COLUMBIA, S.C. — Twenty-three teams converged on the Sandhill REC site in Pontiac on April 12 for a day of testing in the areas of Agriculture and the Environment, Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, and Wildlife, part of the 23rd Annual SC Envirothon Competition.
Since 1997 the SC Envirothon has asked 9-12th graders across the state to Accept the Natural Challenge of the Envirothon, and those that do are richly rewarded with a day away from their structured school day within the four walls of a classroom, instead spending a day full of learning and friendly competition in the great outdoors. The top three placing teams and their coaches are also rewarded with cash and scholarship prizes amounting to $10,500. Students experienced the full outdoor adventure with rain, mud, bugs and bites, yet left the event with smiles on their faces, recharged to do more for our natural resources, and ready for anything those four classroom walls could throw at them.
- First place: Spartanburg High School’s Team A, with each team member winning a $1,000 scholarship.
- Second place: Spartanburg High School’s Team B, with each student winning a $500 scholarship
- Third place: Pendleton High School’s FFA team, with each student receiving a $250 scholarship.
- Also recognized were the top three scores from each station, including teams from Spartanburg High School, Pendleton High School, Spartanburg Day School, Wando High School, Chapin High School, Irmo High School, Orangeburg Preparatory School, and an Alternate Team of 3 students who had never met.
Spartanburg’s top-finishing team has now qualified to represent South Carolina at the 2019 North American Envirothon hosted by North Carolina. Teams from all over the United States and Canada will converge in Raleigh in July for a much larger version of the state program, with much larger scholarship stakes. You can wish them well or track their progress online or via the South Carolina Envirothon Facebook page; www.dnr.sc.gov/education/Envirothon or www.facebook/SCEnvirothon.
The S.C. Envirothon is coordinated by the SCDNR in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Central Carolina Technical College, S.C. Forestry Commission, Francis Marion University, Florence County Environmental Discovery Center, S.C. Soil and Water Conservation Society, and Clemson University Sandhill Research and Education Center. Major financial sponsors are the S.C. Conservation Districts Foundation, Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, Richland County Soil and Water Conservation District, SC Forestry Foundation, and the S.C. Association of Conservation Districts. A very special thank you is extended to Jonathan Williams of Orangeburg County for preparing lunch. If you would like to become a sponsor, information can be found on the website.