DNRís mission is all about inspiring people, and nowhere
is inspiring people more important than when it comes to
stewardship. The search for inspiration takes DNR educators, and
the lessons of environmental responsibility and ethics they impart,
into the classroom and beyond. Whether in the field or stream,
around the neighborhood or around the house, Marylandís young
people (and adults!) are learning by doing, volunteering, by
committing, and yes, even by having fun!
1 > 2 > Goal 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8
|Innovations In Education: Green School Criteria
- Governor Glendening's Green Schools Program celebrates hands-on environmental education, recognizing schools that use the environment as an integral part of instruction, implement best practices in design and operation, and extend learning into the community through projects that address local environmental issues. Developed in 1998 by a diverse team of educators through a partnership of state agencies, this innovative program has recognized 62 schools toward its goal of 150 by 2005.
- In follow up to the popular 1999 publication Fragile, a citizen's guide to protecting waterways, Maryland's Tributary Team's again enlisted the aid of a powerful partner to get its stewardship message out en masse. With the distribution power of the Baltimore Sun, Picture Maryland - Where Do We Grow from Here? reached more than one million Marylanders during the summer of 2001. This user-friendly guide to growth and its impacts, which has also been distributed to local governments, community organizations and more than 600 classrooms, received a Smart Growth award from Governor Glendening.
- In FY '01, More than 650 Maryland teachers received training through Project WET -- Water Education for Teachers -- and Chesapeake Bay Estuarine Research Reserve program workshops. Along with training, DNR offers grants for Maryland educators to conduct classroom or field projects that restore or enhance aquatic resources.
- Through participation in free training workshops, more than 500 elementary school teachers became certified Project Wild instructors. By teaching students how to think, instead of what to think, Project Wild enhances student learning (K-12) in all skill and subject areas through hands-on activities that fulfill their natural interest in the environment.
- In 2001, more than 10,850 volunteers -- including 157 Volunteer Rangers and 1,578 Community Service workers -- worked in Maryland's state parks; and the number of "Friends" groups expanded to 27.
- Logging 4,226 hours of effort, 31 talented, dedicated volunteers assisted with conducting environmental review and the mapping of Maryland's threatened and endangered species.
- Numerous workshops encouraging citizen participation in key assessment efforts -- such as monitoring submerged aquatic vegetation, amphibians and reptiles, bird banding, fish identification and water quality sampling – were conducted across the state.
- Under the TREE-MENDOUS Maryland program, more than 19,270 volunteers offered nearly 60,780 hours of service toward tree planting, care, maintenance and other related events and projects.
- In the program's third and fourth full years of operation the Natural Resources Police Reserve Officers worked 38,638 hours, improving service to customers and saving approximately $620,000 in salary expenses. In FY '00 and '01, reserve officers assisted with water chestnut eradication, events and exhibits staffing, boating safety equivalency exam administration, patrols and marine sanitation device inspections.
- Each year, the young adults of the Maryland Conservation Corps perform hazardous tree removal, stream assessments, forest and park maintenance, wildfire containment and environmental education. In FY '00 and '01, approximately 40 young adults, 17-25, participated in this Americorps service program, and were trained in arborist certification, wilderness firefighting, cold & swift water rescue, resume development, conflict resolution, diversity sensitivity and money management. Another 30 teens worked on summer crews.
- Under DNR's Curatorship Program individuals live in houses on state property in exchange for restoring them. With 38 current curatorship agreements, the work done by curators during 2000 totaled more than $401,000.
- Non traditional stakeholders are helping scientists learn more about the diamondback terrapin, Maryland's state reptile, a species of concern in recent years. Today, private landowners have voluntarily declared beach nesting sites sanctuaries; commercial crab potters and scrapers are helping collect data on terrapin behavior; and new, mandatory by-catch devices are providing an escape route for terrapins and other air breathers caught in crab pots.
- To give baby terrapins a head start, school groups and citizens oversee egg incubation and hatching, and rear them in a controlled environment before being returned to their natal creeks; and for two years in a row, Governor Glendening has declared a Terrapin Day for Maryland. Since 1999, more than 500 diamondback terrapins have been tagged and released.
- Promoting the importance of fisheries management and habitat restoration among private property owners, the first comprehensive fisheries habitat/erosion mitigation project has been initiated on the Wildfowl Trust property in Grasonville.
Teaching young people outdoor skills, personal safety, and respect for our natural world and wildlife help them learn other life lessons, cultivating team work, helping build self-esteem and fostering respect for human life...
- With more and more people choosing adventure based recreation in more remote areas (see goal 6, Nature Tourism), environmental responsibility at play is more important than ever. Enter Leave No Trace (LNT), a program of outdoor skills and ethics designed to mitigate human impact on our natural world. In FY '01, key personnel were certified as master LNT trainers and materials have been distributed to vendors and staff throughout the State Forest and Park Service (SFPS).
- To encourage park visitors to be more responsible for themselves and their children when they visit parks, a new Play Safe! campaign -- focusing on safe boating, swimming and sun exposure – was launched with corporate sponsorship from Sunny's Great Outdoors.
- The award-winning Becoming an Outdoors Women workshops hosted 230 participants in 2001. This international program, which teaches introductory fishing and hunting skills, and other outdoor activities in a supportive and non-threatening atmosphere, is enjoyed by 10,000 women each year.
- Providing an exciting outdoor living experience, 1,200 young people participated in FY '00 and '01 Outdoor Discovery multi-adventure and extreme camps. Programming emphasizes development of an outdoor ethic, cooperation among campers and high self-esteem.
- Scales & Tales -- a program that uses live, unreleasable birds of prey and reptiles to promote stewardship of our wildlife and other natural resources – reached 200,000 people in 1,790 programming hours during FY '01.
- Through Rangers At Heart, staff at each state park provided programs for an "adopted" school and health care facility in their community.
- Turning negatives into positives, 1,300 natural resource violations provided opportunities for Maryland's SFPS Rangers to educate the public about natural resource stewardship.
- Each year, more than 6,000 Maryland children participate in Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs, a program that teaches young people fishing skills and environmental ethics as an alternative to at risk behaviors.
- Approximately 2,500 young people participate in Junior Rangers, an exciting opportunity for young people aged 8 to 14 to learn more about state parks.
"The conservationist's most important task, if we are to save the earth, is to educate."
Peter Scott, Founder Chairman
World Wildlife Federation