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DNR Awards Outdoor Environmental Education Grants for Watershed Studies

Funding Supports Projects Fostering Science and Stewardship

Photo of boy and girl at a streamside education project

Maryland DNR photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced $128,000 in awards for student and youth outdoor science, and watershed education in the state. The following schools and nonprofit organizations will receive funding during Fiscal Year 2023.

  • Adkins Arboretum, ShoreRivers, and Caroline County Public Schools will engage second grade students in the “Bees, Seeds, and Healthy Streams” field experience at the Arboretum. Through an outdoor issue investigation, students will discover how can native plants, pollinators, and people interact to create thriving land and water habitats.
  • The Accokeek Foundation and Prince George’s County Public Schools will help students learn about the perspective of Indigenous communities and the interconnectedness of the environment, cultural preservation, land and water rights, tribal sovereignty, stewardship of ancestral homelands, and Indigenous stewardship ethics.
  • Living Classrooms Foundation will engage 500 students from five Baltimore City Public Schools in the School Leadership in Urban Runoff Reduction Project. This project-based learning experience centers on preventing stormwater runoff pollution through six hands-on environmental education experiences during the school year.

Outdoor education funding is made possible from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant.

An additional $9,995 grant was awarded to the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) to train educators on the “Wave of Plastic” curriculum in the eight public middle schools in Charles County. This curriculum engages students in the issues of plastic pollution and culminates in student-driven, informed action projects. This grant is funded by the National Coastal Zone Management Program, and was a special marine debris focus area offered in this year’s grant solicitation. 

These grants were applied for and managed through the DNR Grants Gateway to provide a single entry point for grantees, and assures access to funding for innovative, local projects. Through the improved connections across similar grant programs, the department seeks to support more comprehensive and integrated projects that achieve at least one of the following outcomes: fostering healthy ecosystems, building resiliency, or providing outdoor learning experiences.