Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS) has become the first school district in Maryland to reach the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) 100% Sustainable Green Schools distinction for the 2022-2023 school year. All CCPS schools are participating in the Maryland Green Schools program.
MAEOE’s executive director, Laura Johnson Collard, praised the achievement, stating that “young people are increasingly aware of climate change and how their actions impact the community, we can learn from their commitment to making a difference.”
Seven CCPS schools have recertified this year, with two achieving Sustainable School status: Barstow Elementary School and Southern Middle School. Five other schools, Calvert Country School, Calvert Elementary School, Dowell Elementary School, Patuxent-Appeal Elementary School, and Plum Point Middle School, have achieved MAEOE’s Sustainable Bronze level for participating in the program for 20 years.
The Maryland Green Schools designation is given to schools that have demonstrated a continuous effort to integrate sustainable environmental management practices, environmental education curriculum, professional development opportunities, and community engagement into their daily operations.
CCPS Superintendent Dr. Andraé Townsel shared that “The Green Schools program provides our students opportunities for outdoor instruction and hands-on learning. Our students are learning how to be good stewards of our natural resources and developing a better understanding of our local environment. This achievement also reflects our District’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our schools.”
Student and staff involvement in the program includes recycling, planting vegetable gardens and native plants, understanding the importance of conservations, and taking measures to conserve energy and other natural resources.
The Maryland Green Schools program was established in 1999, and currently, 36% of all Maryland schools are active participants, with 642 Maryland Green Schools. MAEOE will celebrate with Green Schools at the Annual Maryland Green School Youth Summit on May 18, 2023, at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis.
To learn more about MAEOE and view a complete listing of Green Schools and Green Centers, visit www.maeoe.org.