ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 15, 2002) – An environmental club for elementary school students and an educator shared top honors at the 26th annual Tawes Awards for a Clean Environment, presented today in the Blue Heron Center at Quiet Waters Park. The Charles Carroll Helpers of the Environment and Caring Kids (C.H.E.C.K.) Club in Carroll County and William B. Moulden, an Anne Arundel County resident, won in the youth and adult categories respectively.
The Tawes Award is an environmental recognition program sponsored by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Maryland Petroleum Council (MPC) in the name of late Maryland Governor J. Millard Tawes, who was also the state's first secretary of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The award is open to any individual, civic, community, or non-profit entity that has demonstrated outstanding efforts to enhance Maryland's environment over a period of time or with a single project.
“Tawes awardees represent some of what is best about Maryland, its people,” said MDE Assistant Secretary Denise Ferguson-Southard, who issued the awards with MPC Executive Director Drew Cobbs. “For 26 years, Tawes Award recipients have demonstrated the true meaning of environmental stewardship through providing the example by which we should all conduct our lives to protect our unique Maryland heritage. Through their projects and service they help us spread the message of personal responsibility in caring for our natural world.”
Twenty percent of Charles Carroll Elementary School students belong to the C.H.E.C.K. Club. The club meets monthly, even through summers, with teachers and parent volunteers. Club members plant native trees and shrubs, build and monitor bluebird houses, clean up school grounds and completed the first phase of the school's compost bin.
The C.H.E.C.K. club also maintains a pond that not only beautifies their Union Mills School, but supports plants and wildlife.
The pond filters water from the school's roof, controlling flooding and erosion, correcting a flooding problem in the school. Teachers at Charles Carroll have incorporated the pond into their science and art courses. The C.H.E.C.K. club's environmental efforts helped earn their school the Governor's Green School Award in 2001.
William Moulden, a teacher at Samuel Ogle Science, Math and Technology Magnet School in Bowie, has made numerous contributions to preserving the Bay. Most recently, he focused his efforts on Maryland's resurrected terrapin conservation program. As a result of Moulden's efforts, Governor Parris N. Glendening announced formation of the Diamondback Terrapin Task Force and appointed Moulden chairman. In addition, Moulden created and initiated a successful oyster recovery operation by using rubble and abandoned aquatic structures to grow oysters. He involved the youth of Sherwood Forest, nurturing them to become the next generation of environmental stewards. The Crownsville resident has also initiated and secured grants and funding for many projects including the creation of the state’s first submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) tidal nursery and restoration of yellow perch to the Severn River.
The Runner-up in the youth category was the Builders Club of North East Middle School in Cecil County. Last October, the club reached its goal of collecting 2 million pounds of recyclables. The students are well on their way to their next goal--challenging the North East community to recycle 3 million pounds by 2004. In addition to their commitment to recycling, the Builders Club has constructed four nature trails, planted 400 trees in Elk Neck State Park and participated in environmental cleanups. In 1999, the Builders were Tawes Award recipients.
The Runner-up in the adult category was Frank B. Smoot of Baltimore County. Smoot has dedicated his life to conserving natural resources and at 95, is still active in his community. For 20 years, Smoot taught 4-H, boy and girl scouts about the great outdoors and the importance of preserving it. The avid hunter and fisherman teaches children the art of fly-fishing and the importance of keeping streams clean. He also helped get the Migratory Game Bird Act passed. In 1962, Smoot helped form the Maryland Wildlife Federation, an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. He was involved in getting a congressional bill passed so the U.S. Department of the Interior could purchase Assateague Island, preventing its development.
A panel of judges chooses the Tawes Award winners and runners-up. Last year’s winners included St. Mary’s Elementary School in Annapolis and the Alice Ferguson Foundation in Prince George’s County.
For more information on the Tawes Award for a clean Environment, please call (410) 269-1850 or MDE's Office of Communications at (410) 631-3003.