Environmental Groups Encouraged To Apply For Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants

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The Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) is now accepting applications for grants through the Keep Maryland Beautiful program, an initiative dedicated to helping volunteer-based non-profit groups or communities solve natural resource issues. The grants are funded by the State Highway Administration, a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation, as well as previous donations to MET.

“School groups, civic and community organizations have been encouraged by the financial support these grants provide to important local projects,” said MET Director Elizabeth Buxton. “We are pleased to help communities solve a local environmental problem and contribute to solutions that significantly benefit Maryland’s natural environment.”

MET is offering two types of grants through the program: The Margaret Rosch Jones Award of up to $2,000 and The Bill James Environmental Grants of up to $1,000. The Margaret Rosch award will recognize an ongoing project that has already demonstrated success in solving an environmental issue, whether local or statewide. The Bill James Environmental Grants are awarded to nonprofit youth groups that initiate new environmental education projects in their communities.

The Margaret Rosch Jones Award honors a woman who demonstrated a dedication to preserving the Chesapeake Bay. Born in 1906, Margaret Jones had a genius IQ, wrote poetry and was a self-taught Latin scholar. Jones was the executive director and moving spirit of the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program for many years. The award is given to non-profit groups or communities who have a plan for an on-going, proven project that reflects Ms. Jones’s qualities of devotion, energy and ingenuity in its work to re-build and enhance the community’s natural resources.

The Bill James Environmental Grants are given in memory of William S. James and are awarded to school groups, science and ecology clubs, and other non-profit youth groups for proposed natural resource education projects. Born in Aberdeen in 1914, Bill James studied law at the University of Maryland and then practiced law in Bel Air for 38 years. He served as President of the Maryland Senate and was the principal architect of many of Maryland’s most important environmental laws, including wetlands law, Program Open Space, and agricultural land preservation. Senator James drafted legislation to create the MET, incorporating the activities of the Governor’s Committee to Keep Maryland Beautiful.

For MET to consider a project, it must demonstrate leadership and volunteer participation; offer potential benefits to the environment and community; and have a feasible plan, including goals, success criteria and time line for completion.

The deadline to apply is March 31, 2011. Application forms are available at www.dnr.state.md.us/met/grant_programs.asp

MET is a statewide land trust governed by a citizen board of trustees and affiliated with the Department of Natural Resources. It was established in 1967 by the Maryland General Assembly and is one of the oldest and most successful land trusts in the country. MET promotes the protection of open land through its Land Conservation Program, Monitoring and Stewardship Program and Local Land Trust Assistance Program. MET also provides grants to environmental education projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful Program. For more information, visit the website www.dnr.maryland.gov/met.

source: MD DNR

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