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Maryland Supports Hands-on Learning about Nature
News Release, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
The State of Maryland once again recognizes April as Environmental Education Month in Maryland, in recognition of public and private efforts to help children experience and learn about their natural world. This year’s proclamation also recognizes this year as the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which is April 22.
“Maryland has established itself as a leader in environmental education both regionally and nationally,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “Outdoor experiences and environmental education are integral parts of a world-class education, prepare our students for a variety of careers, and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.”
Although schools are temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, learning continues in homes and via online resources. During this time, some limited, close-to-home outdoor activity is encouraged as long as everyone practices social distancing and other safe outdoor practices.
Virtual and at-home learning opportunities are available from the Bay Backpack initiative. These resources are provided by a strong network of Maryland educators who are dedicated to environmental education. They are now adapting their work to keep children connected virtually, and they will continue working with schools upon the return to normal activities.
Partners in the Maryland Project Green Classrooms Initiative, led by the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, also continue working together to support schools in meeting academic standards and to achieve Maryland’s Environmental Literacy commitments under the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.