The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center recently graduated 18 participants in its premier Legacy Institute for the Environment (LIFE).

0420161404dThe Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center recently graduated 18 participants in its premier Legacy Institute for the Environment (LIFE).

The mission of the LIFE program is to build social capital for the environment by providing lifelong learning opportunities and meaningful stewardship roles for older adults. Participants build knowledge, skill and relationships through educators and scientists from an array of environmental agencies and organizations.

The program is free, although graduates are expected to use their new knowledge as CBEC volunteers for a year.

This year the class heard speakers from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the state Department of Natural Resources, the MidShore Riverkeepers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the University of Maryland, the Watershed Stewards Academy, and Queen Anne’s County planning and zoning officials. They spoke on issues such as bay restoration, land management, and animal and plant conservation.

The graduates, who will be honored at CBEC’s September fund-raiser, include Ellen Mitchell of Grasonville; Nancy and Steve Gibbons of Chester; Julie Carleton of Grasonville; Donna Poindexter of Grasonville; Richard Goodchild of Grasonville; Ruthann Pippenger of Arlington, VA; Kathy Airel of Chester; Mary Binseel of St. Michaels; Fran Peters of Grasonville; Walter Flowers of Annapolis; Marilyn Goodson of Chester; Paul Smith of Derwood; William Hadyn Roberts Jr. of Gaithersburg; Anne and David Brunson of Grasonville; Kimberly Gostyla of Annapolis and Dolores Reyna of Grasonville.

CBEC Volunteer Coordinator Courtney Leigh said, “The LIFE program offers a unique opportunity for citizens to learn current and relevant information about the health of the Chesapeake Bay through engaging educational sessions and field experiences guided by experts from governmental and non-governmental organizations.”

More than 135 stewards have graduated from the program since its inception in 2004.

The 9-session program takes place at CBEC in March and April. For information on the 2017 program, email Courtney Leigh at cleigh@bayrestoration.org or consult CBEC’s web site at www.bayrestoration.org.

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