Ottawa Conservation District Recognized by Michigan Envirothon and MACD

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Michigan Envirothon and the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) named Ottawa Conservation District (CD) the 2014 Envirothon District of the Year on Tuesday, October 28th. The award honors the Ottawa CD, its staff, and Board Members for their outstanding support, dedication and leadership in natural resource conservation education for Michigan's high school students and was presented during the MACD Annual Convention held in Bellaire, MI.
 
The Michigan Envirothon District of the Year is named annually to recognize the outstanding contributions of a Conservation District to Environmental education in Michigan. Michigan Envirothon is an environmental science based education program for high school students, presented in a team-based competition format.  Designed to foster critical thinking, wise stewardship and community involvement, the program presents environmental education in a unique and motivating way emphasizing hands-on learning in the outdoors and interaction with natural resource professionals, like the Ottawa CD staff.  
 
"Michigan Envirothon is pleased to honor the Ottawa Conservation District with the 2014 District of the Year Award," said Angela Sandusky, Michigan Envirothon Coordinator.  "Organizing an Envirothon team can seem like a daunting task, especially for a first time team advisor, or District...Becky Huttenga and her District really stepped up and helped our first time school and advisor, from Hudsonville have a great experience.  Initially Hudsonville was not sure they would have 5 committed students, but as they studied, worked on their community outreach projects and interacted with the Ottawa CD their numbers grew, and they brought two teams and a full supply of 'alternates' to the regional competition."   
 
Michigan Envirothon credits the entire staff and CD board members for offering their support to the program, allowing multiple school visits, and providing study materials for the students.  Specifically we would like to recognize Becky Huttenga, Executive Director Ottawa CD, for answering the challenge, organizing her team, and working with the students and also Heather Bartholomew, NRCS District Conservationist, and Kelly Goward, Macatawa Area Coordinating Council who also met with the students.   
 
"When I received the call from Angie that a teacher in my area was interested in Envirothon, but feeling a little out of her element on some of the subject matter, we were happy to step in," said Huttenga.  "Education, especially of our youth is a priority for our District.  Well informed, engaged adults do not just happen, if we really want to further the mission of Districts, we have to start with our kids...it is also a great way to expose teenagers to career paths they might not have known about, and it is fun!"   
 
Congratulations Ottawa Conservation District, thank you for your hard work and dedication to the Michigan Envirothon!



Left to Right: Angela Sandusky, MI Envirothon Coordinator, MACD. Erik Johnson, Regional Coordinator MDARD, 2014 Envirothon Volunteer of the Year, Becky Huttenga, Executive Director, Ottawa County CD, 2014 Envirothon District of the Year  Art Pelon, MACD President.

Erik Johnson Recognized by Michigan Envirothon and Michigan Association of Conservation Districts

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Michigan Envirothon and the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts (MACD) honored Erik Johnson, Regional Coordinator, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, with the 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award on Tuesday, October 28th. The award honors Erik Johnson for his outstanding support, dedication and leadership in natural resource conservation education for Michigan's high school students and was presented during the MACD Annual Convention held in Bellaire, MI. 
 
The Michigan Envirothon Volunteer of the Year is named annually to recognize the outstanding contributions of an individual to environmental education in Michigan. Michigan Envirothon is an environmental science based education program for high school students, presented in a team-based competition format.  Designed to foster critical thinking, wise stewardship and community involvement, the program presents environmental education in a unique and motivating way, emphasizing hands-on learning in the outdoors and interaction with natural resource professionals, like 2014 Volunteer of the Year, Erik Johnson.  
 
"Michigan Envirothon is pleased to honor Erik Johnson with the 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award," said Angela Sandusky, Michigan Envirothon Coordinator.  "Erik is soils education for Michigan Envirothon, I could not do it without him.  Erik has been volunteering his time and talents with Michigan Envirothon for 16 of its 20 year history, more than any other volunteer.  He is dedicated to the mission of Envirothon and always willing to roll up his sleeves and play in the 'dirt' with the students." 
 


Left to Right: Angela Sandusky, MI Envirothon Coordinator, MACD. Erik Johnson, Regional Coordinator MDARD, 2014 Envirothon Volunteer of the Year, Becky Huttenga, Executive Director, Ottawa County CD, 2014 Envirothon District of the Year  Art Pelon, MACD President.

In addition to working with individual teams, and providing years of regional and state review sessions Erik has also written state and regional testing questions, prepared resource materials for students and helped to host the international competition, the North American Envirothon.  He has also volunteered his time at the organizational level and traveled many miles to attend competitions and determine testing locations.    
  
Congratulations Erik, and thank you for your hard work and dedication to the Michigan Envirothon!

Glen Lakes Sweeps Michigan Envirothon State Competition

Thursday, May 23, 2013

EAST LANSING - Three teams from Glen Lake High School located in Maple City, Leelanau County, placed first, second and third at the Michigan Envirothon State Competition held May 8-10 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.

Glen Lake's Channel 4 News Team finished first in tough competition against 24 teams from across the state. Participating teams competed against each other on their natural resource conservation knowledge and skills. Finishing second in the competition was Glen Lake's Less Miserable and the Green Planetizers were awarded third place.  

The Channel 4 News Team will now now represent Michigan at the North American Envirothon held this year at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana in August.  Additionally, the first, second and third place teams each received scholarships to Michigan State University.  

During the competition at Michigan State University, teams were tested in an outdoors, hands-on setting, on seven conservation topics including, aquatic ecology, energy, forestry, soils/geology, agriculture, wildlife and sustainable rangeland management. Each team also completed a community outreach project prior to the competition that addressed a natural resources concern in their community.

"The Michigan Envirothon State Competition is the culmination of a great deal of extra curricular activities and learning by participants, said Lori Phalen, Executive Director of MACD.  "Students who participated at the event, first had to compete at the regional level, before moving on to the State Competition.   Competition is tough and the top placing Glen Lake teams, as well as all students who participated are to be commended for their efforts and participation." 

Winning team members from Glen Lake High School are as follows:  Channel 4 News Team - Ian Hood, Theo Koda, Peter Ford Kerby-Miller, Emma Velis, and Reed Deemer; Less Miserable - Molly Flerlage, Jackie Zarzycki, Emily Sherwood, Amanda Lodge, and Maddie Fink; Green Planetizers - Bruce Hood, Maddie Bredin, Mckenna Turrill, Skylar Gleason, Luci Evans, and Alex Bennett. All three teams received financial and educational support from the Leelanau Conservation District and were advised by Karen Richard, Glen Lake High School teacher and long time Envirothon Team Advisor.

Michigan Envirothon is a program of the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, a non-profit organization, representing the interested of Michigan's 78 Conservation Districts.  High school students from anywhere in Michigan are eligible to compete. For more information about Michigan Envirothon go to www.michiganenvirothon.org or contact Angela Sandusky, Michigan Envirothon Coordinator via phone at 517­-324­-5274, or email at mienvirothon@macd.org.

Michigan Envirothon 2013 State Competition Scheduled for May 8-10 at Michigan State University

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The 19th Annual Michigan Envirothon State Competition will be held Wednesday, May 8th through Friday, May 10th, 2013 at Michigan State University in East Lansing!! 

The High School teams competing at the state competition qualified for this event, through 6 regional competitions held around the state throughout the month of March. One lucky team will be named Michigan Envirothon State Champion and move on to the final round of competition, the North American Envirothon. Teams competing at the State Competition are representing their communities from around the state including: Branch, Caro, East Lansing, Glen Lake, Hillsdale, Ithaca, Macomb, New Buffalo, New Lothrop, Niles, Oakland and Roseville.

The 2013 Michigan Envirothon event will utilize diverse "eco-stations" as competition testing sites for hands-on examinations in the topics of Forestry, Soils and Geology, Aquatic Ecology, Wildlife, Energy, Agriculture.  In addition, each team will present an oral presentation of the results of their community outreach projects in which they identified and remedied a natural resource concern in their own community.

The winning team from the 2013 Michigan Envirothon will be eligible to compete in the week-long North American Envirothon competition, held this year on August 4 - 9 at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.  

Founded in 1994, Michigan Envirothon is a combined effort of natural resource professionals and educators to provide hands-on, outdoor coaching and testing on topical conservation issues.  In turn, Michigan Envirothon gives young citizens the tools to provide leadership for a more sustainable and environmentally aware community. 

Learn more about Michigan Envirothon by visiting our website: www.michiganenvirothon.org