Celebrate 50 years of Environmental and Outdoor Education in Anne Arundel County Public Schools!

Join us for an Open House at Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center
April 21, 2018 from 10am-3pm

 50th flyer for web

Connect with friends, learn something new and relive the fun!

Share your Arlington Echo stories

Share your Arlington Echo pictures 

Visit our facebook page and let us know you are coming! 


The event is FREE but if you pre-register with a $5 donation you will receive a commemorative gift!
Click and get pre-registered! 


Parking: There will be no parking at Arlington Echo. Shuttles will be available from Millersville Elementary School and Severna Park Middle School (about every 15-20 minutes) throughout the day.

Millersville Elementary School
1601 Millersville Road, Millersville

Severna Park Middle School
450 Jumpers Hole Rd, Severna Park, MD 21146


Special thanks to our donors 21st Centruy Foundation, Towne Transport, Annapolis Bus Company, Herald Harbour EMT, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ClearShark H2O, Milano's Pizza, and The Stone Store...

Towne Transport        Towne Transport    Towne Transport  The Stone Store Logo


Our Partners Chesapeake Bay Foundation, PX3, Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, Maryland Environmental Service, Anne Arundel County Soil Conservation District, Anne Arundel Weed Resistance, Annapolis Maritime Museum, Anne Arundel County Watershed Protection and Restoration Program, AACPS Science Office, Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education, Langton Green Community Farm, Anne Arundel Watershed Stewards Academy, Severn River Association, Anne Arundel County Food & Nutrition Services, Anne Arundel County Bee Keepers Association, ClearShark H2O...


Our Food Vendors Pablo's Toc O's, Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co., Bistro Lunch Box...

Toc os Black.logo    CBRC FTO Color on Black      BistroLunchBox TshirtArt


& Our Entertainment Joe Thompson, Kathryn Para, and Billy Heinbuch


Interested in volunteering for this event? Contact us! 410-222-3822

Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:32

High School Internships

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High school students can take advantage of internship opportunities through the Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education program.

Education interns work with the kindergarten program at Camp Woodlands or the fourth grade program at Arlington Echo, teaching students through outdoor experiential learning.

Research interns undertake research projects at Arlington Echo. Current topics include SAV research, phytoplankton monitoring, establishing a database for water quality measurements, and mapping rare and threatened native plants at Arlington Echo and Camp Woodlands. Interns develop authentic research questions and collect data to test a hypothesis based on their question.

Environmental horticulture interns assist Arlington Echo staff with environmental horticultural processes such as removing invasive species from natural areas, designing and maintaining native garden habitats for butterflies, humming birds and other organisms, worm and kitchen composting, natural fertilization, mulching, pruning, growing submerged aquatic vegetation, caring for Atlantic White Cedars and maintaining the cold frame.

Chesapeake Connections interns support classroom outreach and field projects that lead to environmental stewardship. Topics include aquatic grasses, American eels, terrapins, storm water restoration projects, and monarch butterfly gardens. Interns assist with all aspects of the project, including classroom outreach, maintenance of plants and animals used in the projects, and the end of year projects that involve plantings and the release of eels and terrapins.

Contact Arlington Echo 410-222-3822

Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:26


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The Envirothon is a statewide competition for high school students. Students study topics such as aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife and participate annually in an outdoor competition. Envirothon teams are made up of five students who work together to study Maryland’s natural resources over the course of the school year. All topics are hands-on and include practical skills. Training is conducted by experts in each field. Students train in the fall and spring with resource professionals in four content areas and one topic that changes annually. County competitions typically occur in April, and the county winners compete at the state level in June. The Arlington Echo site is used for training and competitions. Our staff also provide instructional support to teachers and students.

Contact Arlington Echo 410-222-3822

Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:17

Native Growers

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The Native Growers program is a partnership with the Office of Special Education. High school Alternate Curriculum Class (ACC) students develop horticulture skills while learning about the importance of native plants and their relationships to native animals. Students grow milkweed to support Monarch caterpillars, nectar plants to support pollinators, submerged aquatic vegetation (SAVs) to plant in rivers to protect the shoreline and provide habitat for marine species, and trees to be planted in restoration projects. Students propagate plants by seed, root division, and cuttings. Students learn how to water, identify and treat plant pesst using integrated pest management (IPM), transplant plants and compost. The plants produced by this program support our Chesapeake Connections restoration projects throughout the county.

Contact Sheen Goldberg swgoldberg@aacps.org

Arlington Echo 410-222-3822

Thursday, 23 February 2017 14:57

Arlington Echo Grade 4

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Every AACPS fourth grade class visits Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville, MD, for a one-day or overnight field experience as part of their environmental literacy learning. Arlington Echo programs are linked to the science curriculum throughout the school year. Through exciting, hands-on activities, students investigate the human impact on climate, land, water and living things in the Chesapeake Bay in its watershed. They are challenged to put environmental ideals into action.

Students travel to different learning stations on site, gathering information to develop an educated and environmentally responsible answer to an overarching question: How can we help the Chesapeake Bay? Activities include marsh exploration, canoeing, seining, stormwater investigation and more.

Supervision and instruction are provided by Arlington Echo staff and volunteers recruited by classroom teachers. All volunteers undergo background checks.

Meals are provided in the dining hall. We challenge students to be “Waste Watchers,” who minimize their food waste by following the philosophy "Take what you like; Eat what you take" and by participating in our on-site composting program. Students aim for a "Zero Waste" meal.

Climate controlled cabins with bunk beds and bathroom facilities provide overnight accommodations. Arlington Echo is a 24-acre outdoor education site owned by AACPS. It includes forest, stream and wetland habitats and is located on the Severn River.

 AE4th webAE4th web2


Students should have adult supervision at all times. Chaperones escort students to their activities, meals, rest rooms and other camp locations. Chaperones support activity leaders by encouraging student participation and by helping out as needed. Check the weather and dress appropriately for outdoor activities. Closed-toed shoes are required. Check in at school and get a badge.

Click here for chaperone information packet

For more information regarding background checks and fingerprinting, visit https://www.aacps.org/chaperone

Tips for Chaperones

1. Smile and introduce yourself.

2. Review expectations with each group: walk, stay together, and follow instructions.

3. Praise good behavior whenever you see it.

4. Don’t hesitate to address unsafe or inappropriate student behavior when necessary. You are in charge! Address behavior in a positive and calm way.

5. Get involved with the students and the activity. Assist the instructor.

6. Turn cell phones and other electronic devices to “OFF” or “VIBRATE.”

7. Make bathroom stops between activities.

8. If necessary, take students to health room or office for first aid.

9. Try to stay on schedule.

10. Help students treat the environment and facilities with care.



Thursday, 23 February 2017 14:53

School-Based Curricula

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In 2010, Maryland became the first state in the nation to implement an environmental literacy high school graduation requirement. In 2011, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) instituted Pre-K through 12 Environmental Literacy Curriculum Standards to be integrated into the curriculum of each school system.

These actions gave a new name and new mandate to the AACPS Outdoor Education Office, which became the AACPS Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Office.

It is now our responsibility to take environmental literacy into schools and classrooms by providing curriculum and training to teachers.

Each grade level or course listed below includes an interdisciplinary environmental literacy unit or focus in which students investigate and take action on a local environmental issue. We continue to strive to get every student outdoors every year!




What’s the Trouble with Trash? Students learn about trash, landfills and litter on land and water. Students learn to recycle at school and home, not to litter and to clean up litter (with adult help). Students take action by hosting a recycling picnic at school for family members to share what they have learned.




Why are Trees Terrific? Students participate in classroom learning and outdoor experiences to identify plant needs, parts of a tree and Students engage in a one-day field experience at Camp Woodlands and learn about the life cycle of a tree and that trees protect water quality and provide food and homes for living things. including taking action by planting and caring for a tree.


Grade 1

Grade 1

How Can We Help Monarch Butterflies? Students investigate and take action on issues related to Monarch butterflies. Students care for and observe Monarch caterpillars and study Monarch habitat needs, migration and causes of Monarch population decline. Outdoor learning takes place at school. Students take action by tagging/releasing the butterflies and by maintaining schoolyard Monarch gardens.


Grade 2

Grade 2

How Can We Improve Wildlife Habitats? Students conduct research on local and global habitats and the human impact on them. Students take action by propagating native plants for use at home.


Grade 3

Grade 3

How Can We Make a Positive Change in Our Environment? At the end of third grade, students participate in an interdisciplinary unit. They investigate and take action on an environmental issue of their choice, applying the 21st Century skills they have acquired throughout the year: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity.


Grade 4

Grade 4

How Has Human Activity Affected Maryland's Living Things? Students investigate the human impact on climate, land, water, and living things. Students conduct investigations and collect data through their science curriculum and field experience to complete project based learning action projects. Students conduct background research, investigate and collect data, and analyze and take actions back at school. Students learn and understand issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay and how they can make a difference.


Grade 5

Grade 5

How Do We Make Our School Greener? Students work to acquire or maintain MAEOE Maryland Green School status by conducting audits on energy, water, waste or transportation. Students take action to reduce resource use at school and conduct a second audit to assess the success of their efforts.


Grade 6

Grade 6

How Do We Use the Chesapeake Bay Sustainably? Through the ecology of Chesapeake Bay species and restoration projects, students examine the human interaction with the environment including policy, economics, and historical significance in addition to stormwater runoff, the biology of living things, restoration, and pollution. Students participate in a field experience and action projects depending on the project for their school. All projects use water quality and environmental issues affecting living things to investigate the Chesapeake Bay.


Grade 6

Family & Consumer Science students investigate the green movement’s impact on the fashion industry and present research on a chosen topic.


Grade 7

Grade 7

How Can You Make A Difference? Students investigate the impact of human population growth on the availability of natural resources and environmental quality. Students use a Green School Report Card to evaluate their school. Students make personal choices to make positive environmental changes at school and in their community.


Grade 8

Grade 8

How Are Humans Affecting Our Global Environment? Students investigate the causes and effects of environmental change. Students work in cooperative groups to research one of the ways that humans impact the natural change process. Students learn about global issues such as climate change and invasive species.


High School


How Have Human Activities Impacted Biodiversity? Students analyze manmade and human features in the environment on school grounds, and determine if these features promote effect surrounding aquatic ecosystems. Students conduct a Bioblitz on school grounds, select one human activity, and analyze the impact of this human activity on the environment and biodiversity. Students design a solution to reduce the negative effects on environment and biodiversity.


Environmental Science

Students study Next Generation Science Standards through the lens of climate change. They begin by investigating human impacts on the environment then complete a project that addresses local climate change. Student continue learning concepts ranging from Newton’s laws to genetics, all connected to the theme of climate change. The course includes a wide array of hands-on, environmentally-focused labs and activities.



How should federal, state, and local governments collaborate to create policies to protect ecosystems like the Chesapeake Bay? Students investigative the interaction of government and non-government agencies on environmental issues. Students examine the Federal government’s influence on nationwide environmental issues, the Chesapeake Bay region and Maryland. Students consider the actions and influence of state and local governments and non-governmental entities influence on government action and public opinion. Students present their findings to inform the public, persuade government action, or add support to non-governmental entities.



Students investigate how the changes in the environment affect health. They examine how global climate change effects the spread of infectious disease and how the environment influences the emergence of disease.

The new 9th grade environmental science course encompasses the assessed nest generation science standards through the lens of climate change. There are four units in the course that correspond with each marking period. The first unit focuses of human impact on the environment, with a culminating project that addresses local climate change issues. Units 2-4 use climate change as a foucs to teach concepts ranging from Newtons laws to genetics. The course includes a wide array of hands-on environmentally focused labs and activities.

Thursday, 23 February 2017 14:18

Teacher Resources

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This section is aimed at providing our teachers with information and resources to enhance their activities and lessons associated with environmental and outdoor education both in and out of the classroom.

MSDE Environmental Education - MDE’s education programs provide resources for classroom teachers, outdoor educators, club leaders, and others to teach students of all ages about our environment.

Bay Backpack - Learn some creative ways to integrate the Chesapeake Bay and environmental issues into your classroom lessons. Search through the Bay Backpack's books, multimedia, curriculum guides, individual lesson plans and online data sources about the subjects you are teaching in class.

MAEOE's How To: Native Plants  - Guide on choosing and finding native MD plants for your schoolyard habitat.

MAEOE MD Green Schools  - How to become a Maryland Green School.

Project WET Curriculum Alignments (Elementary) - Once certified in Project WET, consult this guide to incorporate the environmental lessons without needing to extend beyond the existing curriculum.  To learn more about Project WET, visit www.projectwet.org.

Anne Arundel County Parks and Trails - Use this site to locate a listing of regional and community parks, trails and natural areas.

Anne Arundel County GIS Data Download - Site where a series of data layers collected from various departments throughout the county are available for download. These layers are posted for free and updated per the date listed as new information becomes available.

Aquatic Invasive Species Education Project - Aquatic Invasive Species Education trunk available on loan to Maryland educators! 

Maryland State Data Center (Department of Planning) - The MD Department of Planning has completed a set of projections for total and household population, households and household size, labor force, jobs by place of work, total and per capita personal income thru 2040.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources - Population statistics, teacher lessons and resources. This package of resources and lesson plans was developed to support social studies and science teachers in integrating these topics within the regular curriculum. Government, policy and planning, economics, geography, and a myriad of environmental issues are encompassed with the Sustainability and Smart Growth concept, and provides a rich source of topics for classroom investigations.

Maryland Biodiversity Project - Maryland Biodiversity Project is cataloging all the living things of Maryland. The goal is to promote eduication and conservation by helping to build a vibrant Maryland nature study community.

Maryland Sea Grant: Biofilms and Biodiversity - Biofilms are a hot topic in microbiology today. Scientists are studying the ways bacterial colonies form slimy layers, which can be resistant to antibiotics and the immune system, in hopes that new information will help us understand how the layers form, adhere to surfaces, and how they can be prevented.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center - SERC's education department is committed to instilling environmental literacy by broadening society's understanding of the natural world using SERC's research findings as a foundational resource for public programs and STEM challenges that convey how human activities alter atmospheric, terrestrial, and aquatic ecosystems ona  regional and global scale.

USDA National Invasive Species Information Center - Gateway to invasice species information; covering federal, state, local and international sources.

USDA links of impacts of invasive species

Field Trip Opportunities:

Jug Bay Wetlands Sactuary

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Field Programs

Living Classrooms Foundation

Environmental Education State and National News:

Children in Nature  - MD Department of Natural Resources partnership

No Child Left Inside - Coalition dedicated to provide funding to train teachers to deliver high quality Environmental Education and utilize the local environment as an extension of the classroom.


AACPS Teacher Professional Development: Sign up for workshops to build your knowledge and skills in environmental and outdoor education.

AACPS ERO Master Calendar Sign-In

Thursday, 23 February 2017 14:15

Water Quality Data

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Thursday, 23 February 2017 14:10

Green Schools

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Become a Maryland Green School!

The Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education (MAEOE) offers the Maryland Green School Awards Program to all Maryland public and private schools, as well as environmental centers serving Maryland schools. Schools that achieve Green School certification have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to environmental education, environmental action and community outreach.

MAEOE Green Schools & Green Centers

Current AACPS Green Schools List


What are the benefits of becoming a Green School?

* According to studies, students whose learning is connected to their environment do better in school.

* Working with the environment is a great way to integrate all academic disciplines.

* Achieving Green School status makes your school and community proud! Get the Green School flag to fly over your school!

* The process is engaging and fun for everyone!

Contact Amy Greif agreif@aacps.org


Thursday, 23 February 2017 13:33

Who We Are

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The Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Office of Anne Arundel County Public Schools provides interdisciplinary outdoor education for AACPS students and teachers. We integrate environmental literacy and outdoor learning into the AACPS school-based curricula at all grade levels for all students. We are part of the division of Curriculum and Instruction of Anne Arundel County Public Schools. For 50 years we have provided interdisciplinary environmental and outdoor education. Through outreach and our site-based programs, we provide face-to-face instruction to more than 25,000 students and 8,000 adults each school year. In addition, our school-based curricula reach students at all grade levels every year.

Our goals are to

1. Develop and implement a prekindergarten through high school environmental literacy curriculum and programming that align the MSDE Environmental Literacy standards with up-to-date standards in other core content areas.

2. Empower teachers to use the environment and outdoors as a context for learning.

3. Support the AACPS Strategic Plan of Community Involvement and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement by serving as a community resource for educating and building stewardship among the citizens of Anne Arundel County.

Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center is the headquarters of the Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Office. AACPS purchased Arlington Echo in 1971 from the Arlington Presbyterian Church of Baltimore. The 24-acre youth camp was named Arlington Echo because a call from the bluff would echo back from across the Severn River. AACPS had previously rented the property to be used as the “Arlington Echo Outdoor School.” In 1974, the site became known as the “Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center.” Arlington Echo now serves as the outdoor education site for the fourth grade environmental literacy program and the “home base” for the many other programs overseen by EL/OE Office.