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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Prince George’s County Maryland must not Close the William S. Schimdt Outdoor Education Center

    Prince George's County, Maryland, in a continuation of short sightedness brought on by an inability to find creative funding solutions for education, prepares to ax its William S. Schimdt Outdoor Education Center with its science programs that focus on environmental education. This is not surprise in a county that feels it can pave its way to success even while being amazingly myopic about the long term implications of these decisions. The economic excuse does not go far, even if some in the county continue to think of open space as an invitation to plunder. An uneducated and unaware student body will come of age woefully unequipped do deal with problems of clean air and clean water, just to mention a few examples, because of decisions some in Prince George's County would take to fix today's economic budget challenges. We can not say that the students of an urban county are not worthy of exposure to environmental science and the impact of ecological system services and resources to them in their future.

    Defunding the William S. Schmidt Outdoor Education Center ranks right up there with eliminating the arts as one more financial decision based on an expediency of the moment - no Art, no Science, no Literature…what subject, exactly, do our elected school board members think is important to a student's education? If we cut enough, we will not need their services for the school system will simply be an institution marking time at tax payers expense delivering nothing of value to anyone.

    For forty years the William S.Schimdt Outdoor Education Center has provided incalculable value to the students of Prince George's County and therefore to the county itself. The William S. Schimdt Outdoor Education Center has provided science education and social studies in a direct, hands-on overnight program for 5th graders. In addition the Schimdt Center is a resource for teacher and a partner for numerous non profits that work together to build and enhance a county of excellence. If our school board cannot rise to the occasion and find a creative solution, the William S.Schimdt Outdoor Education Center will be closed reinforcing the message that the environment is unimportant precisely at the same time that the rest of the world is recognizing the dramatic, specific and crucial impact of ecosystem services and resources has and will have on each and every one of us.

    And one last little thing: closing the Schimdt Center violates COMAR 13A.04.17.01E taking the county backwards to the past instead of forward to its rightful place of excellence in the future. And what is COMAR you ask? COMAR is the Code of Maryland Regulations which reads in part: "All students shall have the opportunity to participate in the comprehensive environmental education program required by the regulation to meet their graduation requirements in environmental literacy."

    Call your county and state politicians and of course call the school board members and loudly tell them NO