ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A five-member team of high school students from Carroll County is the winner of the 27th annual Maryland Envirothon. Approximately 80 challengers from 16 counties across Maryland took part in this year’s competition. The event was held June 15-16 at Camp Pecometh, in Queen Anne’s County.
The Carroll County team, known as Venturing Crew 202 is sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America and includes co-ed team members from area schools: Abigail Bollinger, Lilianna Bowman, Nathan Bowman, Heather Fettke-Von Koeckritz, and David McDaniel.
As the winner of the Maryland Envirothon, Venturing Crew 202 will represent Maryland at the North American Envirothon which will be held at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg on July 23-29. More than 40 teams from the United States, Canada and China are expected to compete.
The Maryland Envirothon is held once a year at an outdoor environmental education center. Working in teams of five with one to two alternates, students are trained and tested in four natural resource areas including soils, aquatics, forestry and wildlife, plus an environmental issue that changes each year. This year’s environmental issue was agricultural soil and water conservation stewardship.
Each team’s knowledge was tested under the supervision of foresters, soil scientists and wildlife specialists. Teamwork, problem solving and presentation skills were evaluated as each team gave an oral presentation containing recommendations for solving an environmental challenge. Each team is given a cumulative point total by the panel of judges.
At this year’s competition the Carroll team scored 441 points out of a possible 500. They were followed by teams from Harford County (438 points), and Montgomery County (438 points).
Members of the top three teams were awarded scholarships ranging from $200 to $500 through the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board Scholarship Program. In addition, winning team members received a wildlife print, Maryland Envirothon shirt and other prizes
Established in 1990, the objectives of the Maryland Envirothon are twofold — to test students’ environmental knowledge and understanding of state resource issues, and to instill a desire to learn more about the natural world. Winning teams compete at the local, state and international levels. The first Envirothon competition was held in Pennsylvania in 1979. Since then more than 30 states, Canada and Australia have embraced the program and sent teams to the international competition.
The Maryland Envirothon is sponsored by the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts and the State Soil Conservation Committee. Contributors and supporters include the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of Environment, the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board, Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Garrett College-Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology Program, Chaney Foundation LTD, Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc., Mid-Atlantic Association of Professional Soil Scientists, South Mountain Creamery, Howard County Garden Club, Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Mt. Airy Garden Club, SWCS Pocomoke Chapter, The Wildlife Society, James Meyers and the Rural Maryland Council.
— Maryland Department of Agriculture