About Us

Our Mission:

Students planting

The Chesapeake Ecology Center is dedicated to promoting and educating the public about community greening and conservation landscaping practices for the Chesapeake Bay watershed that result in a healthier and more beautiful environment benefiting residents and the region’s biological diversity.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit environmental organization, that is largely volunteer-driven. Download CEC membership brochure.

The Chesapeake Ecology Center (CEC) promotes community greening/ sustainable living practices through a variety of educational initiatives and through various media, covering a range of green living topics. We take action via habitat restoration projects.

In addition to restoration projects at a variety of locations in Anne Arundel County and on-going environmental education initiatives, two of our multi-year initiatives are the installation, maintenance, and on-going improvement of over two dozen Native Plant Demonstration Gardens and Groves at MM@JAAA/CEC, and the implementation of the RainScaping Campaign throughout Anne Arundel County. 

The RainScaping Campaign—an Environmental Partnership for Stormwater Runoff Solutions—was primarily active 2008-2013, and continues via outdoor signage at various locations. Organized by the CEC, this PSA/Ad and social marketing campaign brought together over 50 partners whose common purpose is to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries by motivating a critical mass of residents to make RainScaping the norm in Anne Arundel County. RainScaping practices continue to be adopted countywide and indeed nationwide. Notably, the CEC has produced RainScaping signs and a variety of conservation landscaping signs and signage information that are being used by many groups.

About the 24 Native Plant Demonstration Gardens and Groves at the CEC at Mary Moss @ J. Albert Adams Academy

Two-dozen Native Plant Demonstration Gardens and Groves are located in the heart of Annapolis at Mary Moss @ J. Albert Adams Academy (MM@JAAA is Anne Arundel County’s alternative middle school, plus 9th grade, for behaviorally-challenged students)—and home of the CEC—at 245 Clay Street, Annapolis, Maryland. The 10-acre waterfront campus is situated along the tidal headwaters of College Creek (two blocks from the U.S. Navy-Marine Corp Memorial Stadium). It is an ideal location to demonstrate conservation landscaping practices and to showcase techniques to protect our waterways. Notably, the grounds have traditionally been called Adams Park and used as such. The public is invited to visit the gardens and groves for guided tours (by arrangement) or self-guided tours facilitated by signage at the site, or to take a virtual tour on the Gardens and Groves page. Visitors are asked to be respectful of the school grounds and to visit after school hours starting at 5 p.m., and anytime on the weekends and during the summer. Visitors should also note that dog walking is prohibited on the school grounds.

Beginning in 2002, the gardens and groves have been installed by countless students and adult volunteers, who learn about ecology and conservation landscaping while getting their hands dirty.  The 24 large and small Native Plant Demonstration Gardens and Groves at MM@JAAA/CEC have been installed by: MM@JAAA students (we work with a new group of behaviorally-challenged students each year), middle and high school students from several schools, girl scouts, cub scouts, Master Gardeners, Naval Academy Midshipmen, Anne Arundel Community College and University of Maryland students,  youth and leaders with the Juvenile Drug Court Program, (former) Computer Learning Center youth from the Clay Street community, Maryland Conservation Corps young adults, international environmental professionals from several countries (arranged by the World Trade Center Institute), Unitarian Universalist Church members, Blacks of the Chesapeake, NAACP members, Merkle Inc. staff, Cigna Corporation staff, and Crosby Marketing staff—just to name a few of the more than 100 volunteer groups the CEC has worked with since 2002. Our environmental education programs for students and the public promote stewardship of natural resources, bring more human diversity to the environmental arena by partnering with a wide variety of groups, including those in underserved communities, and promote a “sense of place” for the Chesapeake Bay watershed through the use of plants native to the region.

The gardens and groves are a public resource and have many functions: They are a local as well as a regional resource, showcasing conservation landscaping techniques, designs, and wide varieties of native plants and habitat types in which students and the public can participate through engaging, interactive instruction and tours. The gardens and groves improve and protect water quality in the adjacent College Creek, sequester carbon, improve air quality, increase wildlife habitat, and beautify the school grounds.

View the 5-minute video RainScaping at the Chesapeake Ecology Center, produced by Maryland Public Television.


The CEC is very grateful for the funding we have received over the years from our members, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Constellation Energy, Crosby Marketing, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Spring Creek Foundation, and Unity Gardens. We have also received tremendous non-monetary assistance from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Anne Arundel County, City of Annapolis, and other entities.

Become a Member

Your contribution helps by supporting the CEC’s environmental education initiatives, habitat restoration projects, and the maintenance of the Native Plant Demonstration Gardens and Groves.  Maintaining two-dozen Native Plant Demonstration Gardens and Groves, spread out over 10 acres, is challenging and we encourage your support in this endeavor.

Download CEC membership brochure

Standard Memberships:
Regular/Family $25
Associations and Businesses $50
Patrons $250
Benefactors $500

Checks can be made out to:
Chesapeake Ecology Center

Mailing address:
Chesapeake Ecology Center
c/o Treasurer
Mary Moss @ Adams Academy
245 Clay Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

For more information regarding the CEC please contact:

Zora Lathan, Volunteer Executive Director

Dr. William H. Sanders, Volunteer Deputy Director, Senior Science Advisor