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.