Five environmental categories challenged 24 teams from nine schools.
About 120 students competed in the annual Envirothon at Chapman State Park on Friday April 26. Sheffield High, Sheffield Middle, Tidioute Community Charter, Youngsville High, Youngsville Middle, Beaty-Warren Middle, Warren County Christian, Youngsville Elementary/Middle Schools, and Warren County Homeschoolers tested their skills at five stations.
Envirothon includes four subjects which remain constant; soils, wildlife, forestry and aquatics; and a current issues station, which changes each year.
The soil station was manned by the United States Natural Resource Conservation Service, and tested students on soil types and textures, and how to read a soils book that uses aerial photography, overlays, and topographic information to determine soil types and uses.
The wildlife station’s completion was administered by the Pennsylvania Game Commission conservation officers. Student knowledge of wildlife management regulations, history and hunting regulations were tested. The teams were also required to identify bird calls and pictures of wildlife.
Foresters from the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources checked the students knowledge of forestry, and the use of Biltmore sticks to determine board feet and volumes of trees.
At the aquatics station, students were tested on regulations, species and water environment management issues. The station was staffed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Grazing Livestock for Improved Herd Health and Land Management was the theme for the current issues station, and was manned by The Warren County Conservation District (WCCD).
WCCD volunteer Judy Cerra helped with the scorekeeping, and volunteer Dick Burlingame assisted at the Grazing station. Elizabeth Dropp of the Conewango Creek Watershed Association helped at the soil competition.
Representatives from the Department of Environmental Protection kept tabs for scoring
Speaking of the individual schools preparing for the event Jean Gomory of the WCCD said “Teachers receive information (about the upcoming competition) in December or January, and schools can start studying that early. Some schools have clubs, science or ecology that meet during the school day, and some meet before or after school.”