May 21, 2024
Annapolis, US 73 F

Chesapeake Bay Trust Announces Three Awards At 13th Annual Treasure The Chesapeake Celebration

On Friday, May 20, the Chesapeake Bay Trust hosted its 13th Annual Treasure the Chesapeake Celebration at the Marriott Waterfront hotel in Annapolis.  More than 250 Trust grantees, sponsors and supporters gathered to recognize the recipients of three awards: the Melanie Teems Award for an outstanding project of the year, the Ellen Fraites Wagner Award for steward of the year, and the Dr. Torrey Brown Award for exceptional Bay leadership.  In addition to announcing the awards, the Treasure the Chesapeake Celebration also raised almost $50,000 for Trust grant programs that fund environmental education, community engagement and Bay restoration projects throughout Maryland.

“The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s annual awards program recognizes the achievements of organizations and individuals who work creatively to build environmental stewards in communities across Maryland,” said Trust Executive Director Allen Hance.  “This year we are honoring a Maryland school system that is advancing a county-wide model for comprehensive environmental education, a mayor who is leading her community’s visionary sustainability efforts, and a long-serving State Delegate and Trust Board Member who has been an inspiring Bay leader throughout her career of public service.”

The Melanie Teems Award was given to Calvert County Public Schools (CCPS) for their exemplary environmental education programming.  Superintendent Jack Smith accepted the award on behalf of teachers, students, administrators and support staff who, with the support of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, have implemented CCPS’s “Green Schools to a Clean Bay” initiative, a project that links instruction, administration and maintenance to provide an integrated environmental program for everyone connected with the school system.  Through this initiative, CCPS become the first school district in Maryland to have 100 percent of its schools certified as “green schools.”  The award was presented to Dr. Smith by Tara Potter, Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Board of Trustees.

The Trust’s Ellen Fraites Wagner Award (Steward of the Year) was presented to the Honorable Jacqueline Goodall, mayor of the Town of Forest Heights.  This award was created to recognize a Maryland citizen who has shown extraordinary dedication to help preserve and protect the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and streams.  Mayor Goodall has served on Forest Heights’ Town Council since 2007, and has led efforts to promote “green infrastructure” approaches and actively engaging citizens in community stewardship efforts.  Under her leadership, Forest Heights was awarded an Urban Greening grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to expand the town’s tree canopy and has received additional grants to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff on local streams and the Chesapeake Bay.  The award was given to Mayor Goodall by Jim Edward, Acting Director of the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office.

The Dr. Torrey Brown Award was created in 2006 to honor an exceptional Bay leader.  This year’s recipient was the Honorable Virginia Clagett, former member Maryland’s House of Delegates.  Ms. Clagett served in the House from 1995 until 2011 and, through her work on the Environmental Matters Committee, was an unwavering champion for the Bay and the environment.    She has been a board member of the Chesapeake Bay Trust since 2003, where she provided steadfast support and leadership in advancing the Trust’s stewardship mission.  The award was presented by State Senator John Astle, who also serves on the Trust’s Board of Trustees.

Launched in 1998, the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s awards program recognizes a total of six awardees each year for a variety of environmental leadership roles and achievements, with other awards made during the Trust’s Legislative Reception in January.  This year’s Treasure the Chesapeake event was made possible through contributions from more than 50 sponsors, including Blue Heron-level supporters Constellation Energy, M&T Bank and Verizon.

Source: Chesapeake Bay Trust
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