Valley Lutheran First place Community Outreach Project ME State Competition

Friday, May 15, 2015

Valley Lutheran High School Take First place For their Community Outreach Project ME State Competition

A team of students from Valley Lutheran High school, the Atoms Family, took first place in the Community Outreach category at the Michigan Envirothon State Competition held May 6th – 8th at Ft. Custer Training Center in Augusta, MI. Chelsey Bach, Alexus Grieber, RachelHelmreich. Rachel Diehl, Zachary Peil, Sydney Princing, Allison Eischer, and Kaylee Dilleree finished first among teams from across the state after putting their public speaking, civic engagement and problem solving to the test.

The 21st annual Michigan Envirothon State Competition hosted remarkable students from around the state.  Twenty four teams qualified and received invitations to the State Competition.  Teams qualified through regional contests held around the state throughout the month of March.

The Michigan Envirothon (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.  In addition to gaining valuable knowledge, teams also complete a Community Outreach Project as part of the competition; identifying and addressing an environmental issue in their community through hands-on problem solving and community education.  A unique component of ME, the community outreach project insures that the program reaches the community, not just the students involved.

A panel of judges evaluated oral and written presentations given by each team, which detailed their community outreach project.  As always, all of the teams implemented impressive community action and outreach projects.  The Atoms Family sought to find a way to address the lack of fresh produce in their community.  Their local Saginaw community has been classified as a food desert by the USDA.  To address this major concern, the students designed and installed a community care garden producing food for Hidden Harvest and Old Town Soup Kitchen will provide residents in need with fresh healthy food while reducing the impact of large scale agriculture for years to come. 

 ME is an environmental science based education program for high school students, presented in a team-based competition format.  ME is designed to foster critical thinking, wise stewardship and community involvement. By participating in ME, students and advisors gain knowledge of current environ-mental issues and are motivated to become engaged stewards of Michigan’s natural resources.  

Michigan Envirothon is administered by the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, a 501(C)3 non profit organization. All Michigan high school students are eligible to compete. For more information about Michigan Envirothon go to or contact Angela Sandusky, Michigan Envirothon coordinator at or (517)930-7449.

Photos are available upon request