Environmental Education Grant Program

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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“We used to have to convince students that climate change is happening, now we have to convince students that there are things they can do to make a positive difference. The ability for students to get their hands dirty doing something that makes a difference right here at school matters. The program fit well into our curriculum – we worked hard to illustrate that humans have changed the environment, for good and for bad, and now students have a chance to give a little back.”

Matt Love, Colonel Richardson High School

What this funds: The Environmental Education Grant Program funds programs and initiatives that advance environmental literacy and result in students having the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and motivation to take informed and responsible actions to protect and improve the environment.

Who can apply: Maryland school districts, nonprofit organizations, public agencies, higher education institutions, community associations, and more. See RFP for full list.

Project Types and Funding Availability: The Trust has made available $300,000 for this grant program in Fiscal Year 2022. Individual applications may be submitted for amounts detailed below. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Trust staff to discuss proposals prior to the deadline and determine which funding level is most appropriate for your project idea.

  • Track 1 Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) Implementation: Applicants may request up to $40,000 per year for up to three years for projects that focus on piloting (one-year requests) or embedding systemic (multiyear requests) MWEEs into school district’s curriculum. The MWEE model integrates best practices of environmental education pedagogy where students investigate local environmental issues through classroom and outdoor experiences, engage in problem solving, and take action to address their issue through projects and civic engagement.
  • Track 2 Environmental Literacy Capacity Building: Applicants may request up to $40,000 for the 2022 schoolyear (March 2022 – August 2023) for district or state-wide environmental literacy capacity building and collaboration efforts that advance environmental literacy, especially MWEEs, within school district(s).
  • For request $5,000 and under, consider applying for a Trust Environmental Education Mini Grant.

Is match required? No, but applicants are strongly encouraged to leverage Trust support with cash and in kind match.

Partners: The Trust works collaboratively with the NOAA Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Education Training Program (BWET) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to promote high quality environmental education experiences that meet the Meaningful Watershed Education Experience (MWEE) model throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. DNR’s funding opportunity is currently open and NOAA will be announcing the next BWET funding opportunity soon. Check this link for more information.

Grant Application Process: The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s grant applications are all submitted through our online system linked to the right.

Program Status: OPEN

To view the RFP, click here.

Deadline: Thursday, December 2nd 2021 at 4pm EST.

Start a New Application

Get started with a new grant application.

Manage an Existing Grant

Manage an existing grant or continue an application.

Questions & Technical Support

Tara Drennan
Program Manager
tdrennan@cbtrust.org
410-974-2941 x 102

Environmental education is a key long-term strategy for the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The Trust recognizes youth education is essential in developing environmentally literate and civically minded adults who will support the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay.

The goal of the Environmental Education Award Program is to for every student in Maryland to be empowered with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions to ensure the health of their local environment and communities. To meet this goal the program has focused on embedding environmental literacy – specifically Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) – into the curriculum of at least one grade in elementary, middle, and high school in Maryland’s 24 school districts. The MWEE model is a blend of best practices in education that increase academic achievement, student engagement, 21st century skills, and stewardship. Embedding MWEEs into school district curriculum helps ensure every student receives an impactful experience learning about the environment and increases the likelihood of programs continuing long after the grant period ends.

For the past 10 years the Environmental Education Award Program has invested in projects that establish MWEEs in school district curriculum, build capacity of educators and administrators to design and deliver MWEEs, or address barriers to long-term implementation of MWEEs in school districts. The program is part of a regional effort to meet the environmental literacy goal and outcomes in the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Agreement.

YearGrant AmountOrganizationCountyProject TitleProject Description
2021$29,889Adkins ArboretumEastern Shore - MiddleWhere Land and Water Meet: A Partnership for Environmental LiteracyThis award is for a sustainable partnership with ShoreRivers that will advance organizational capacity to provide environmental literacy programs and teacher professional development.
2021$13,000Annapolis Maritime Museum & ParkAnne ArundelSchool in Nature - Back Creek ParkThis award is for an outdoor classroom at Back Creek Nature Park.
2021$73,620Anne Arundel County Public SchoolsAnne ArundelSevern StewardsThis award is for an environmental literacy program focused on the Severn River for all 9th graders in the Environmental Science course.
2021$13,850Backyard BasecampBaltimore CityOutdoor Classroom in Frankford: BLISS Meadows Urban Ecology Learning LabThis award is for an outdoor classroom at BLISS Meadows.
2021$30,319Dance ExchangePrince George'sMoving MWEE: Implementing a Systemic Arts-Integrated Approach for Kindergarten in Prince George's CountyThis award is for an arts-integrated environmental literacy pilot for kindergarten students in Prince George's County Public Schools.
2021$11,9915ShoreRiversKentKent County Public Schools Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience CoalitionThis award is for an environmental literacy program for all 4th and 9th graders at Kent County Public Schools.
2021$20,000ShoreRiversDorchesterShoreRivers & New Directions Learning Academy Outdoor Learning SpaceThis award is for an outdoor classroom at New Directions Learning Academy.
2021$39,952Washington County Public SchoolsWashingtonExpanded Integration of Embedded MWEE Opportunities in Washington County Public Schools Essential CurriculumThis award is for embedding an environmental literacy program for all 2nd and 6th graders.
2021$10,9455Worcester County Public SchoolsWorcesterEnhancing, Engaging, and Empowering Environmental Literacy Through Curriculum-Aligned MWEEsThis award is for a district-wide environmental literacy plan and systemic program for 9th and 10th graders.
2020$31,717Accokeek FoundationPrince George's"Tiny Seed, Global Impact" ExpansionThis award is for a 1st grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) focused on healthy soils at five elementary schools in Prince George's County.
2020$25,839Annapolis Maritime Museum & ParkAnne ArundelChesapeake ChampionsThis award is for the expansion of the 2nd grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) for students in the Annapolis area.
2020$40,000Camp Puh'tok for Boys and Girls, Inc.BaltimoreEcosystem Investigation: a Meaningful Watershed Education Experience for Baltimore County Public School StudentsThis award is for a 6th grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) in Baltimore County Public Schools where students perform hands-on forest, wetland, pond, and stream studies that support classroom learning through real-world application.
2020$23,977Eastern Shore Land Conservancy's Sassafras Environmental Education CenterKentAgro-Ecology Through MWEE'sThis award is for the enhancement and expansion of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) in 4th, 5th, and 9th grade at Kent County Public Schools.
2020$39,999Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor EducationStatewideMWEE Student Action; Youth Voice, Youth Action, Local ImpactThis award is for a regional professional development series to expand the capacity of Maryland educators to conduct successful Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) that incorporate youth voice and result in high quality student-led action projects in Allegany, Anne Arundel, Charles, Prince George's, and Queen Anne's Counties.
2020$70,000Montgomery County Public SchoolsMontgomeryCitizen Science: Chemistry of Nitrogen CyclingThis award is for a teacher professional development program to effectively faciliate the 10th grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) in chemistry.
2020$36,000Out TeachPrince George'sBuilding an Environmental Science Professional Learning Community for Prince George’s County Elementary SchoolsThis award is for a teacher professional development program for elementary schools in Prince George's County on the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) model.
2020$39,857ShoreRiversTalbotEastern Shore MWEE AcademyThis award is for a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) Academy for teachers working in school districts throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
2020$39,906YMCA of the ChesapeakeSomersetExpanding Environmental Literacy for 6th Graders in Somerset County Public SchoolsThis award is for a 6th grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) pilot in Somerset County Public Schools.
2019$79,286Calvert County Public SchoolsCalvertSchoolhouse Rocks: Rebuilding Chesapeake Oyster Reefs one Student at a TimeThis award is for the development and implementation of a systemic 5th grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) Schoolhouse Rocks in Calvert County.
2019$42,017Charles County Public SchoolsCharlesHow can I impact my school ecosystem?This award is for a 3rd grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) in partnership with the Alice Ferguson Foundation where student investigate their impact on their schoolyard ecosystem through outdoor experiences and classroom learning resulting in action.
2019$21,764Parks & People FoundationBaltimore CitySuperKids Environmental Education Camp 2019This award is for integrating the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) model into the SuperKids Environmental Education Camp.
2019$68,400Pickering Creek Audubon CenterCarolineExploring and Restoring Habitat with Caroline County Public SchoolsThis award is for a 10th grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) in Caroline County Public Schools taking students through a series of investigations in their community to learn about the impact humans are having on their local environment and the solutions being implemented in their county.
2019$38,545ShoreRiversEastern Shore - MiddleStudents for Streams: Sustainability and ExpansionThis award is for a professional devleopment series to support teachers facilitating the 9th grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) in Talbot, Dorchester, Kent, and Queen Anne's County.
2019$58,603Somerset County Public SchoolsSomersetShoring Up Resiliency through Education (SURE): Building understanding of how environment, science, and cultural heritage work together to strengthen communityThis award is for the integration of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) in 5th, 7th, and 9th grades in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
2019$80,000Washington County Public SchoolsWashingtonIntegration of Environmental Literacy and MWEEs into Washington County Public Schools Essential CurriculumThis award is for the integration of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) in 8th and 10th grade at Washington County Public Schools.
2019$39,785Waterfront Partnership of BaltimoreBaltimore CityHarbor ScholarsThis award is for a teacher professional learning program to effectively faciliate student engagement, with a focus on supporting action projects in the 5th grade Save the Bay Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) in Baltimore City.
2019$40,000Wicomico County Public SchoolsWicomicoWicomico Systemic MWEE for Kindergarten & High SchoolThis award is for kindergarten and high school Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) in partnership with the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art.
2018$38,188Annapolis Maritime Museum & ParkAnne ArundelOyster Education ProgramThis award is for a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) investigating the intersection of oyster health and human activities for 6th grade students in the Annapolis area.
2018$26,250Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic States, Inc.MontgomeryTesting the Waters: An Environmental Education Mentoring Program for High School StudentsThis award is for a mentoring program for high school students in the Downcounty Consortium area of Montgomery County Public Schools.
2018$10,000Deep Roots, Inc.CecilWe Care: Taking Responsibility for Our EnvironmentThis award is for an environmental literacy program for youth at a transitional housing facility for the homeless.
2018$72,734Howard County ConservancyHowardSystemic Biodiversity for 5th Grade StudentsThis award is for a 5th grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) in Howard County Public Schools where students learn about biodiversity through a series of investigations including a schoolyard bioblitz.
2018$104,564National AquariumBaltimore CityLiving Laboratory: What Lives in the HarborThis award is for a 6th grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) which connects Baltimore City students with the aquatic world of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and helps them grasp how their decisions and actions can achieve a healthy harbor.
2018$39,864ShoreRiversTalbotStudents for Streams: Sturgeon DiscoveryThis award is for a 3rd grade Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) in Talbot County Public Schools where students will investigate the endangered Atlantic sturgeon in the Chesapeake Bay.
2018$39,766Washington County Public SchoolsWashingtonIntegration of Environmental Literacy and MWEEs into Washington County Public Schools Essential CurriculumThis award is for the integration of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) in 4th and 8th grade at Washington County Public Schools.

View one-pagers of past successful projects below.

ShoreRivers – Students for Streams: Sturgeon Discovery (2018 to 2019)

ShoreRivers and Talbot County Public Schools embedded a Meaningful Watershed Education Experience (MWEE) program into 3rd grade curriculum where students investigate how human actions on land impact aquatic habitat through the lens of the endangered, native Atlantic sturgeon. Students learn about the history of the sturgeon, collect water quality and land-use data, and analyze data to plan and take action in their communities.

Pickering Creek Audubon Center – Exploring and Restoring Habitat with Caroline County Public Schools (2017 to 2019)

Pickering Creek Audubon Center educators collaborated with Caroline County Public Schools teachers to design and embed a 10th grade Meaningful Watershed Education Experience (MWEE) into the 10th grade Environmental Earth curriculum taking students through a series of lessons and outdoor field experiences in their community to investigate the impact human activities are having on their local environment and the solutions being implemented in their County. During the two year grant period teachers underwent immersive professional development training on facilitating inquiry-based investigations, using the outdoors for learning, and scientific concepts.

Prince George’s County Public Schools – Wild Rice & the Changing Landscape of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (2017-2019)

PGCPS worked in collaboration with local partners to train teachers to use the outdoors for learning and embedded a Meaningful Watershed Education Experience (MWEE) into middle school curriculum at the district level allowing every 7th grade student to learn about the impact humans are having on the local habitat, restorative solutions, and take action to implement solutions in their community or at their school.

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) Resources:

State Resources:

Bay BackPack is the premier resource in the Mid-Atlantic providing educators with information about funding opportunities, field studies, curriculum guides and lesson plans related to environmental education. Bay Backpack helps educators find the tools they need to give their students MWEEs.

Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) provides instruction, training opportunities, and resources on standards and state education policy for education programs from pre-kindergarten through high school.

Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education (MAEOE) provides training opportunities for environmental and outdoor educators and certifies green schools and green centers across the state.

National Resources for Research and Professional Development:

North American Association for Environmental Education

Green Schools National Network

“Teachers throughout the district have shared stories of increased engagement from their students because of this unit. Exploring their schoolyard and learning about the benefits of wild rice on the ecosystem provides students with knowledge and skills that can be taken beyond the classroom. The expansion of this incredible program from 15 schools to a fully embedded MWEE at all 41 is a proud accomplishment for Prince George's County Public Schools.”

Rhonda Scott, Outreach Educator, Prince George's County Public Schools