Nine Howard County schools have been named Maryland Green Schools by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education.
The schools were recognized at the Howard County Green School Celebration Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the Robinson Nature Center in Columbia. The nature center was also named a Maryland Green Center by the association.
Atholton, Centennial Lane, Deep Run, Forest Ridge, Hammond, Hollifield Station and Stevens Forest elementary schools, Glenwood Middle School and Marriotts Ridge High School have achieved Green School status this year, bring the total number of Maryland Green Schools in the county to 44 (30 elementary schools, 10 middle schools and four high schools).
According to the association, Maryland Green School Certification recognizes a school’s two-year effort to meet criteria in curriculum and instruction, best management practices and community involvement in environmental education. Each certified Green School staff and students in environmental initiatives like implementing schoolyard habitats to reduce erosion, creating environmental study areas, designing energy and water conservation programs and involving the community in environmentally sustainable practices.
On Thursday, Howard County Superintendent Renee Foose congratulated the parents and students on their hard work that led to the certifications.
“I am thrilled that we now have 44 Green Schools,” she said. “This program empowers students to become leaders in protecting our environment. Students investigate environmental issues in the classroom. Then they put that knowledge into practice, leading habitat and restoration projects in their schoolyard and community.”