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.