Providing young adults with opportunities to gain green career skills and become more engaged through meaningful community service is crucial to the protection and restoration of our environment and natural resources.
The Chesapeake Conservation Corps places young adults with nonprofit organizations or government agencies around the Chesapeake Bay region for a year of service focused on improving local communities and advancing environmental initiatives. This year’s cohort includes two members placed with host organizations in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Corps member Andrew Jones is a graduate of Salisbury University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, receiving a dual degree in biology and environmental science. He was placed with the Town of Edmonston and spent his year increasing green initiatives within the Town.
For his capstone project, Andrew established an after school environmental club at William Wirt Middle School. The club was highly successful, attracting 30 students and engaging them in a variety of rewarding environmental experiences. Students installed a native pollinator garden and a rain garden on campus. They also participated in community clean ups and storm drain stenciling to reduce litter in the community.
Andrew’s fellow Corps member, Kelly Peaks, graduated from Marist College with a degree in environmental science. She was placed with the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland. She spent her year supporting the Center’s initiatives such as the Sustainable Maryland certification program.
For her capstone project, Kelly worked on updating and redesigning the Sustainable Maryland website. The current website was outdated and did not have the most up-to-date information about the program. The Sustainable Maryland program helps municipalities fund green initiatives to improve and revitalize their community. Municipalities may select from a variety of actions to complete in order to achieve certification. Kelly led the development of new actions, updates to current actions, and creation of certification tiers. These updates make the website more user friendly and help to further promote the program. The Environmental Finance Center expects to release the full website update later this year.
Thank you, Andrew and Kelly, for the great work you’ve done this year with your host organizations and in Prince George’s County!
The Chesapeake Bay Trust is excited to celebrate this year’s cohort and welcome next year’s cohort of Chesapeake Conservation Corps members at the upcoming orientation and graduation ceremony in August. Next year’s cohort of Corps members is expected to include four members placed with host organizations in Prince George’s County.