High school students prepare for envirothon competition

Teams of high school students across Chautauqua County are busy studying environmental topics and preparing speeches to present at the 24th annual ” Chautauqua County Envirothon Competition” on April 24 at Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown. The 27 teams competing will try to dethrone the team from Chautauqua Lake High School who won the Chautauqua County title last year.

The annual outdoor, hands-on environmental education competition is run by Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District. Teams of five students in grades 9-12 are tested on topics including: wildlife, aquatics, forestry, soils/land use, and a current environmental issue. The teams will compete for a chance to represent the County in the New York state competition held on the campus of Morrisville State College in Morrisville, N.Y., on May 21 and 22.

“The Envirothon is a fun way to get young people to learn about major environmental issues that they will have to make decisions on as adults,” said County Soil & Water Conservation District Manager Dave Spann. “In addition to taking written tests, at the state level the competition challenges students to give a presentation about a development project or pollution problem as though they were presenting it to community representatives or before a planning board.”

“These students are not just studying scientific terms for a test,” explained Spann. “They are learning about how to work with community groups and government to solve environmental problems in potential real life scenarios that they, and their communities, may face in the future.”

Soil and Water Conservation Districts across the state help organize annual County and Regional Envirothon competitions. Essential support is provided by school science teachers, school districts and local businesses that donate supporting funds.

To learn more about the Envirothon please visit its website at: www.soilwater.org.

The Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District provides programs and technical services to help residents and communities protect and improve the water quality and other natural resources of Chautauqua County. To learn more visit: www.soilwater.org or call 664-235, extension 180.