As I sit and look at the weather outside, the sun is shining and it is almost 40 degrees in February in Ohio. Wow, what’s next? Spring, and along with spring comes Envirothon.
What is the Envirothon? It is a competitive outdoor environmental education event for area high school students. Area III Envirothon will be held April 25 at the Norma Johnson Center in Dover, Ohio in Tuscarawas County.
In Ohio, Soil and Water Conservation Districts are divided into five areas. Area III includes Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Knox, Licking, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Tuscarawas and Washington.
Five area Envirothons are conducted and the top four teams from each area moves on to the State Envirothon competition which is held in June.
Students from area high schools are tested on: forestry, soils, aquatic ecology, wildlife and current environmental issues.
The Envirothon is a team-oriented competition and the final score that counts is the team score.
The Ohio Envirothon is sponsored by Ohio Federation of Soil & Water Conservation Districts and Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Soil & Water Conservation.
Originating in Pennsylvania in 1979 as the Environmental Olympics, the name was shortened and changed to the Envirothon in 1988. In 1990, the Envirothon grew dramatically in Ohio with more than 60 teams participating in four area competitions.
By 1993, the Envirothon’s growth to more than 1500 participants showed it was on its way to becoming a national program.
In 2000, the Envirothon continued to grow with more than 1900 participants, and it continues to grow each year. The Envirothon is an educational outreach program focusing on our natural environment. For more detailed information visit Envirothon.org.
The Ohio Envirothon is funded by grants, donations and contributions made to the Don Rehl Memorial Envirothon Fund. At the area level, many local businesses or other related agencies provide contributions and provide products to help support the Area Envirothon.
The top four teams out of the five area Ohio Envirothons are eligible to attend the State Envirothon which will be held June 10-12 at Deer Creek State Park in Pickaway County.
The Canon Envirothon will be held July 22-27 at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa. where the top 50 or more teams will compete from the US and Canada. The Envirothon helps students gain a better awareness of our natural resources.
It is without a doubt that hosting the Area III Envirothon requires many hours of hard work and we at Tuscarawas Soil & Water Conservation District are thankful for being able to be a part of this educational event.
We would like to thank all of our participating Soil & Water Conservation Districts, all of our agencies, businesses and volunteers for all their help and support to make this upcoming event a success.
For more information about the Envirothon or how you can help, please contact your local Soil & Water Conservation District.
(Tracy Haney is District Program Administrator with Tuscarawas Soil and Water Conservation District.)