Erie County team wins national Envirothon

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ERIE, Pa. – The North East High School Envirothon team from Erie County won the national 2001 Canon Envirothon competition.

“First they used their environmental knowledge to set the highest score ever to win the state title, and now they have brought home the national title to Pennsylvania,” said Pa. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary David E. Hess during hometown ceremonies congratulating the members.

The members of the winning team are Carson Engelskirger, Jeremy Stempka, Justin Pierson, Markus Fish, and Doug Fynan. Team advisers are John Hallenburg and Patrick Coyne.

The youth also happen to be longtime members of Boy Scout Troop #57 and have grown up participating in environmental projects like constructing wildlife habitats and nature trails, planting shrubs and trees and taking part in community cleanups.

Won scholarships. During the national Envirothon competition at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Miss., the team competed against teams from 41 other states and seven Canadian provinces.

Each of members received a $3,000 scholarship and products from Canon. Three members will begin college this year, two at Penn State and one at Allegheny College – their majors reflect their interests: wildlife biology, fish and wildlife science and environmental science. The remaining two team members will be high school juniors this fall.

The coaches and the Erie County Conservation District received digital cameras.

“The first challenge for the North East team was competing in the Erie County competition,” Erie County Conservation District Manager LeRoy Gross said. “In Erie County this has become very competitive, growing from just a few teams in the first Erie County Envirothon in 1991 to 28 teams this year.”

Conservation districts in most states sponsor the county events.

The North East team scored 554.5 points out of a possible 700.

About the competition. The Envirothon tests students’ knowledge of environmental resources and their relation to each other and human activities. The teams complete exercises in aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and a current environmental issue.

The 2001 issue was nonpoint source pollution.

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