Environmentally Active Groups Encouraged to Apply for Keep Maryland Beautiful Awards

ANNAPOLIS – The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) is now accepting applications for the Margaret Rosch Jones Award and the Bill James Environmental Grants, offered through the Keep Maryland Beautiful program. The awards recognize nonprofit groups or communities that advance environmental issues or address environmental problems and are funded by the State Highway Administration, a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation.

The Margaret Rosch Jones Award of up to $2,000 is awarded in memory of Margaret Jones, the former executive director of the Keep Maryland Beautiful program. The award is presented annually to nonprofit organizations or volunteer groups that make continuing plans for a project that has already demonstrated a basic understanding and resolution of an environmental issue.

Applicants must meet one or both of the following criteria:

* Groups that have been active in educating their community about local or statewide environmental concerns such as litter prevention, community beautification or water quality.

* Groups that have been successful in eliminating or reducing the causes of a local environmental problem rather than only addressing the symptoms.

The Bill James Environmental Grants of up to $1,000 are awarded to school groups, science and ecology clubs and other nonprofit youth groups for proposed environmental education projects. The Bill James Environmental Grants are given in memory of William S. James, who drafted the legislation to create MET, incorporating the activities of the Governor's Committee to Keep Maryland Beautiful.

The objectives of the grants are to:

* Encourage a sense of stewardship and personal responsibility for the environment;
* Stimulate a better understanding of environmental issues;
* Aid in the elimination or reduction of a local environmental problem; and
* Encourage education about growth management - protection of rural areas and sensitive resources while discouraging sprawl development.

Applications may be downloaded from http://www.dnr.state.md.us/met/keepmd or obtained from the Maryland Environmental Trust, First Floor, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD, 21032-2023. Completed applications must be received by March 31.

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