GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Nearly 150 students competed to become the Duval County Envirothon Winner during the 2017 Fred B. Miller Jr. Regional Envirothon held at the University of North Florida Wildlife Sanctuary March 9.
Team “Vetoed” from Sandalwood High school took the honors. The Envirothon is a natural resources problem-solving competition for high school students in categories that include Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Wildlife, Soils/Land Use and a Current Environmental Issue. Teams of five compete in the hands-on event incorporating STEM initiatives and problem solving questions, logical, mathematical and team building skills. The Duval Soil and Water Conservation District has helped host this event for more than 20 years.
Second and third place teams came from Darnell-Cookman High School: Power Park Rangers and Habitual Earthlings. This year’s current environmental issue was “how can farms implement Best Management Practices to reduce the negative impacts on soil and water quality,” which is also being discussed by the Florida Legislature.
Locally, the event is supported by agency experts from St. Johns Riverkeeper, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Forest Service, Duval IFAS and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Sandalwood High School will now progress to the Florida Envirothon April 28-29 at Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, Fla. representing Duval County. The winner of the Florida Envirothon goes to the North American Envirothon July 23-29, Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Maryland, where $30,000 in scholarships are available.
–USDA NRCS Florida
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