Schools and nonprofit educational programs in four different counties have received grants from the Maryland Department of Nature Resources to develop and teach watershed education.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded a total of $128,000 for “student and youth outdoor science, and watershed education in the state.” The grants were applied for and managed through the DNR Grants Gateway.
A press release explained the goals of the grant series:
Through the improved connections across similar grant programs, the department seeks to support more comprehensive and integrated projects that achieve at least one of the following outcomes: fostering healthy ecosystems, building resiliency, or providing outdoor learning experiences.
The following schools and nonprofit organizations will receive funding during Fiscal 2023:
- Caroline County: Adkins Arboretum, ShoreRivers, and Caroline County Public Schools will engage second grade students in the “Bees, Seeds, and Healthy Streams” field experience at the Arboretum. Through an outdoor issue investigation, students will discover how can native plants, pollinators, and people interact to create thriving land and water habitats.
- Prince George’s County: The Accokeek Foundation and Prince George’s County Public Schools will help students learn about the perspective of Indigenous communities and the interconnectedness of the environment, cultural preservation, land and water rights, tribal sovereignty, stewardship of ancestral homelands, and Indigenous stewardship ethics.
- Baltimore City: Living Classrooms Foundation will engage 500 students from five Baltimore City Public Schools in the School Leadership in Urban Runoff Reduction Project. This project-based learning experience centers on preventing stormwater runoff pollution through six hands-on environmental education experiences during the school year.
- Charles County: A $9,995 grant was awarded to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science(UMCES) to train educators on the “Wave of Plastic” curriculum in the eight public middle schools in Charles County. This curriculum engages students in the issues of plastic pollution and culminates in student-driven, informed action projects. This grant is funded by the National Coastal Zone Management Program, and was a special marine debris focus area offered in this year’s grant solicitation.
Outdoor education funding is from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant.