Competition was intense at Possum Creek MetroPark in Dayton on April 24. Ninety-two high school teams from southwest Ohio met in the area’s annual Envirothon. Two teams from Miami Trace and one team from Fayette Christian competed this year from Fayette County.
“Students were tested on their environmental knowledge in five areas, including aquatics, current environmental issues (CEI), forestry, soils and wildlife. The CEI this year focuses on Western Rangelands/Grasslands,” said Brigitte Hisey from Fayette SWCD. “We also had the first student journalist at an envirothon participate from Fayette Christian, Aaron Turner. I also want to thank advisors, Wendi Mizer Stachler and Elizabeth Fitch, for bringing the students.”
The top four teams from the event representing Centerville, Beavercreek, and Russia high schools 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. Each team consists of five students. An adult advisor must accompany the team, but is not permitted to assist the team during the competition.
Major sponsorship for the Area IV Envirothon comes from Cargill, Inc., Honda of America and the 18 Soil & Water Conservation Districts in southwest Ohio. Possum Creek was a great location for this year’s event. The weather was cloudy with light rain but the students dressed for the weather.
In Ohio, the Envirothon is sponsored by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Professionals from the Miami River Conservancy, Division of Wildlife, Division of Forestry, ODNR, ODA, and private industry wrote the Envirothon tests and staffed the various stations.
The Envirothon began in Ohio in 1989 and was modeled on a similar program from Pennsylvania. Students who prepare for and participate in the Envirothon gain a greater awareness of natural resources and environmental issues. They meet a wide range of professionals and are exposed to various points of view on environmental responsibilities while learning about career opportunities.