Living Classrooms’ flagship Lady Maryland WINS the first-ever Virtual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race (GCBSR)! GCBSR is an annual fundraising event that was founded to promote public awareness of the Chesapeake Bay’s maritime heritage and to encourage the preservation and improvement of the Chesapeake’s natural resources. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 31st Annual GCBSR was virtual, and as such, the winner was slated to be the vessel that raises the most money.
Lady Maryland, has been sailing the waters of the Chesapeake Bay since 1986. Since that time, Lady Maryland has participated in nearly every Schooner Race and is unique in that she is the only vessel that carries students across the finish line. In the last few decades, Lady Maryland has taken home the first place prize twice: in 1999 and 2009. While this year was different, the stakes were even higher than years before, and all money raised by Lady Maryland for the GCBSR fundraiser would go directly to support educational programming for youth. As the four-day virtual fundraising race came to an end, Lady Maryland was able to raise over $18,000 to support Living Classrooms thanks to over 100 donors and supporters!
In a typical year, prior to COVID-19, Lady Maryland would be on the Patapsco River providing hands-on, interdisciplinary, and environmental education programs to participating students from a variety of backgrounds and economic means. During these Maritime Environmental STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Voyages, students use academic skills in the real world, working together to raise and lower sails, trawl for marine life, perform scientific tests, and explore the commerce, history, natural resources, and ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay.
Although 2020 has presented many unforeseen challenges to Living Classrooms’ hands-on learning approach, Living Classrooms’ staff have pivoted to meet the evolving needs of virtual and distance learning. Lady Maryland is proud to continue serving local students, and is looking forward to the introduction of Virtual Field Trips in December 2020, and a sailing season in 2021.