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MET Awards $34,054 in Grants

H. Jay Plager (L), Treasurer of the MET Board of Trustees, and Ken Oldham (R), Chief of SHA Landscape Operations, present the Janice Hollmann Award to Elmina Hilsenrath, Board member of the Howard Co. Conservancy.

MET Treasurer Jay Plager (L) and Ken Oldham (R), Chief of SHA Landscape Operations, present the Hollmann Award to Elmina Hilsenrath of the Howard Co. Conservancy

Announces recipients of Keep Maryland Beautiful and Jan Hollmann

The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) awarded $34,054 in grants to school groups and land trusts for State health, beautification and stewardship projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful and Jan Hollmann programs.

As part of Keep Maryland Beautiful, MET offers two types of grants annually ─ the Margaret Rosch Jones and Bill James Environmental Education awards. The program provided $12,500 this year to nonprofit organizations and schools for environmental education and on-the-ground projects to enhance and maintain the State’s health and appearance. The Maryland State Highway Administration provides matching funding for these grants and awards.

The Margaret Rosch Jones Award is given in honor of the first executive director of the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program. This year’s recipients are: Calvert Marine Museum to create small, floating islands to facilitate nutrient removal; History Society of Maryland to establish a community naturalist network; Northern Garrett High School to continue work on the Cove Run Brook Trout Restoration Project; It’s About the Kids Educational Organization to help children in homeless shelters; and Anne Arundel County Watershed Steward Academy to fund Watershed Steward Candidate Capstone Project.

The Bill James Environmental Grant is given in memory of Senate President William S. James who drafted legislation creating MET and incorporated the activities of the Governor’s Committee to Keep Maryland Beautiful. The awardees are: Porter Fieldhouse Foundation for middle and high school students to learn about and participate in park restoration; South River Foundation to fund Boys/Girls Club plantings and recycling activities; Grasonville Elementary School to convert open courtyard into environmental education space; Gaywood Elementary School for Rain garden project/living classroom; The GreenMount School to build and install a water table and purchase water science kits; Living Classrooms Foundation for an environmental education festival; Mary E. Moss Academy for students to cultivate, plant and harvest their own crops; Matapeake Elementary School for offsite learning at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center and student visits to the wildlife preserve; Mountain Laurel Garden Club for an outdoor education program for students in pre-K to 12th grade to design and plant native species; St. Anne’s School of Annapolis to create rain and vegetable gardens; Battle Creek Nature Education Society for an assessment of existing trails with recommendations for improvements; Carter G. Woodson Elementary School to design a rain garden and incorporate students in the design and maintenance phases; Hereford High School to create a bluebird habitat; Nantucket Elementary School for outdoor education programs; Rock View Elementary School (PTA) to create an outdoor classroom for environmental studies; and St. Martins-in-the-Field Episcopal School to create an organic garden to demonstrate to students how their salad begins with plantings.

Many of the grants will provide the opportunity for young people to learn about the principals of sustainable gardening and encourage a sense of stewardship and personal responsibility for their natural world, stimulate a better understanding of environmental issues, help reduce or eliminate a related problem, and encourage the protection of rural areas and sensitive resources.

The Jan Hollmann Grant is awarded annually to selected land trusts to support their conservation, outreach and stewardship programs. It is named in memory of Hollmann, cofounder of the Severn River Land Trust and the Arundel Conservation Trust, and member of the Severn River Commission.

Through the grant program, The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) provided matching funding totaling $21,554 this year to five land trusts ─ Baltimore Green Space, Conservancy for Charles County, Howard County Conservancy, Lower Shore Land Trust and NeighborSpace of Baltimore County ─ that represent a cross-section of Maryland’s geographic area. Their projects will work to support and care for community forest patches in Baltimore City; map and guard easement boundaries; create, enhance and sustain preservation and stewardship programs through staff trainings.

“SHA is committed to maintaining the scenic beauty of the State of Maryland and working with various groups to educate and encourage the citizens of Maryland concerning environmental protection,” said SHA Environmental Director Sonal Sanghavi.

More information on the Maryland Environmental Trust is available at