Common Ground Center to host Envirothon May 19

STARKSBORO — The 21st Vermont Envirothon will take place at The Common Ground Center in Starksboro on May 19.
The Vermont Envirothon is a natural resource competition for high school age students. Throughout the school year, students study basic concepts in four areas: soils, forestry, wildlife and aquatics. There is also a fifth area called “The Current Issue.” This is usually a hot-button issue that is being faced by many natural resource or land management agencies and groups. This year’s issue is “Invasive Species: A Challenge to the Environment, Economy and Society.”
As part of their study of the fifth issue, students complete a community-based project. This year, students are looking at the invasive plants, insects and animals in their communities, doing surveys, looking at threats and researching treatments for invasive species. Students created action plans to mitigate threats caused by invasive species and created outreach tools to communicate their plan to their communities.
At the Vermont Envirothon, students make presentations, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to a panel of invasive plant, invasive insect and invasive animal expert judges about their findings relating to invasive species. They also will summarize their research, surveys and the success of their outreach tools and action plans.
Students will also take part in hands-on testing stations about the four other subject areas.
Around 3 p.m., awards will be given for the best team in each of the five areas studied. Next the teams who scored the top three places will be recognized with awards. The team that places first overall will represent Vermont at the North American Envirothon in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, at the end of July. Members of the winning team at the North American Envirothon receive scholarships to pay for their college educations as a prize.
Teams from nine different schools are participating — 14 teams total. An additional school was involved but unable to participate in the final event. Schools include Danville High School, Missisquoi Valley Union High School, People’s Academy, Rutland High School (Environmental Club), Stafford Forestry and Natural Resources – Stafford Tech Center, South Burlington High School, South Royalton High School, Thetford Academy, and Websterville Baptist High School.

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