The Bill James Environmental Grants

Bill James

Are given in memory of William S. James who drafted legislation to create the Maryland Environmental Trust, incorporating the activities of the Governor's Committee to Keep Maryland Beautiful.


Born in Aberdeen, MD, in 1914, James studied law at the University of Maryland and practiced in Bel Air for 38 years.


As President of the Maryland Senate, Bill James was the principal architect of many of Maryland's most important environmental laws, including the tidal wetlands law, Program Open Space, and agricultural land preservation.


James was a man of vision who will not be forgotten for his contributions to the betterment of Maryland's environment.


The Bill James Environmental Grants of up to $1,000 are for proposed environmental education projects by school groups, science and ecology clubs, and other non-profit youth groups.


The objectives of the grants are:

  1. To encourage a sense of stewardship and personal responsibility for the environment.
  2. To stimulate a better understanding of environmental issues and to aid in the elimination or reduction of a local environmental problem.
  3. To encourage education about growth management - protection of rural areas and sensitive resources and discouragement of sprawling development patterns.


Some of the recipients of this grant have been:

  • Northfield Elementary School Young Gardeners Club (Howard Co.) to fund the publication of activity booklets that would enable the volunteer teachers from Dorsey Hall Garden Club to teach conservation, while maintaining a greenhouse and gardens;
  • Prince George's Beautification Committee (P.G. Co.) to promote tree preservation;
  • Rock Hall Middle School (Kent Co.) in their ongoing efforts to return a backlot dredge spoil fill area to a natural wetland habitat;
  • Maryland Partners in Flight Education Committee and Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, International, to fund their continuing interactive international efforts to educate students about neotropical birds and related environmental issues.


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