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!

Great Opportunity for Educators!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Register for the Michigan Science Teachers Association annual conference and visit the Michigan Envirothon booth!  While at the conference, take advantage of a great opportunity by registering for the Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS) unit trainings.  Sessions are FREE to all registered participants and will cover units on:  Air Quality & Climate Change, Ecosystems & Biodiversity, Energy Resources, Land Use, Water Quality, and Outdoor Education.  Register for MEECS training

Get Published! Envirothon Essay Contest

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Michigan Envirothon

Essay Contest

Michigan Envirothon wants to hear, in YOUR words, what Envirothon means to you!

Michigan Envirothon 2011 participants, please take a moment to share your experiences and take the opportunity to inspire, educate or illuminate your peers, Envirothon supporters of all ages, and those who may have never heard of the program. The winning essay will be published in the Michigan Envirothon 2011 Annual Report. Runners up will be posted on our website and/or facebook page.

Topic:  Michigan Envirothon and Me.

You may choose to focus on any element, specific topic or experience from Envirothon. You may include: what you learned, what you liked, how the competition has effected you, a specific event/experience/moment you enjoyed or challenged you, as long as you are writing about Michigan Envirothon from your experience and perspective, only your creativity limits the spin you take.

 

Eligibility:  Open to Michigan Envirothon 2011 participants

Deadline:  December 16th, 2011