The Garrett County Envirothon competition was held recently at Hickory Environmental Education Center, during which teams and their teachers/coaches from Northern and Southern Garrett High Schools competed for points in a variety of conservation challenges.
The annual event is a full day of competition. Students prepared by attending a spring and fall training day at HEEC and then working with their coaches throughout the school year. Envirothon is a problem-solving, hands-on natural resources competition, with the objectives of promoting a deeper knowledge of how individuals and groups impact the environment by understanding environmental interactions and interdependence; being aware of current environmental issues, agencies, and resources which assist in resource protection and conservation practices; and raising environmental awareness.
Resource trainers from area agencies provided volunteer training and mentoring throughout the year for students and provided training and testing days. The five categories of competition are wildlife, aquatics, forestry, soils, and a special fifth issue that is selected each year.
Area agencies that assisted with this year’s training and competition were: Maryland DNR Park Service, Forestry, and Wildlife Agencies, Garrett County Forestry Board, Garrett Soil Conservation District, US Department of Agriculture, and Garrett County Extension Services. The coaches this year were Carrie Glass (Northern High) and Erin Coffman (Southern High). Special assistance was provided by Sharon Hoover, Randy Sharpless, Rebecca Kenyon-Sisler, and Jason Shank of the Hickory Environmental Education Center, along with Kristi Winters and Brian Schilpp of Garrett County Public Schools Secondary Education.
Competitors from Southern High and Northern High were divided into three teams each as follows: JuJu Beans (NGHS)-Finn Roche, Lexi Wright, Ariella Malfaro, and Joe Burris; Sassafras’ (NGHS)-Natasha Slagle, Lydia Nelson, and Isabel Knapp; Salamanders (SGHS)-Sophia Lambert, Rylee Iden, Fontana Moreland, Zobiana Dillsworth, and Lani Daugherty.
Recognition is given to teams earning a high score in each individual category and overall. Category winners this year were as follows: Aquatics–Salamanders, Forestry–JuJu Beans, Soils–Salamanders, Wildlife–JuJu Beans, and 5th Issue (Waste to Resources)–Salamanders. The Southern Salamander team was the overall winner of the competition. They will continue to train and prepare for the Maryland State Envirothon competition, which will be held on June 15 and 16 at the Western Maryland 4-H Center in Swanton.
The Envirothon began in 1979 in Pennsylvania, with the first national competition in 1988. GCPS students in grades 9-12 are eligible to participate in Envirothon. For more information about Garrett County Envirothon teams and competitions, contact Rebecca Kenyon-Sisler at email@example.com.