Photo: Members of MMI Preparatory School’s winning Envirothon team are, from left: Farrah Qadri, Rebecca Noga, Anjni Patel, Brianna Nocchi, David Polashenski, and adviser Michael Mele.
Fifty-four teams of high school students from 44 states, 9 Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory completed training and testing in natural resource categories such as soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, and wildlife. Every year an additional topic is incorporated into the competition based upon a current environmental issue. This year’s topic was Nonpoint Source Pollution/Low Impact Development.
“At a time when the conservation of natural resources is critically important to our planet, it is wonderful to see a large group of bright, dedicated students from across North America test their skills in a challenging environmental competition,” said Bunji Yano, senior director and general manager, Corporate Communications, Canon U.S.A. “This year was a very close competition and all of the students should be extremely proud of themselves and their effort.”
The Pennsylvania Envirothon awarded scholarships to the first, second, and third place teams. The scholarships were sponsored by EXCO Resources (PA), PPL Corporation and Pennsylvania Envirothon. Each of the top ten teams received a plaque and other prizes.
High school students from 62 Pennsylvania counties participated in this year’s event.
At the Envirothon, five-member teams participate in a series of field-oriented tests that focus on five topic areas – soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and environmental issues. The 2012 current environmental issue focused on Nonpoint Source Pollution and Low Impact Technology.
The teams also prepare and deliver oral presentations to panels of judges who evaluate each team on its problem-solving capabilities, oral presentation skills and recommendations to help solve the specific environmental challenge, which relates to the current environmental issue.
Teams participating represent the best and the brightest of the thousands of high school teens who have competed in county Envirothon competitions sponsored by conservation districts across the state.
At the state level, the Envirothon is sponsored by Pennsylvania’s sixty-six conservation districts, the State Conservation Commission and the PA Association of Conservation Districts.
The program is managed by a board of directors representing those sponsors. Technical expertise is provided by the following agency partners: Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Game Commission, Fish and Boat Commission and the U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Sponsors of the 2012 Envirothon are EXCO Resources (PA), The Hershey Company, American Honda Foundation, PPL Corporation, Air Products Foundation, Bayer HealthCare, Canon Envirothon, PA Trappers Association, PA Outdoor Writers Association, Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, State Conservation Commission and the PA Growing Greener Program.
The Hershey Company, Dwight Lewis Lumber, Lewis Lumber Products and Cargill are “Corporate Station Sponsors.”
Pennsylvania has won the North American event in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2009.