By Courtney Leigh
Volunteer & Adult Education Coordinator

Legacy Institute For The Environment 2018 Is Now Accepting Applications

The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center is currently seeking applications for its premier Chesapeake Bay Stewardship/Education Program called The Legacy Institute for the Environment (LIFE).

The mission of the LIFE program is to build social capital for the environment by providing learning opportunities and meaningful stewardship roles for adults in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Participants build knowledge, skills and relationships with educators and scientists from an array of environmental agencies and organizations delivering engaging presentations and offering field experiences.

Morning session of learning how report cards are developed to communicate watershed health. Water quality data is discussed, followed by learning how to use probes to obtain water quality data.

Classes are held in the Education Building at CBEC and participants hear presentations from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Mid-Shore Riverkeepers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the University of Maryland, the Watershed Stewards Academy, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Washington College, Chesapeake College and Queen Anne’s County Planning and Zoning officials. Speakers present information on issues such as bay restoration, land management, and animal and plant conservation. CBEC’s own team of naturalists and educators also contribute to the program by facilitating habitat investigations on CBEC’s 510-acre nature preserve in Grasonville, MD.

LIFE 2017 Participants, Karen Bogue, Deane Horowitz, and Adelle Boyer-Weiss learn how to use a water quality probe to obtain data on watershed health.

“The LIFE Program is a great opportunity to learn much about the Chesapeake Bay. As recent retirees, we wanted to become involved in our community, enjoy the Bay, and meet like-minded individuals. Participating in LIFE allowed us to do exactly that. Each session was fascinating – not overwhelming – and featured both lectures and hands-on activities. We met many interesting people through LIFE and have thoroughly enjoyed our continued involvement in CBEC as a result”

– Anne and Dave Brunson, LIFE 2016 Graduates

More than 150 stewards have graduated from the program since its inception in 2004. Each year the program can only hold 25 participants and it fills up fast. Don’t miss your chance to participate! If interested in participating, complete the online application found at, and submit it by February 21st, 2018.

LIFE 2017 class celebrates our completion of nine educational sessions by enjoying lunch together at Fishermans Inn! Seen here from left to right: Rudy Lukacovic, Lacey Dean, Julie Schnupp, Alexus Viegas, Mary Kay Sistik, Adelle Boyer-Weiss, Michelle Roche, Deane Horowtiz, Christine West, Courtney Leigh, Volunteer and Adult Education Coordinator for CBEC, Dave Perry, Nina Benoit, Christina Alves. Not pictured: Karen Bogue, Jill Jonnes, Diane Larrimore, Peg Donovan.

The 9-session program takes place on Wednesdays at CBEC in March 2018 through May 2nd. The cost for the program is $150 and 20 hours of volunteer stewardship activities. For information on the 2018 program, email Courtney Leigh at or consult CBEC’s web site at