Kings Eye at Piney Run Environmental Center
The Kings Eye Environmental Center is pleased to highlight the organization's achievements and activities below. It includes a brief overview of initiatives, including partnerships with various organizations, and significant collaborations that have contributed to our mission of conservation, research and environmental education.
The Kings Eye Environmental Center (Center) will promote environmental education, share best practices, and foster professional development opportunities for educators. Through joint workshops, conferences, and resource sharing, we will assist in strengthening the field of environmental education in Maryland. Therefore, we forged a valuable informal partnership with the Maryland Association of Environmental Outdoor Educators (MAEOE) and the organization used the facility for leadership strategic planning, training and board governance planning and preparation. Approximately 60 individuals, including MAEOE Executive Director, Program Director and other staff are involved in this effort which includes offering instructional support to various schools and teachers to reduce environmental impact, encourage sustainability and foster environmental literacy.
The Center’s goal is to provide immersive and experiential environmental education to inner city students throughout the state. By working together, we created engaging programs and conducted field trips, offering hands-on learning experiences that connected students with nature and fostered a sense of environmental responsibility. For example, students and teachers at Lille May Carroll Jackson Charter School (LMCJ), Baltimore Public Schools are building skills and knowledge in environmental education, climate change actions and environmental justice. They have joined our network of informal partners like the Maryland Port Administration (MPA), an agency that has been working at LMCJ and connected their training to some hands-on learning at this past Spring. The training day focused on water quality and fish and wildlife conservation. The Living Classroom Foundation provided support in this effort. Approximately 20 students and trainers participated in this visit.
Our college and internship efforts play a crucial role in fostering environmental stewardship and providing valuable learning opportunities. The Center hosted a total of 3 interns from Towson State and Morgan State University. Students and associated faculty actively participated in educational outreach, and conservation efforts, contributing to the overall success of our organization. Since Dr. Mamie Parker is a former Head of Fisheries and Regional Director, consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a cornerstone of our efforts to protect and conserve wildlife habitats. The National Conservation Training Center has provided mentoring to our interns and provided individual support to Dr. Parker on related to training materials on habitat restoration, water quality and species monitoring, and educational outreach. This relationship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will enable us to have a broader impact on wildlife conservation in our region.
The Center established a relationship with Old Dominion University (ODU) focused on data research initiatives and knowledge exchange. By leveraging the expertise of ODU's faculty and students, we were able to conduct valuable information that contributed to our understanding of local ecosystems and conservation strategies. The MARI Center at Old Dominion University’s Sustainability and Conservation Leadership class 25 students) used the Center for their capstone project where they applied methods and concepts to develop recommendations on conservation in the Center’s watershed.