Art Art Class Earth Education Green Lifestyle Most Popular Revealing Treasures in your Own Backyard

Natural History Society

The Natural History Society of Maryland is a private nonprofit dedicated to conserving Maryland’s natural heritage and educating its citizens on the natural sciences since 1929. We are a volunteer-run organization with a few part-time staff. We manage a small museum in Baltimore County where we offer programs, lectures, workshops, and courses on a wide variety of natural science subjects. The lower level of our building is a collections facility that houses over 200,000 natural history specimens and artifacts.

They recently hosted a Teachers Night at the museum, a free event for teachers to learn about and experience the museum in order to get inspired to collaborate with local organizations.

I talked with Natural History experts of fossils and geology, competed a museum-wide scavenger hunt and left with resources for my classroom.  All teachers that attended received a complimentary year membership to NHSM. During the visit I made a connection with the Fossil Curator of the museum who delivered an amazing set of fossils to our school! The students started using them right away.

Students used the fossils as a reference to create a new character for their parade drawings!

I am so glad I attended the event and excited about new possibilities with integrating environmental education into my art classroom.


Art Divine I Am Earth Education Existence Green Lifestyle Intuitive Henna Most Popular Spirituality


This year has been so abundant.

So much packed into one year.

The beginning of 2019 started off with learning more about the local connections with environmental organizations on my area, experiencing my first Maryland Association of Outdoor and Environmental Education conference, and recertifying my school as a Maryland Green school! We also were awarded two grants for environmental education projects! I also took the green club on a field trip to Sandy Point state park for a green school celebration! One of the best field trips ever.


In March I attended the National Art Education Association convention in Boston. I visited and fell in love with two new museums, the Isabella Gardner Museum and MFA. I learned the importance of networking and sharing who I am with others and found my place with the Caucus on the Spiritual in Art Education.


The spring was busy with my student teacher from Towson, who accepted a job this year! We also had our schools annual Arts in Action event!


Summer came and my intuitive henna took off. Sharing my gifts with many, some even had their designs become a permanent part of their lives.


I painted “en plein air,” at Cromwell Valley park with BCPS teachers.  It was such an awesome experience, and I am so looking forward to it again this coming summer.

I also attended an AVID one day intensive training, where I learned a lot about different ways to teach students, that I have been using this year! I am excited to say that I was asked to attend the week long training this summer 2020.

Working for St. Paul’s summer camp this year was a new experience… all camps combined, in a new location. It was a wonderful summer with amazing coworkers and campers! Visiting Irvine Nature Center and the Senator Theater were some of my highlights!

Then August came… with a bang. Breaking my wrist 2 weeks before school started for the new year. This was by far one of the most testing time for me. Testing my faith and trust that I have the power within to heal and come back stronger than before. Testing my sense of self…. am I my right hand? As an artist I began asking myself, does my identity come from my hands? Can I create even if my hands don’ work the same as they always have? This was a powerful time for a deep dive within.

I healed faster than the doctors have seen from a 30 year old. The whole process from break to out of cast took 6 weeks, and the doctor was so surprised at the amount of healing that occurred. My mobility was about 90% back to normal! I attribute my healing to my mindset, words and movement. I constantly used healing words over broken words. I visualized my wrist healing and strengthening. I stretched and stretched, and slowly got back into yoga, and stretched and stretched.

My 12th year of teaching began and I became an adjunct professor at Notre Dame of Maryland University, teaching Methods in Secondary Art Education. This was a huge milestone for me and my own self awareness. I love sharing my passion for teaching and art, especially with other passionate teachers. It was such a blessing to teach this course.

The workload for 2019 was intense, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So much growth. Like a seedling, breaking through the concrete. Learning when to rest and when to reach. Realizing the activeness of balance. Balance in work, life, love, relationships, creating and resting. The balance of self care and self growth.

2019 was an abundant, and it was beautiful to watch the balance unfold.

Thank you to everyone who shared in this past year with me. I am forever grateful for you. <3  Excited and open to receiving all that this new year has in store.

Migwetch and Gizagiin

Raine Dawn

Art Art Class Divine I Am Earth Education Existence Green Lifestyle Most Popular

CleanAir Partners Poster Contest

This year my students are participating in the CleanAir Partners poster contest.

“Clean air is central to our mission to help individuals who live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an umbrella term for respiratory conditions that include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and certain forms of asthma. Improving the quality of our air must be a public health priority – because when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”

Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, President of the COPD Foundation

As the green school coordinator this year, I have learned of many new opportunities to integrate environmental learning into the art curriculum.

Being one who has a deep rooted passion and connection to nature and art, it excites me to be able to bring the two together!

Look at all of these amazing posters my students created!!





Divine I Am Earth Education Existence Revealing Treasures in your Own Backyard

Chesapeake Watershed Forum

Last weekend I had the privilege to attend the Chesapeake Watershed Forum at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown West Virginia, on the Potomac River.


A while back when I decided to take on the green school coordinator position for my school, I went into research mode so that I could find opportunities to learn more about what it means to be a green school. I found the forum through the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education.  It sounded very interesting and there was a scholarship being given so I registered and applied.  I received the acceptance email on my birthday!

I was very excited to be attending something new and getting to learn more about how I can help our water and our land. I never expected what the weekend actually had in store…learning, networking and new perspective on my life’s path.

I have always been drawn to the water, and earth. My grandmother was a woman of the earth… Ojibwe are plains Indians and spend a lot of time with the land so it runs in my blood. This weekend I really began to understand how land and water conservation is vital to protecting the ecosystems around us.

The NCTC has a beautiful campus, great facilities and delicious food! The staff was friendly, helpful and polite.


The forum is presented by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay along with many other amazing non-profits such as Chesapeake Bay Program, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Park Service.

I received my scholarship from the Chesapeake Bay Trust,

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit grant-making organization dedicated to improving the watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland Coastal Bays, and Youghiogheny River. Created in 1985 by the Maryland General Assembly, our goal is to increase stewardship through grant programs, special initiatives, and partnerships that support K-12 environmental education, on-the ground watershed restoration, community engagement, and the underlying science of these three realms. Through our grants, the Trust engages hundreds of thousands of students and volunteers in projects that have a measurable impact on the natural resources of our region.  Grantees include schools, local governments, community groups, faith-based groups, watershed organizations, and other not-for-profit entities.


I am so thankful for the opportunity to grow as an educator and as an earth conscious individual. I learned about testing water with ALLARM, surveying the areas around the water to look for specific things that tell if the water quality will be balanced. I also learned about MWEE’s, Environmental Education, and a lot of grants that are available! Shore Rivers and Anacostia Watershed were also there sharing their journey and progress with educating citizen scientists to amazing projects happening in Washington D.C.


The people who attended the forum were all very inviting and accepting. Everyone was really kind and open to sharing and helping. The networking at this forum was so beneficial and I think I’ve even made a few new friends.


There was a LOT of art here as well, which made me super happy! They had a “poster contest” to show off information about successful projects.


The forum started out with art, and cognitive mapping. We were each asked to create a map of the place that makes us want to work with conserving the land and water.  I drew the blue heron I see at Gunpowder Falls.


There were other small installations such as the #bethelight and #postsecret.


This was a great experience, there should definitely be more teachers in attendance, and it will be great to see more educational sessions next year! Thank you again to everyone for hosting and presenting such a wonderful forum.

Migwetch <3
Raine Dawn