The excitement was contagious as the students gathered on the morning of April 24th for the opening of the 2018 Area IV Envirothon, cheering the professionals who had prepared the tests that students would be taking a short bit later at the testing sites. Not even the threat of rain, which thankfully never amounted to more than some misty conditions and a few drops here and there, dampened enthusiasm. Students and teachers who are veterans of the event know to dress for the weather. The Envirothon offers a unique opportunity for students to learn from professionals who work in different aspects of natural resources conservation.
Competition was intense. Each team consists of five students. An adult advisor must accompany the team, but is not permitted to assist the team during the competition. Students and their teachers had spent many hours preparing, pouring over study guides, participating in practice Envirothons in their home counties, securing busing and learning from natural resources professionals. Over the next few hours, 92 teams made up of over 450 students from an 18 county area in the South West corner of Ohio worked to answer questions on the topics of Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife and the Current Environmental Issue (CEI) of Rangeland Grazing. Five teams from Warren County competed in the competition; 2 teams from Franklin High School and 3 teams from Kings High School
The 2018 Area IV Envirothon was hosted by Montgomery County. Each year, a different team of SWCDs plan and host the event. This year, the Montgomery and Miami SWCDs collaborated to host the event at the beautiful and diverse Possum Creek MetroPark. Possum Creek was a perfect fit, with its mix of high quality habitats all situated in close proximity to one another. The hosting Five Rivers MetroParks staff were very accommodating and worked with the committee closely to make sure the contest had what was needed and flowed smoothly.
Major sponsorship for the Area IV Envirothon comes from Cargill, Inc., Honda of America and the 18 Soil & Water Conservation Districts in Southwest Ohio. Test writers were professionals who represented Five Rivers MetroParks, the Miami Conservancy District, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
The top scoring teams for 2018 were from Centerville (1st and 3rd), Beavercreek, and Russia High Schools. The top four teams from the event advance to the Ohio Envirothon, where they will compete with top teams from the other four areas in the state. The winning team from the Ohio Envirothon then advances to the North American Envirothon, which in 2018 will be held in Idaho.
This event is a true example of many groups working together to provide a wonderful opportunity for students to learn through experience! These contests are open to any Warren County schools. If you have a school that would like to participate or learn more, please contact Warren County SWCD Education Specialists Melissa Proffitt or Marta Farrell.
The ENVIROTHON is an environmental high school competition designed to stimulate, reinforce and enhance interest in the environment and natural resources among high school students. Students are tested on their knowledge of soils, forestry, wildlife, aquatic ecology and current environmental issues. In addition, the Envirothon encourages cooperative decision-making and team building. While each student on a team is challenged to contribute his or her personal best, the score that counts at the end of the competition is the team score. A team consists of five students, all from the same high school. An adult advisor (or advisors) must accompany the team, but is not permitted to assist the team during the competition.
High School students across the state compete on the local level at one of the five Area Envirothons. The top four teams from each Area Envirothon go on to compete at the state competition held each year in June for the title of State Champion. The State Champion from Ohio will compete at the NCF Envirothon held annually in North America.
For more information, visit: https://www.envirothon.org
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