DARKE COUNTY – The Area IV Envirothon competition this year was hosted by Darke Soil and Water Conservation District, along with Miami Soil and Water Conservation District at Chenoweth Trails in western Darke County Tuesday.
Approximately 95 high school teams from 18 southwest Ohio counties competed at the event. Darke County is part of Area IV. Ohio is divided into five areas for the purpose of the competition.
Envirothon is an outdoor academic team competition that tests the students’ knowledge in forestry, aquatic ecology, soils, wildlife and a current environmental issue. This year’s current issue was invasive species. The event was sponsored by Cargill and Honda of America.
Chenoweth Trails is the property of the Light Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by former New England Patriots football player Matt Light and his wife, Susie. The land consists of about 600 acres, about 300 of which is wooded, with about 13 miles of trails. Chenoweth Trails is named for John Chenoweth, who was deeded the property in 1826 for his service in the War of 1812. The facility, located at 440 Greenville-Nashville Road, Greenville, is open to youth to spend more time exploring nature.
Envirothon is a competition to test the knowledge of high school students about natural resources in Ohio. The goal of the competition is to highlight the importance of natural resources and promote the need for maintaining a healthy environment.
Envirthon encourages group problem solving and team building. It also promotes an increased interest in sciences and helps students become involved in environmental issues in future years.
This competition is sponsored by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Soil and Water Resources.
The student teams were guided on the trails by volunteers and led at each station by experts in each area. Students spent 25 minutes at each station, testing the environment and answering questions on a test. The competition holds to strict rules, including no electronic devices or reference materials of any kind, and no conversation between teams moving from station to station.
Several scores were tied at the end of the day, so predetermined tie-breakers were used to determine the outcome. The tiebreakers were forestry and wildlife.
The top four teams were Centerville team 1, Russia team 1, Centerville team 2 and Upper Valley Career Center team 1. The top four teams go on to the state-level competition. The top team in each state proceeds to nationals.
The Russia team consisted of Jodan Ball, Amanda Frazier, Andrew Ball and Erin Gaerke, with Eric Sullenburger as adviser.
The UVCC team consisted of Zack Miller, Gage Fitzgerald, Austin Brown, Aaron Anderson and Kurtiz Page, with Mikie Quinter as adviser.