Cumberland Times-News

Local News

January 20, 2013

Ecotourism retreat looks for ‘green’ certification

MCHENRY — Blue Moon Rising Center for Sustainable Education, a nonprofit, is working to obtain a Maryland Green Center certification, according to the organization’s website. Blue Moon Rising is an ecotourism retreat that is developing sustainable education programs.

“One of the biggest parts of our programing that we wanted to have was to connect local artists and farmers to vacationing residents coming to Deep Creek Lake,” said Maureen Myers, director of art and design programing at BMR in a YouTube video on the company’s website.

The sustainable education programs will fall into one of the following genres: wellness, sustainability, environmental education, art creation and arts entertainment, according to the website.

A Maryland Green Center certification is a way to recognize and honor a facility’s efforts in implementation of environmental education, best management practices and community engagement, ac-cording to the Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education. The certification is valid for four years and there are 32 certified Maryland Green Centers. Hickory Environmental Education Center in Accident was certified in 2007 and 2001, according to the MAEOE website.

In 2008, founder Lisa Jan had the vision to integrate vacation rental properties with sustainable educational services, according to the BMR website.

“I want Blue Moon Rising to be a gem in Garrett County. I want it to draw tourists, educators and people who just want to learn about nature and living green,” said Jan in the YouTube video.

The foundation of BMR is that nothing goes to waste and each tree that is taken down is evaluated so that it can be reused elsewhere on the project, according to the website.

“The hallmark of Blue Moon Rising, the guiding principle in its every aspect, is to demonstrate that comfort and beauty need not be (and will not be) sacrificed for humans to live lightly on this, our only planet,” states the website.

BMR is also working with schools to meet Maryland’s new environmental literacy requirements.

A call to Myers for further information was not returned by press time.

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