On June 6, 2013, St. Mary’s County Public Schools held a Green School Celebration (Celebration) at Myrtle Point Park. The Celebration was to recognize the schools that received certification or recertification during the 2013 Maryland Green School Awards Program application process through Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE).
MAEOE administers the Maryland Green School Awards Program, which is a holistic, integrated approach to authentic learning that incorporates local environmental issue investigation, professional development with environmental best management practices, and community stewardship. Maryland Green Schools and Centers must be recertified every four years. After three successful recertification’s, a school can be granted the title of Sustained Green School.
During the 2013 application process, one school and one center were certified, bringing our total amount of certified schools to 20 out of 27 and two certified centers, for a total of 22 certified facilities. The schools participating in the Celebration included:
• Park Hall Elementary School (new certification)
• Benjamin Banneker Elementary School (second certification)
• Chesapeake Public Charter School (second certification)
• Piney Point Elementary School (second certification)
• White Marsh Elementary School (second certification)
The celebration included five stations the schools rotated through, followed by lunch, and an awards ceremony. Station one was the Clearwater Nature Center where the students saw live animals including a turtle, snake, and birds of prey. At station two, local master gardeners presented information on schoolyard habitats and determined the students were Superhero’s “using special powers to help save the world.” During station three, the students learned about water conservation and through teamwork built a structure out of new and recycled materials to move as much water as possible along a six-foot table. Station four covered the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling. It also included a recycled art project that students completed. At station five, students learned how we impact the quality of water with our actions by participating in a fictional story about a stream that could be in their back yards.&