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Ward Museum Receives $30,000 Gift from Perdue Foundation

Ward Museum Perdue Gift Announcement
Pictured, from left:  Lora Bottinelli, Ward Museum executive director; Kim Nechay, Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation executive director; Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach; Jim Perdue, Perdue Farms, Inc. chairman; and Kent Kimmel, Ward Foundation chair.

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art has been awarded a $30,000 grant from The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation to support the Living Classroom and Environmental Education Experiences at the Ward Museum.

As part of the Ward Museum’s recent capital expansion with new and remodeled classroom spaces, a Living Classroom overlooking Schumaker Pond will include an enhancement of walkways, plantings and outdoor learning areas that will connect outdoor experiential learning to classroom lessons happening indoors. Once complete, the Living Classroom will be available for fieldtrip experiences for students grades K-12 and year-round visitors to the Museum.

The funding from the Perdue Foundation will also support the costs of providing environmental education lessons to K-12 public schools in the region.  This funding would be leveraged to offset field trip fees for students, secure teaching materials, and to support transportation for public schools to the museum. The program will continue to support Maryland State Department of Education’s Environmental Literacy Curriculum and its Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience requirement. The requirement ensures that Maryland school children have hands-on action based learning experiences that engage core concepts of watershed health and environmental impacts. This effort builds on the Museum’s existing partnership with the public school system to support environmental lessons in various grades.

“This support from the Perdue Foundation is essential to continuing and developing these initiatives for environmental learning and stewardship,” said Lora Bottinelli, executive director of the Ward Museum. “We are eager to enhance the grounds of the Museum with the Living Classroom and offer a wider range of educational experiences to our community.  With this funding we are better able to show value of the natural environment in the communities we live, and provide educational tools to help foster learning and stewardship.”   

“Providing opportunities for children to explore, play and learn in nature is vital for their development and for encouraging their future as environmental stewards,” said Kim Nechay, Perdue Foundation’s executive director. “The Ward Museum is leading the way in providing high quality environmental learning experiences in our region. The addition of the Living Classroom at the Ward Museum is an important investment in this effort for future generations on the Shore.”

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About the Organizations

The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation

The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Perdue Farms, was established in 1957 by company founder Arthur W. Perdue and is funded through the estates of Arthur W. Perdue and Frank Perdue. As part of our belief in supporting the communities where and with whom we do business, the Foundation provides grants on behalf of Perdue Farms in communities where large numbers of our associates live and work.  At Perdue Farms, we believe in responsible food and agriculture. To learn more about the foundation, visit

The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University

The Ward Museum is located next to Schumaker Pond in Salisbury, Maryland, surrounded by wildlife in the heart of the Atlantic Flyway. The museum was named in honor of Steven and Lemuel Ward, whose vision and artistry in carving decoys pioneered the transition in the role of the decoy from a working tool to an expressive wildfowl sculpture. The museum’s eight galleries and 4.5-acre waterfront campus bring art, nature and tradition within reach of visitors of all ages. The museum is open year-round with a diverse offering of nationally recognized special events, exhibitions and educational programs.  The Ward Museum is an affiliated foundation of Salisbury University. To learn more about these programs, including membership and volunteer opportunities, visit