Make a REAL difference in our Chesapeake Bay Watershed by enrolling in LIFE!

Legacy Institute for the Environment (LIFE)

LIFE is an environmental education program designed to create community among adults wishing to enhance their knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay Environment and to strengthen civic engagement through volunteerism.

UPDATE 8/15/2023: The 2023 CBEC LIFE class is now full. If you would like to be on our waitlist, submit the LIFE application, but do not pay the $50 deposit. If an opening occurs, you will be contacted.


Wednesdays, September 13 – October 18
9 am to 3 pm


Registration is $150. A $50 non-refundable payment is required at the time of registration; $100 payable on first day of class.

Participants are asked to commit to 20 volunteer hours following the program. Volunteer opportunities are wide-ranging: environmental education, research, restoration, and stewardship.

Topics for LIFE 2023

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


Please complete both steps below. Your application is incomplete until you submit both the three-part form and the $50 deposit.

About LIFE

History of the Institute

LIFE 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. Since 2010, CBEC has been the sole sponsor.

To date, approximately 150 LIFE graduates have completed 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.

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

Vision of LIFE

Through education and volunteerism, LIFE stewards learn about the environmental 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 through 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 to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the outdoors through volunteerism.