Glen Lake High School Team 2018 Envirothon State Champions

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A team of Glen Lake High School students, the "Eh Team", took first place in a statewide environmental competition hosted by the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts. The three-day Michigan Envirothon state competition held at Lake Ann Camp concluded on May 23.

The "Eh Team" finished first among 20 teams. As the first-place finisher, they will represent Michigan in the NCF Envirothon competition at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho where they will compete against teams from across the United States, Canada and China from July 22 to 28.

The Envirothon consists of outdoor “eco-stations” for hands-on testing in the areas of forestry, urban forestry, soils, aquatic ecology, wildlife, energy, and agriculture. As part of the competition each team also completes a community outreach project and presents to a panel of judges during the State Competition.

Members of the “Eh” team include LuAnne Dreves, Emma Karagas-Spencer, Carson Reay, Sonja Stairs, and Stella Young. In addition to winning the overall competition, the team also took first place for their community outreach project. Their project focused on climate change and its negative impact on their Northern Michigan community. The team proposed solar energy panels to reduce their school’s contribution to the problem.

Finishing second and third for overall score were the Lorax from Caro High School and the Conservation Commandos Blue from Hillsdale High School respectively. The 20 teams that participated in the state competition qualified through regional contests held around the state throughout the month of March. Through Envirothon, students learn about the environment from conservation professionals working for government, non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Michigan Envirothon is a high school environmental education and community action program administered by the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization. High school students from anywhere in Michigan are eligible to compete.

Envirothon Students - Making Michigan Greater

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I feel assurance over Michigan’s future after hearing dynamic, hardworking, community spirited, smart and thoughtful students presenting their projects at the recent Michigan Envirothon at Lake Ann Camp in Lake Ann, MI.

Envirothon is a national program for high school students interested in environmental stewardship in areas of: agriculture, aquatic ecology, energy, forestry, soils/geology, wildlife, and environmental issues.  Students meet in local groups, research and learn about the seven core topics and test their skills in competition.  

In Michigan, in addition to learning about the seven core environmental topics, students research local environmental and natural resource issues to select a topic they will address through their community environmental service project.  They then work together as a team to plan, earn or solicit funding, carry out and collect their project’s results.  Student teams come together to test their knowledge and skills at the regional competitions in the early spring, with the top 24 teams advancing to the Michigan Envirothon State Competition held in May.  During the competition, students are tested on the seven core topics and also provide a written project summary and team presentation before a panel of judges.  The top scoring team will then advance to the next level of competition, the National Conservation Foundation’s Envirothon at Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID, July 22-28, 2018.  

Nineteen Michigan Envirothon teams presented their projects as well as participated in this year’s many learning activities.  Projects ranged from installation of a solar panel at their school to educating elementary students on the importance of pollinators and maintenance of pollinator food sources.  There were projects on frog and toad populations; hazards and removal of the invasive Japanese Knotweed; storm drain labeling and community education on storm water management; invasive goby problem and education through a fishing contest plus many more creative projects.

Significantly these nineteen teams reached out to 3,166 students and 7,510 adults through their programming.  They made over seventy-eight presentations on their environmental topic to local stakeholders.  They worked with many local community groups and enlisted 388 volunteers to participate in their outreach.  I’m proud to see such dedicated young people helping their local community and becoming knowledgeable citizens with skills, understanding and a love of Michigan’s natural resources.

Roberta Dow, Vice Chair of the Benzie Conservation District and Michigan Envirothon volunteer.

Michigan Envirothon Competitive by Nature

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

As winter comes to a close, so to the annual Michigan Envirothon Regional competitions, however, the action is not even close to over!  After a month of events around the state, scores have been tallied, community outreach projects have received feedback and top teams have been invited to the State Competition. 

This year, Michigan’s Regional competitions were held March 6th through April 4th.  The top 24 teams will come together in Lake Ann, May 21st – 23rd to test their knowledge, make some new friends and battle it out for the chance to become State Champions.  The State Champs will represent Michigan at the international NCF-Envirothon to be held in Pocatello, Idaho, July 22 - July 28

Michigan Envirothon (ME) has been inspiring and training the next generation of Michigan’s natural resource leaders since 1994.  Designed to foster critical thinking, wise stewardship, and community involvement, ME is an exciting and challenging way to provide natural resource and environmental science education to high school students throughout the state of Michigan.  The ME program focuses on using the outdoors as a classroom, utilizing diverse "eco-stations" as competition testing sites, and interaction and training with professionals in the field.  There are seven subject areas covered every year: agriculture, aquatic ecology, energy, forestry, soils/geology, wildlife and a current issue that changes each year.  The 2018 current issue is rangeland management.

In addition to gaining valuable knowledge in the subject areas, teams also must complete a Community Outreach Project (COP) as part of the program.  Teams identify and address an environmental issue in their community through hands-on problem solving and community action.  One of the most unique components of the Michigan Envirothon program, the Community Outreach Project ensures that the program reaches the community and not just the students involved.  The COP not only expands the students' knowledge, but also gives them a chance to work with local government, community groups, their school, and their peers, to make a real impact in their community.

Through the Envirothon program, Conservation Districts and other natural resource professionals share their passion and skills with students, impacting thousands of individuals every year.  Envirothon provides valuable natural resource education, career exploration, and exposure to local resources. All those touched by the program will at a minimum become better informed citizens as they become our future leaders, regardless of their career path.  The competition and training events, as well as the preparation leading up to them, provide experiences and relationships that can last a lifetime. 

Stay up to date on Michigan Envirothon through our website, Facebook, or contact Michigan Envirothon to be added to the ME mailing list for periodic newsletters, invites and updates.