One March 23, 2023 one of our volunteers attended the Prince George’s Board of Education meeting to thank the Board for supporting state legislation that would make the community solar program permanent and would phase out diesel school buses as well as opposing legislation that would shrink school zones drastically.  He also spoke on the need for dashboards set up by PGCPS to include progress on implementing the Climate Change Action Plan.

Watch the testimony.

Unfortunately, the Maryland Senate has decided to prioritize drivers speeding through school zones over students. Even though our students aren’t guaranteed bus service for over a mile in many cases around a school and current law allows school zones to be within 1/2 mile of the school, the Maryland Senate voted to shrink default zones to roads adjacent to a school and within 500 feet of an entrance.  The only recourse is if a traffic engineer determines our children’s safety won’t impede speeding.  This is a bad bill and bad for our children’s safety.  They need safe routes to school and they need SB11 to go down in the House of Delegates.



The Maryland General Assembly is underway and we have been continuing our work providing support for laws that will lead to greenhouse gas free schools. Of course we do this as part of the Maryland Climate Justice Wing. Here is the second set of the testimony that we have submitted in the 2023 legislative session (the first can be found here and the second can be found here).

  • Speed Limits – School Zones (SB 11)
  • Solar on Schools – (SB 235 / HB 300)
  • Community Solar Energy Generating Systems Program (SB 613HB 908)
  • Public School Construction – Grant Programs, Approvals, and Administration – Alterations (SB 360 / HB 458)
  • Regulation Procedures and the Maryland Register (SB 649 / HB 817)

If you would like to help us review more bills let please consider volunteering.


The Climate Change Action Plan is in place and we need to call for funding for the first year’s priorities in the upcoming budget development. We need you to voice your support for some if not all of these actions:

  • Implement a Sustainability/Resiliency Officer Position
  • A Curriculum and Environmental Justice Work Group (CCEJWG) and the Climate Ready Leadership Summit.
  • Performance of a  Comprehensive Energy Audit All Existing Buildings
  • Solar Energy Purchases through Power Purchase Agreements
  • Begin Purchasing Electric Vehicles and Grounds Maintenance Equipment
  • A Baseline Assessments for Food Waste and Values- Driven Purchasing
  • Resilient Food Production on PGCPS Properties
  • Reductions in School Meal Packaging Sent to the Landfill
  • More Trees at Each School and Across the School System

The opportunities to sign up to speak at Board Meetings happen quick so let us know if you can participate and we will let you know when to register. The next meeting we will need you to testify at is on February 2, followed by one on February 15.




On Thursday January 26, 2023 we voiced support for the County Executive to ensure funding for the PGCPS  Climate Change Action Plan, to end funding for synthetic turf, and to fund safer streets for students to walk and bike to school on.


Read the full text:

Thank you, County Executive Alsobrooks for this opportunity to address you on the FY24 budget.

My name is Joseph Jakuta and the lead volunteer for Climate Parents of Prince Georges.

Climate Parents is a campaign to reduce climate change causing pollution in our schools, and our group is active in Prince George’s County. In particular, we recently worked directly with Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) technical staff and other advocates to develop a first in the national School Climate Change Action Plan.

PGCPS will certainly ask for funds in regards what is necessary to implement their Climate Change Action Plan which was constructed as a complement to the one adopted by the County Council.

Support should be provided for what they need to implement this, including, but not limited to, funding for solar installations, energy management, electric buses, food waste reduction, climate friendly foods, electric heat pump HVACs, and green infrastructure.

Additionally, PGCPS’s CEO Monica Goldson recently announced the school system will discontinue installation of new synthetic turf fields.  We ask that the County commit to ending funding for new synthetic turf fields on their park properties as well. This both helps the environment, children’s health, and alleviates ballooning end-of-life costs to the county.

The county also has a role in making our streets safe for walkers and bikers.  Students do not have access to buses in our county if they are within 1 1/2 mile of elementary schools and 2 miles of other schools.  Those students need safe routes to school.  They need better investments in sidewalks, bike lanes, and traffic safety.  And the county must prioritize that over road expansion. 

Last, but certainly not least, we cannot have a sustainable future without a stable functioning democracy.  In 2018 legislation (CB-99-2018) was passed allowing for matching funds of election candidates in Prince George’s County, but this Fair Election Fund has yet to be budgeted.  The FY24 budget must include the funds to allow this program to flourish.

EPA recently  issued a Request For Information (RFI) seeking information for a Clean School Grants Program funded under the Inflation Reduction Act.  Based on the insights we gained from our work with the Climate Change Action Plan Focus Workgroup we shared this knowledge with EPA to help make a better grant program.

Read the Comments

We had a great meeting this week with Director Shorter of Food and Nutrition Services, Pamela Boozer-Strother: Board Member PGCPS District 3, the William Schmidt Center, and several clubs at Eleanor Roosevelt High to discuss ways to have healthier, climate-friendly food in the schools and reduce food waste. There are no easy answers but PGCPS is taking this seriously.

Oh and EHRS has a great student led composting project going too! Go Raiders!