Environmental Education - The Elms
The Elms Environmental Education Center (The Elms) is the St. Mary's County Public Schools' Environmental Education Program. Our mission is to engage students and stakeholders in hands-on environmental investigations and inspire life-long stewardship of our natural resources beginning in our own backyard: the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
During grade-specific field studies, students explore the diverse habitats of our county, including forests, wetlands, meadows, and beaches. Programs are led by SMCPS Elms staff and volunteers at The Elms, at partner sites, including Historic Sotterley and Greenwell State Park, and on school sites.
Our goal is for every student to have a full Meaningful Watershed Education Experience or "MWEE" (pronounced "mee-wee") every year. A MWEE goes beyond a single outdoor field experience. It exercises 21st century skills by integrating student investigation of an environmental issue, planning and conducting an action project, and synthesis and conclusion. MWEEs have a local context relevant to students, and are sustained (not 'one-shot') investigations integrated into regular classroom instruction.
2017-2018 Public Programs at Elms
|Astronomy Day - Star Party||Saturday, September 30, 2017||8 pm - 10 pm|
|Birding 101||Saturday, October 14, 2017||8 am - 10 am|
|Owl Prowl||Friday, January 19, 2018||7 pm - 8 pm|
|Birding 101||Saturday, April 28, 2018||9 am - 12 pm|
|Plant-a-Palooza||Saturday, June 9, 2018||9 am - 1 pm|
Find out about our native plant nursery! Plants are grown by 7th grade students as part of their Student Service Learning program. Native Plants provide beneficial habitat for native animals, and are more acclimated to our local climate conditions.
Every Kid in a Park!
All 72 Maryland State Parks will again honor the National Parks' Every Kid in a Park passes for the 2017-2018 school year! Through August 31, 2018, fourth graders and their families can access State Parks, as well as National Park sites, for FREE! Visit Every Kid in a Park to obtain a pass and find National parks to visit. To find Maryland State Parks, go to: Maryland State Parks. Passes are for both families accompanying individual 4th graders, as well as for field trip experiences for 4th grade classes. A pass grants entry for the student and three accompanying adults (or an entire car for drive-in parks) at more than 2,000 national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and marine sanctuaries. The website also offers educators and parents activities, trip planning books, safety and packing tips, and other helpful information.