The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) has announced that St. John the Evangelist School has been certified as a 2021 Maryland Green School. Maryland Green Schools are part of a national and international community of sustainable green schools. These students are becoming better stewards of Earth’s resources and developing a better understanding of their own local environment. There are 672 active Maryland Green Schools, which account for 36% of all Maryland schools.
St. John the Evangelist and 69 other schools have saved 36,369 gallons of water; reduced energy use by 7.3 million kilowatt hours; prevented waste from going to a landfill by recycling 721,449 pounds of material; created 16,070 square feet of natural habitat; planted 1,347 native plants, including shrubs and trees; and cleaned 38,470 square feet of streambanks to protect our water quality.
St. John has demonstrated and documented a continuous effort to integrate sustainable environmental management practices, environmental education curriculum, professional development opportunities, and community engagement into daily operations. This award signifies that the school has made a commitment to developing stewards of the Earth and reducing the environmental impact of its school.
This year, outdoor classrooms have become part of a prevention strategy for keeping students and staff healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 cohort of schools installed 81 new outdoor classrooms, and teachers and students used the outdoor classroom 4,246 times.
“Our Maryland Green Schools are using the school grounds as an extension of the classroom,” said Laura Johnson Collard, MAEOE executive director. “The Centers for Disease Control continues to urge us to spend time outside of buildings to stay healthy.”
Maryland Green Schools communities, including teachers, staff and students, have worked to create a healthy and sustainable environment for everyone. During the global COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland Green Schools students have shared their passion for the environment with their families. Students have reported spending time with their families — recycling, planting vegetables and native plants, and being more mindful of turning off unnecessary lights.
MAEOE and the Maryland Green School community will celebrate virtually in May and June to recognize awardees.