What is the Envirothon?
The Virginia Envirothon is a natural resources competition for high school students. Students who participate learn stewardship and management concepts and work to solve real and hypothetical environmental problems. The program is field oriented, community based and gives students an opportunity to work with natural resource professionals.
Who makes up a team and what do they do?
Students work in teams of five students. Throughout the school year students prepare to compete at the local level, qualify to then compete at the area level, and the top three teams from the six areas in the state compete to be the State Winner. These teams of high school students are tested on their knowledge of natural resources - soils, forestry, wildlife, aquatics and a current environmental issue. Students visit five "in-the-field" test stations where written and hands-on problem solving is required along with an oral presentation formulating a strategy for addressing an environmental issues problem. The event is competitive, but education is the bottom line.
Participants gain a deeper knowledge of the following:
- The effect individual actions have on environmental problems;
- The interactions and inter-dependencies of our environment;
- Current environmental issues;
- The agencies available to assist them in resource protection concerns;
- The need to become environmentally aware, action-oriented adults.
Participation in Envirothon encourages life skills like team-building, critical thinking, decision making, problem solving and communications skills.
The Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, a non-profit association, coordinates the state program. Virginia’s 46 local soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs) sponsor local programs. Winners at the local level advance to area and state competitions. The state winner represents Virginia in the International Envirothon.
The Envirothon was started in 1979 by three Pennsylvania soil and water conservation districts. By 1988, the idea had caught on and the first national contest was held. Virginia’s program started in 1995 with 12 teams participating at the state level. By 1997 more than 100 teams participated statewide. In 2006, the Virginia team placed 1st overall at the national competition and in 2007, they placed 6th.
The official Envirothon website at http://www.vaswcd.org/envirothon.htm contains complete details on how the event is organized, as well as sample test questions and study materials.
Want to get involved?
Contact Chuck Hoysa at John Marshall Soil and Water (540) 347-3120 EXT. 3, 98 Alexandria Pike, Suite 31, Warrenton, Virginia 20186
Date Last Modified: 02/02/2011