BALTIMORE, MD—Forever Maryland this week announced that 31 grants totaling $92,000 have been awarded to support environmental education, community cleanup, and beautification projects through the Keep Maryland Beautiful program. The annual grants are funded by the Maryland Environmental Trust, Forever Maryland, and Maryland Department of Transportation.
The grants are administered by Forever Maryland; it is the oldest program of the Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Department of Natural Resources.
“Since its inception, the Keep Maryland Beautiful grants program has awarded grants to engaged citizens and land trusts that are developing innovative solutions to local environmental problems,” said Forever Maryland President Wendy Stringfellow. “I’ve been involved with this rewarding program for the past decade, and have seen its enormous impact. Thank you to the sponsors and the awardees for your contributions to Maryland!”
This program is administered by Forever Maryland and is the oldest program of the Maryland Environmental Trust, a unit of the Department of Natural Resources.
“The Keep Maryland Beautiful Program builds a strong partnership between our communities and state, in our shared goals of cleaner water and access to green space for all Marylanders,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Josh Kurtz. “Funding these efforts also increases stewardship in every corner of Maryland.”
“Keep Maryland Beautiful grants demonstrate the power of partnership to create cleaner, greener communities for all Marylanders,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “The Maryland Department of Transportation is proud to join with other state agencies, schools, nonprofits and individual citizens to protect and enhance our state’s natural beauty and inspire a passion for environmental stewardship in future generations.”
Keep Maryland Beautiful recipients included schools, nonprofit groups, municipalities and land trusts in 12 counties and Baltimore City. Many of these grants focus on developing and supporting communities, families, youth and students who take personal responsibility for the health of their communities, protecting nature in their backyards and seeking ways to help reduce or resolve environmental challenges.
Awards this year included:
- One Aileen Hughes award totaling $5,000, awarded to an individual representing a Maryland land trust for outstanding leadership, partnership and innovation in a conservation project. The grant is awarded to the Maryland land trust in recognition of the individual’s efforts and good work. The grant is given annually to honor the late Aileen Hughes, a leader in the conservation movement.
- 21 Citizen Stewardship awards totaling $37,000, given in honor of Bill James, who drafted the legislation that founded Maryland Environmental Trust, and Margaret Rosch Jones, former executive director of the Keep Maryland Beautiful program. The Citizen Stewardship grants are awarded to schools, nonprofits and other community organizations whose missions are centered upon directly engaging community members in environmental education and stewardship. These grants also support organizations that demonstrate active engagement as defenders of the environment by developing innovative solutions to local environmental problems.
- 9 Janice Hollmann Grant awards totaling $50,000, given to Maryland land trusts to increase capacity, support community programming and innovation and foster stronger, better connected land trusts. All grants require a 100 percent match from the land trust of in-kind services and privately raised funds. The grant is given in memory of Janice Hollmann, who exemplified citizen leadership of local land trusts in Maryland.
2023 recipients of Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants include:
Anne Arundel County
- Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park
- Scenic Rivers Land Trust Inc.
- Baltimore Green Space – A Land Trust for Community Managed Open Space Inc.
- Civic Works, Inc
- Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative
- Grow & Eat Inc. aka Harlem Park Community Farm
- Lafayette Square Community Development Corporation
- Living Classrooms Foundation
- Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm
- The Sixth Branch
- The Urban Oasis
- Gwynn Oak Community Association
- NeighborSpace of Baltimore County Inc.
- American Chestnut Land Trust Inc.
- Conservancy for Charles County Inc.
- Gale-Bailey Elementary Green Club
- Catoctin Land Trust
- Crellin Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization Inc.
- Harford Land Trust Inc.
- Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway
- Glenelg Country School
- Patapsco Heritage Greenway Inc.
- The Howard County Conservancy
- Amula Foundation (Also known as Rise N Shine Foundation Inc.)
- Bethesda Green
- Charles Koiner Center for Urban Farming Inc.
- Montgomery Parks Foundation
St. Mary’s County
- Greenwell Foundation
- Eastern Shore Land Conservancy
- Antietam-Concocheague Watershed Alliance
More information on the grants is available online here.
PHOTO: Baltimore City students take part in a living classroom at Masonville Cove Pollinator Gardens, a project funded by Keep Maryland Beautiful in 2022. Photo courtesy Forever Maryland.