ANNAPOLIS (May 08, 2008)—A record number of schools in Maryland are "Going Green" in 2008, according to the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE). The organization, whose mission is to promote excellence in environmental education, announced today the certification of 36 new "Green Schools," bringing the total number of Maryland Green Schools in the state to 201. Of the 36, 4 are in Calvert County and 1 is in Charles County.
The Maryland Green School program recognizes and supports public and private schools that use their campus and the local environment as a place to learn, model environmental best management practices and work with community partners to enhance learning and stewardship according to Nancy Merrill, MAEOE's Executive. Projects include tree planting, energy and water conservation, erosion control and pollution prevention, recycling, wildlife habitat, storm water management and other significant efforts.
"These schools use the outdoors to provide amazing opportunities for meaningful and applied learning," Merrill said. She added that the "Maryland Green School Awards is the most comprehensive program of its kind in the nation. It promotes both ecologically sustainable practices in the schools and encourages authentic learning."
The four schools in Calvert County that received the new certification are: Northern High School, Patuxent High School, Plum Point Elementary School, and Windy Hill Middle School. The are 5 Calvert schools that were recertified this year: Beach Elementary School, Calvert Country School, Dowell Elementary School, Mill Creek Middle School, and Plum Point Middle School.
Piccowaxen Middle School is the facility in Charles County that received the new certification.
Schools apply to be recognized by the program and must document how they incorporate the environment into their instruction and detail their sustainable landscaping and building operations. The certification last for three school years.
"It is not only green education, but it is good education," said Merrill. She noted that Green Schools have statistically significant higher state test scores, than non-green schools with similar socio-economic characteristics, according to a recent study.
"I continue to be impressed by the level of commitment shown by Maryland students, and their schools, to environmental education," said Dr. Nancy Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools. "The department is proud of their efforts and is thrilled that each year more schools become a Green School."