Anita Goehringer, The Elms Environmental Education Center, St. Mary’s Public Schools


About her decision to serve as VMC with the Elms Environmental Education Center, Anita explains “I came to Volunteer Maryland at a time in my life when I questioned my desire to continue a long-standing career in Ergonomics Consulting. I couldn’t say no to the opportunity to potentially make a difference in something that I have gravitated to all my life—nature, plants and the environment. I saw a real need at the Elms, and I wanted to be part of the change.”

The Elms Environmental Education Center provides onsite, sequentially-developed, curriculum-integrated environmental education programs to 10,000 Pre-K-12 students annually from St. Mary’s County public and private schools. Anita is working with the Native Plant Nursery program, and site-based and school-based environmental improvement and related instruction. She’s also recruiting 53 new volunteers who assist education programs, maintain the Native Plant Demonstration Gardens and nursery, and maintain, restore and extend trails at the Elms.

“I feel invigorated  and empowered to have an opportunity to use my knowledge, skills and life experiences to make a positive change in something so important,” Anita shares. “I returned for year two at the Elms because of my strong belief in volunteer service and helping to build community around a common goal—preserving, nurturing and sustaining the environment and the natural world.”


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