Maryland Students Celebrate Going Green

This blog post was written by Emily Saari, a Maryland Intern in the Takoma Park office this summer!

Last Friday, thousands of K-12 students, teachers, parents, and administrators got together on a gorgeous, breezy day for the 2011 Maryland Green Schools Youth Summit at Sandy Point State Park. This annual event of the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education commemorates the achievements of the schools that are meeting MAEOE standards for incorporating environmental issues into their curriculums, partnering with green community organizations on local initiatives, and implementing policies to reduce their building’s environmental impact. Mike Tidwell gave the keynote address at the conclusion of the Summit.

Two student volunteers and I represented CCAN at one of the many booths at the Summit working to increase students’ environmental awareness across the broad spectrum of issues. We talked to kids and their mentors about supporting our campaign for offshore wind in the next year. It was fantastic to see such enthusiasm for clean energy initiatives, and I was so impressed with amount of support we got over the course of the afternoon. When speaking about the installation of offshore wind turbines, I heard teachers and parents say to me again and again, “I don’t know why we haven’t done this yet!” Even the elementary school kids were brimming with knowledge about fossil fuels, renewable energy, and restoration of damaged ecological systems like riparian buffers! It’s amazing how easily young kids can grasp this critical information, especially when the facts can be distilled down and taught to them without the complications and blurriness of politics. To them, it just makes sense. We should all take a cue from these inspired green students and remember that at the end of the day, clean energy just makes sense.