The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced $160,000 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 2022.
- Pickering Creek Audubon Center and Talbot County Public Schools will provide a 7th grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) focused on ecosystem biodiversity and community-based action projects.
- The Alice Ferguson Foundation and Charles County Public Schools will expand the third grade MWEE to facilitate outdoor watershed investigations focused on waste and litter with 2,000 third graders in 22 schools as part of Charles County’s environmental literacy plan.
- Prince George’s County Public Schools will continue the successful Wild Rice and the Changing Landscape of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed ongoing seventh grade MWEE for students focused on growth, maintenance, data collection, and restoration plantings of wild rice in the Patuxent River watershed.
Outdoor education funding is made possible from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant.
To streamline the grant application and management process, the department has created the Grants Gateway to provide a single entry point for grantees, and assures access to funding for innovative, local projects. In addition to ease of use for applicants, the gateway provides the department an integrated grant-management system to monitor sources, manage data, and ensure grants are consistent with the department’s strategic priorities.
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. By adding increased efficiency to the process, the department hopes to encourage more entities to develop comprehensive and integrated projects across Maryland.