Silver Spring, MD – Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, announces that Black Hill Visitor Center and Nature Programs, Meadowside Nature Center and Brookside Gardens have been recertified as 2018 Maryland Green Centers.
The Maryland Green Center Award, presented by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE), recognizes facilities that model environmental sustainable practices, support community environmental education and guide schools through the Maryland Green School certification program.
“Schools and Green Centers that participate in the program save energy; reduce waste; conserve water; and create and restore habitat; getting students outdoors is crucial for their connection with the environment,” says Laura Johnson Collard, MAEOE Executive Director.
Black Hill Visitor Center and Nature Programs, located in Black Hill Regional Park in Boyds, serves an average of 3,000 school children each year. The center was selected for recertification for its unique teacher-naturalist internship program, where teachers learn environmental education practices from a park naturalist, a nature-based preschool in the park and ongoing sustainability projects with local organizations and schools. A standout attraction at Black Hill Visitor Center is the one-of-a-kind Earth Bench which is made up of 1,000 pounds of trash and took 300 volunteers three months to complete.
Meadowside Nature Center, located within Rock Creek Regional Park in Rockville, has implemented several sustainable initiatives such as an outdoor nature playspace that fosters an early connection between children and nature, a compost demonstration area, a classroom built using recycled, reusable and sustainable materials and motion hand-sensor sinks and hand dryers. New program offerings include the Nature Matters lecture series aimed at adults, a climate change science program for middle to high school students and a partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Trust internship program.
Brookside Gardens, a 50-acre public display garden located in Wheaton Regional Park, recently installed a new parking garden with bioretention areas and pervious paving to capture and filter rainwater. Fluorescent bulbs in the visitor center and parking garden were replaced with LED lights and the garden’s 2017-2018 winter Garden of Lights display was crafted with 100% LED lights. Brookside Gardens also provides environmental education programs to thousands of students annually and this summer will unveil a newly redesigned children’s garden offering young visitors lessons on Maryland’s ecosystems.
The 2018 Maryland Green Center Awards were presented today at the Maryland Green School Youth Summit at Sandy Point State Park. Certification is valid for four years. Black Hill Visitor Center and Nature Programs and Meadowside Nature Center were previously certified in 2013. Brookside Gardens received certification in 2014.
About The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE)
MAEOE is a non-profit organization. MAEOEs mission is to encourage, engage and empower the community to understand, responsibly use and promote the natural world. MAEOE s Maryland Green School program began in 1999. There are 621 active Maryland Green Schools, over 27% of all Maryland schools. For a complete listing of Green Schools and Green Centers visit www.maeoe.org .
About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks
Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 421 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high-quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. Find out more about Montgomery Parks on our website www.MontgomeryParks.org. Follow us @MontgomeryParks on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission encourages the involvement and participation of all individuals in the community, including those with disabilities, in the planning and review processes. In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M‑NCPPC) will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs or activities. M‑NCPPC works to make its facilities and materials accessible and to hold public meetings in locations that are, likewise, accessible. M‑NCPPC will generally provide, upon request, appropriate aids and services and make reasonable modifications to policies and programs for qualified persons with disabilities (e.g., large print materials, listening devices, sign language interpretation, etc.). For assistance with such requests, please contact the M-NCPPC Montgomery County Commissioners’ Office, at least a week in advance, at (301) 495-4605 or at firstname.lastname@example.org . Maryland residents can also use the free Maryland Relay Service for assistance with calls to or from hearing or speech-impaired persons; for information, go to www.mdrelay.org/ or call (866) 269-9006. Residents may also call the TTY number, (301) 495-1331, for assistance.