderful space to hold our annual Maryland Green Center meeting in September. Baltimore County Public Schools, Prince George's County Public Schools, and the Archdiocese of Baltimore also invited us to participate in their professional development for teachers. At the NAAEE conference in Spokane during October and the NSTA conference at the National Harbor in November, MAEOE was able to share the success of our state-wide program and other resources with many state affiliates and educators. 

Thank you all for doing such wonderful work on environmental literacy and sustainability! Keep on being GREEN!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! And a wonderful holiday season in December!

Winny Tan, Associate Director

2018-2019 MAEOE Green Schools and Centers Important Dates

Important dates to remember is to register in our “Intent to Apply” system and pay the application fee by December 14, 2018. The cover sheet, summary, and application are due by March 18, 2019. The Metrics are required and should be submitted through the link provided online by March 18, 2019. We will notify schools by Earth Day and hand out Maryland Green Schools awards on May 30, 2019 at Sandy Point State Park.

December 14, 2018: Deadline for the Intent to Apply Form and Fee 
February 9, 2019: MAEOE Conference- last session on Saturday for application review. Applications can be partially or fully completed for feedback. 
March 18, 2019: Application and Metrics Deadline
May 30, 2019: MAEOE Youth Summit and Green School Awards Ceremony


Mentor Training
December 1, 2018
9am - 4pm
Ward Museum, Salisbury MD

The YEAS Mentor Training supports student-driven environmental action projects. The training will provide mentors with access to information and resources about local environmental issues, partners to connect with, and methods for ensuring that youth voice is at the core of projects. At the completion of the training, Mentors are eligible for a $150 stipend and 1 CPD credit.

The link to register for the training and to learn more about the summit is:   www.yeasummit.org/mentors. One thing to note is that this is targeted at teachers, educators, community leaders in Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset counties but others are welcome.
The big dates are Saturday, December 1st = the mentor training and Friday, April 5th = the Summit itself!

WILD at Schools!!

**11/27/18 Update from MD DNR: This program is not available at this time.

The Wildlife and Heritage Service in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is launching a series of free classroom based programs for elementary schools. Here is the website: http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/Education/Wild-at-School.aspx

The programs have been written to NGSS specifically for each grade (with input from teachers and county outdoor education coordinators). The hands-on programs teach about Maryland wildlife and include outdoor components whenever possible such as investigating whether the school yard would provide a suitable habitat for that animal.

Each program has a minimum and maximum class size but, depending on availability, multiple programs may be scheduled during one visit. The time required is dependent on whether the optional outdoor exploration component is included.

To schedule a WILD at School program, please complete the request forms here: WILD at Schools request form. Please note: a submitting a request does not guarantee a program, but we will try our best to accommodate your group. For more details or to become a WILD at Schools volunteer, please contact the program coordinator, Clare Walker, at clare.walker@maryland.gov or 410-260-8535. Book early! Spots are limited.

Meets MDGS Obj. 1.1 Environmental Issue Instruction & Obj. 3.1 Community Partnerships


2019 MAEOE Conference
Early Bird Registration is now OPEN until January 4, 2019. 
For more information or to register, visit the MAEOE Conference webpage.

MAEOE members receive special savings! To join or renew, visit maeoe.org/join

Organizational members need to contact MAEOE 2 weeks in advance to set up the group memberships before each individual can register for the conference. To the the early bird rate, this must be done by mid-December.


Student STEAM Model Exhibit

Students PreK-12 are invited to submit models (artwork, sculptures, prototypes, or capstone posters) to be displayed at the 34th annual MAEOE Conference in Towson MD. Work will be displayed from February 6-10, 2019. The model should address the theme of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math) in the natural environment.  

What: Students are invited to submit models, no more than 5lbs, that will fit on a 12” x 12” platform pedestal or projects/posters that can be hung on an art display panel.

How to participate: Students or teachers should fill out the intent to participate form with model details by December 15, 2018. Confirmation and details will be sent after deadline.

Where: Sheraton North Towson 903 Dulaney Valley Rd, Towson, MD 21204

When: February 6-10, 2019 (Drop off February 6th, Pick up February 10th)

Model Drop off:  Work should be dropped off on February 6, 2019, at the Sheraton lobby from 3 PM - 8 PM.

Model Pick up:  Work can be picked up between 4 PM & 6 PM on Saturday, February 9 and 9 AM - 12 PM on February 10th. Artwork not picked up by the deadline may be recycled.

Note:  Participating schools in Southern Maryland (Calvert, Charles, St Mary’s and Prince George’s County) may coordinate model drop off and pick up with Rhonda Scott at the William S. Schmidt Outdoor Education Center.

For more information on the MAEOE conference: www.maeoe.org


STEM Family Fair

New for MAEOE, our Conference will kick off with a STEAM focused event for anyone to attend on Friday, February 8, 2019 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Our Conference Opening Speaker will share some highlights from his experience teaching with games and interactive technologies. The rest of the evening will be a series of drop-in events that give participants an opportunity to collaborate with one another to solve engineering and design tasks.

Free for all registered Conference attendees. Bring your family and friends. There is a small fee for guests, $5 person or $20 for a family or group up to 6 people. The STEAM Fair will be held in the Fitzgerald Ballroom.

Did you know...? Resources for Teachers:

Schools play an important role in protecting children from the health hazards of idling engines. The Maryland Department of the Environment, in cooperation with the Maryland State Department of Education, has created the Idle Free MD Schools program and outreach campaign to assist Maryland schools in the implementation of idle-free zones on their campuses to keep students, staff and parents breathing cleaner air.

The materials that have been developed for teachers and schools cover such topics as how to talk about engine idling with others, creating an idle reduction policy, encouraging participation, and getting started implementing the program.

The program includes a step-by-step guide for schools on implementing an idle free zone, information for parents, and a toolkit with downloadable pledges, posters, fact sheets, signs and more that can help you with starting or restarting your program.  More information on Idle Free MD can be found by visiting mde.maryland.gov/IdleFreeMD. MDE will be recognizing efforts to be Idle Free Schools online and have items to display around the campus to show your commitment to clean air, such as metal signs and window decals.


 To get started, first notify the MDE by filling out a two-         question survey, which asks if you currently have an idling   program at your school, and whether you wish to participate.   You can access the form here. For more information, or if you
  can’t link to the survey, please contact Michael Stricker at
  (410) 537-3267 or michael.stricker@maryland.gov.

MD Department of Natural Resources'
Wildlife Educational Trunks

Bring the outside into your classroom with these unique hands-on, interdisciplinary teaching tools. These education trunks are designed to educate students while building on fundamental disciplines like math, art, social studies, science, language arts and physical education. 

Education Trunks are available free to educators in Maryland for a one to two week period, depending on availability. For more information, click here.

Free school programs too! Check out MD DNR's education website!

November/December 2018

leave the leaves

In This Issue

2018-2019 Green School Dates
Youth Environmental Action Summit
School Tip: Leave the Leaves
WILD Program Opportunities
MAEOE Conference
STEAM Fair at Conference
Did you know? Resources for Teachers

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.



Tip of the Month: Leave the Leaves

Leaves provide shelter for many wild animals in the winter. Leaf litter is important for turtles, frogs, insects and small mammals. Many pollinators like butterflies overwinter as pupae in leaf litter. 

By not raking or bagging up leaf piles, you are protecting many creatures and making a better environment as composted leaves provide nourishment to the soil. You are saving time and the environment. Leaves also provide a natural mulch to suppress weeds in gardens. Plus, it's free! 

To provide a good habitat, leaf layers should be about 2 inches thick. For lawns and schoolyards, a thin layer still has benefits all around. Pile the rest of the leaves in garden beds, around bushes and trees or on the property edges and corners.  

For more tips, check out this Xerces Society blog


Eco - Schools USA
As the new school year gets underway, Eco-Schools USA would like to introduce a new pathway, WOW, Watersheds, Oceans and Wetlands. Developed not only to support the 40% of our population that calls the coastline of the United States their home, but to address the growing need for conservation stewardship and a systems thinking approach to our current and future water problems.
For more information on this pathway:

Green School/Center Application Reviewers

Are you interested in reviewing application for the 2019 new and recertifying Maryland Green School or Center?

No experience is needed!   

Sign-up and we will contact you with info and dates!

MDGS Application Reviewers Sign-Up


MAEOE Conference Help Needed!
Before and During!


Robert Finton Award

The MAEOE Robert Finton Outdoor Educator of the Year Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates leadership and innovation in environmental and outdoor education. Bob Finton personified enthusiasm, innovation and excellence in the field of environmental education. This award honors his memory by rewarding the efforts of those who strive for these qualities.

Nominations are due by 5 PM on December 7, 2018 and will be award will be announced at the MAEOE Conference in February.
Click here for more info!

finton award 2

PLT Corner

Looking to connect with middle and high school students using technology? Check out these 12 apps focusing on topics such as climate change, trees, conservation, and weather, which complement Project Learning Tree’s lesson plans! 


 ***Is your school or center doing Green Activities that you would like to share? Send a write up of 200 words and a few pictures to 
greenschools@maeoe.org and your activities could be featured in the next newsletter.***

And connect your posts to @MAEOE_MD on Facebook and Twitter!

Questions or comments?

Office Phone: 410-290-6226

Laura Johnson Collard
Executive Director


Winny Tan
Associate Director


Cora Potter
Administrative Associate


Beth Decker
PLT Coordinator


Thanks to our following sponsors
for their generosity:

fall 2018 sponsors


Cvent - Web-based Software Solutions