Forever Maryland, the oldest program of the Maryland Environmental Trust, has announced the award of 31 grants, worth a total of $92,000, to support environmental education, community cleanup, and beautification projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful program. The grants, funded by Forever Maryland, the Maryland Environmental Trust, and the Maryland Department of Transportation, are administered by Forever Maryland.
“Since its inception, the Keep Maryland Beautiful grants program has awarded grants to engaged citizens and land trusts that are developing innovative solutions to local environmental problems,” said Forever Maryland President Wendy Stringfellow. “I’ve been involved with this rewarding program for the past decade, and have seen its enormous impact. Thank you to the sponsors and the awardees for your contributions to Maryland!”
The grants, which demonstrate the power of partnership, were awarded to schools, nonprofit groups, municipalities, and land trusts in 12 counties and Baltimore City. Many of the grants focus on developing and supporting communities, families, youth, and students who take personal responsibility for the health of their communities, protecting nature in their backyards, and seeking ways to help reduce or resolve environmental challenges.
“The Keep Maryland Beautiful Program builds a strong partnership between our communities and state, in our shared goals of cleaner water and access to green space for all Marylanders,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz. “Funding these efforts also increases stewardship in every corner of Maryland.”
This year’s awards included one Aileen Hughes award totaling $5,000, 21 Citizen Stewardship awards totaling $37,000, and nine Janice Hollmann Grant awards totaling $50,000. The Aileen Hughes award is given to an individual representing a Maryland land trust for outstanding leadership, partnership, and innovation in a conservation project. The Citizen Stewardship grants are awarded to schools, nonprofits, and other community organizations whose missions are centered upon directly engaging community members in environmental education and stewardship. These grants also support organizations that demonstrate active engagement as defenders of the environment by developing innovative solutions to local environmental problems. The Janice Hollmann Grant awards are given to Maryland land trusts to increase capacity, support community programming and innovation, and foster stronger, better connected land trusts.
2023 recipients of Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants include organizations from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, St. Mary’s, Talbot, and Washington Counties. Some of the recipients include the Baltimore Green Space – A Land Trust for Community Managed Open Space Inc., Gwynn Oak Community Association, Greenwell Foundation, and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.
“The Maryland Department of Transportation is proud to join with other state agencies, schools, nonprofits, and individual citizens to protect and enhance our state’s natural beauty and inspire a passion for environmental stewardship in future generations,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld.
More information on the grants is available online.