News from the DNR Office of Communications

Organizations Recognized With Keep Maryland Beautiful Awards

Groups Honored For Addressing Environmental Issues in their Communities

Annapolis, MD - The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) recently announced recipients of the Margaret Rosch Jones Award and the Bill James Environmental Grants. These awards recognize nonprofit groups or communities that advance environmental issues and/or address environmental problems.

“I congratulate the recipients of these awards for their outstanding contributions to their communities, especially as the State of Maryland continues to work towards a smarter, greener, more sustainable future,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.

The grants are part of the Keep Maryland Beautiful program, from the MET, and funded by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the State Highway Administration (SHA), a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation.

“MET, together with SHA, is happy to partner and provide these grants to assist the local land trust community who are critical to conserving open space, forest and farms in Maryland,” said MET Director Elizabeth Buxton.

The Margaret Rosch Jones Award is awarded to an ongoing project that has already demonstrated success in solving an environmental issue, whether local or statewide. The Jones award is given in memory of Margaret Jones, the executive director and moving spirit of the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program for many years. The award looks for groups that have been active in educating people in their community about litter prevention, community beautification and local or statewide environmental issue(s) and that have been successful in eliminating or reducing the causes of a local environmental problem.

The 2009 recipients of the Margaret Rosch Jones are Montgomery County Public Schools Outdoor and Environmental Education program, the Greenbrier Garden Club and the Harford Land Trust. Projects include a web guide for building environmentally friendly school gardens, a memorial native plant garden and improving public access to land on Deer Creek in Harford County.

The Bill James Environmental Grants are awarded to nonprofit youth groups for new environmental education projects in their community. The Bill James Environmental Grants are given in memory of William S. James, who worked to create Maryland Environmental Trust in 1967.

Bill James Grants are awarded to Southwest Baltimore Charter School, Baltimore, Assateague Coastal Trust, Berlin, Northbay, Northeast, Jewish Environmental Youth Organization, Owings Mills, St John the Evangelist School, Hydes, Thomas Jefferson Elementary/ Middle School, Baltimore, Volunteer Frederick, Frederick. Projects include providing rain barrels to businesses in Berlin, providing environmental learning service programs, field study guides and environmental learning kits.

A statewide land trust governed by a citizen board of trustees, the Maryland Environmental Trust was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly to preserve privately owned farm and forest lands and significant natural resources. MET is one of the oldest and most successful land trusts in the country. It holds 979 easements and has protected over 120,000 acres across the state. MET promotes the protection of open land through its Land Conservation Program, Monitoring and Stewardship Program and Local Land Trust Assistance Program. MET also provides grants to environmental education projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program. For more information, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/met and www.conservemd.org.


   June 15, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov