Legacy Institute for the Environment (LIFE)

What is LIFE

LIFE is an environmental education program for Maryland adults offered by the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC).  LIFE’s purpose is to create community among adults wishing to enhance their knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay environment and to strengthen civic engagement through volunteerism.

Vision of LIFE

Through education and volunteerism, LIFE stewards learn about the environment of the Chesapeake Bay and share that knowledge to contribute continually to the protection of the environment for future generations.

Mission of LIFE

The mission of LIFE is to recruit and inspire adult learners though CBEC’s annual LIFE Institute.  By offering in-depth learning experiences, LIFE participants expand their knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay environment to become more well-informed citizens and share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the outdoors through volunteerism in concert with CBEC’s mission.

History of the Institute

LIFE was originated at CBEC in 2004 in partnership with the University of Maryland Center on Aging.  From 2005 to 2009, CBEC was joined by the Adkins Arboretum and Pickering Creek Audubon Center in co-sponsoring LIFE. In 2011, sponsorship of LIFE became sponsored solely by CBEC, the founding environmental center.

To date, approximately 150 LIFE graduates have emerged from the program. Grants from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United Way and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have supported these classes.  LIFE graduates are expected to provide at least 20 hours of volunteer service to CBEC.

CBEC remains committed to the long-term sustainability of the Institute.


  • Geography/Geology/Natural History of the Chesapeake Bay
  • Human influence on the Bay
  • Health of the Bay
  • Climate Change and Weather
  • Plant and Insect Life at CBEC
  • Aquatic Life in the Bay
  • Birding at CBEC
  • Animal Life at CBEC
  • Volunteering for the Environment