Salisbury University’s Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art has been awarded a $30,000 grant from The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation to support the Living Classroom and Environmental Education Experiences at the Ward Museum.
As part of the Ward Museum’s recent capital expansion with new and remodeled classroom spaces, a Living Classroom overlooking Schumaker Pond will include an enhancement of walkways, plantings and outdoor learning areas that will connect outdoor experiential learning to classroom lessons happening indoors. Once complete, the Living Classroom will be available for fieldtrip experiences for students grades K-12 and year-round visitors to the Museum.
The funding from the Perdue Foundation will also support the costs of providing environmental education lessons to K-12 public schools in the region. This funding would be leveraged to offset field trip fees for students, secure teaching materials, and to support transportation for public schools to the museum. The program will continue to support Maryland State Department of Education’s Environmental Literacy Curriculum and its Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience requirement. The requirement ensures that Maryland school children have hands-on action based learning experiences that engage core concepts of watershed health and environmental impacts. This effort builds on the Museum’s existing partnership with the public school system to support environmental lessons in various grades.
“This support from the Perdue Foundation is essential to continuing and developing these initiatives for environmental learning and stewardship,” said Lora Bottinelli, executive director of the Ward Museum. “We are eager to enhance the grounds of the Museum with the Living Classroom and offer a wider range of educational experiences to our community. With this funding we are better able to show value of the natural environment in the communities we live, and provide educational tools to help foster learning and stewardship.”
“Providing opportunities for children to explore, play and learn in nature is vital for their development and for encouraging their future as environmental stewards,” said Kim Nechay, Perdue Foundation’s executive director. “The Ward Museum is leading the way in providing high quality environmental learning experiences in our region. The addition of the Living Classroom at the Ward Museum is an important investment in this effort for future generations on the Shore.”