Three county public schools have been added to the distinguished list of Maryland Green Schools, the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) has announced. The latest schools to earn the achievement are: Annapolis and Tracey’s elementary schools, and the Center of Applied Technology South.

Seven other AACPS schools achieved recertification. Eastport, Four Seasons, and Sunset elementary schools, Severna Park and Wiley H. Bates middle schools, and Ruth Park Eason School each earned their first recertification. This is the second recertification for Bodkin Elementary School.

In addition, Davidsonville Elementary School received a new designation as a “sustainable” school. Schools that achieve this honor (only four in the state), “have demonstrated a continuous effort to integrate sustainable environmental practices, environmental education curriculum, professional development and community engagement into daily operations” for more than 14 years in the green school program.

With 68 schools and centers now with green schools status, about 54 percent of AACPS facilities have completed the challenging process to earn the state’s highest recognition of environmental literacy.

The green school designation is earned over the course of about two years as schools establish an effective, proactive environmental program that includes getting the entire community involved in becoming more environmentally conscious. Successful schools integrate “green” thinking into every aspect of the school experience from staff professional development to community celebrations.

Established 17 years ago, the Maryland Green School Program celebrates Maryland’s model environmental education efforts as seen through extensive projects that address at least two of the following areas: energy, water, waste, habitat restoration, transportation, healthy school environment, and/or structures for outdoor learning. After demonstrating a sustained culture of environmental action and awareness, schools are encouraged to seek recertification every four years.