Governor O’Malley Proclaims April Environmental Education Month In Maryland

Students sort and identify aquatic insects seined from the Patapsco River, using them as clues to the health of the stream.

Annapolis, Md. (April 10, 2012) — Governor Martin O’Malley has proclaimed April Environmental Education Month in Maryland in recognition of public and private efforts to help children connect with and learn about their natural world.

“Maryland has become a national leader in quality public education, and environmental literacy has become a vital tool to help us build a better future for our children,” said Governor O’Malley. “Working together, we can promote a greater appreciation for our natural resources and help our children learn the value of environmental stewardship.”

Through the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature, Governor O’Malley has made environmental education a priority of his administration. Last year, Maryland became the first state to adopt an environmental literacy graduation requirement, infusing core subjects with lessons about conservation, the Chesapeake Bay, Smart Growth and natural resource management. The State’s commitment to rigorous environmental education ensures Maryland students receive vital exposure to their natural world through the classroom, building a foundation for 21st Century environmental decision making, problem solving and green jobs.

“I applaud Governor O’Malley for highlighting the importance of environmental education,” said Interim State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Bernard J. Sadusky. “Students need to learn about, make decisions and take actions that preserve and protect the unique natural resources of Maryland, particularly those of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. It’s about preparing our students to use our natural resources wisely throughout their lifetime.”

Environmental lessons integrated into a standard curriculum have a proven positive impact on student achievement in subjects such as reading, math, social studies and science; and involve knowledge and application of economics, geography, writing, and more. Whether fishing, watching birds, swimming or hiking; planting trees, cleaning streams, creating rain gardens or taking part in other stewardship projects, students statewide are applying what they have learned to help create a healthier environment.

To ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards, Governor Martin O’Malley established the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature in 2008. Under the initiative, which is now being used as a national model, the Governor created the Maryland Conservation Jobs Corps and issued the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. The Partnership’s report and recommendations led to an ambitious action plan now in place to implement many new initiatives across the State, involving multiple partners. Central to the work of the Partnership is supporting school systems as they develop their environmental literacy programs, and guiding effective and accessible outdoor learning and recreation for all. A copy of the Governor’s Environmental Education Month Proclamation is located here.

Additional information on environmental education and outdoor activities is available at dnr.maryland.gov/CIN

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   April 10, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office | 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million 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 11 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.