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Secretary’s Message: July 2017

Teaching the Next Generation of Stewards

Speaking at the 2017 Maryland Green Schools Youth Summit at Sandy Point State Park

School may be out for summer, but education is always a priority for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. One of the great pleasures of my work is seeing the knowledge and passion about our state’s natural bounty pass from one generation to the next.

In late June, I was proud to sign a new agreement with Morgan State University, a doctoral public urban research university in Baltimore City, to promote collaborative research, community outreach, economic development and opportunity, and workforce training.

Through this agreement the department will provide more opportunities for Morgan State University students through apprenticeship, fellowship or internship programs focused in the fields of construction, engineering, green infrastructure, information technology, science and more.

This unique partnership will directly aid ongoing restoration efforts throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. By leveraging the academic prowess and deep-rooted relationships Morgan has crafted with the practical expertise and knowledge of our staff, we will be able to reach more citizens and communities and connect them with our ongoing projects.

Also in June, Governor Larry Hogan renewed our commitment to environmental education and literacy by signing an executive order to establish Project Green Classrooms, a statewide initiative to promote outdoor experiential activities and environmental education through Maryland’s schools, communities and public lands.

This exciting initiative fits well into our mission to enhance public access to all to our state’s natural beauty. At the same time, we will help foster knowledge, interest, and understanding among our young people to better sustain and value those resources.

This month we host our Natural Resources Careers Camp, a weeklong program at Hickory Environmental Education Center to help high school students make well-informed decisions about potential careers in the various fields of managing natural resources. The camp culminates with the students developing and presenting a forest management plan.

These are such a few of the ways we are developing the next generation of stewards for Maryland’s precious natural resources. On behalf of all of us at the department, I hope you’re having a safe, enjoyable – and yes, educational – summer vacation.