Maryland Teens Get Back to Nature with Environmental Competition

ANNAPOLIS, MD– Hundreds of Maryland’s brightest high school students are leaving the classroom and heading for the hills, streams and woodlands of Maryland’s countryside to compete in the first round of qualifying heats for the 2018 National Conservation Foundation Envirothon. This is the largest high school environmental education competition in North America. The competition includes a special environmental issue that changes from year to year—this year’s issue is sustainable rangeland management.

“I am happy to see so many students taking the initiative to go beyond the classroom for a hands-on education in resource conservation,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “The lessons learned through this event are important to the future of our agriculture industry and the environment. I wish everyone the best of luck as you represent your schools and the great state of Maryland.”

Students participating in Envirothon competitions have been studying the state’s natural resources since the beginning of the school year. As part of their extracurricular training, teenagers identify and categorize living resources, perform soil surveys, estimate wood yield from trees, and solve other complex natural resource issues. Students are taught by soil scientists, wildlife specialists, foresters and environmental engineers from local, state and federal agencies as well as private environmental organizations.

Teams compete by applying their knowledge and problem-solving skills in these natural resource areas. The county team with the highest cumulative total wins the local or regional competition and advances to the statewide Maryland Envirothon scheduled for June 14 – 15 at the Western Maryland 4-H Education Center in Garrett County. The winner of the Maryland Envirothon will represent the state later this summer at the national event in Idaho where more than 250 teenagers from the United States and Canada will compete for scholarships and prizes.

The Envirothon is sponsored by Maryland’s soil conservation districts and the State Soil Conservation Committee and supported by other state and federal programs. Below are the dates and contacts for upcoming county Envirothon competitions.

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Allegany Envirothon Competition
Date: April 25, 2018
Place: Rocky Gap State Park
Contact: Craig Hartsock, 240-609-3508

Anne Arundel Envirothon Competition
Date: April 13, 2018
Place: Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center
Contact: Tonja Marushack, Arlington Echo, 410-222-3822

Calvert Envirothon Competition
Date:April 17, 2018
Place: King’s Landing Park
Contact: Linda Subda, 410-535-2960

Carroll Envirothon Competition
Date: April 17, 2018
Place: Hashawha/Bear Branch Center
Contact: Ed Null, Carroll Soil Conservation District, 410-848-8200, ext. 3

Cecil Envirothon Competition
Date: May 1, 2018
Place: Fair Hill Nature Center
Contact: Charles Hayes, Cecil Soil Conservation District, 410-398-4411, ext. 3

Charles Envirothon Competition
Date: April 19, 2018
Place: Gilbert Run Park
Contact: Dee Dee Saunders, Charles Soil Conservation District, 301-638-3028

Eastern Shore Envirothon
Date: May 2, 2018
Counties: Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Wicomico counties
Place:Tuckahoe State Park
Contact: Craig Zinter, Talbot Soil Conservation District, 410-822-1577, ext. 3

Frederick County Envirothon Competition
Date: April 24, 2018
Place: Cunningham Falls State Park
Contact: Barry Burch, Walkersville High School, 240-215-5004

Garrett Envirothon Competition
Date: April 24, 2018
Place: Bittinger 4-H Center
Contact: Shaun Sanders, Garrett Soil Conservation District, 301-334-6950, ext. 3

Harford Envirothon Competition
Date: April 12, 2018
Place: Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation
Contact: Patrick Jones, Harford Soil Conservation District, 410-638-4828

Howard Envirothon Competition
Date: May 1, 2018
Place:Howard County Conservancy’s Mount Pleasant Farm, Woodstock.
Contact: Kristal M. McCormick, Howard Soil Conservation District, 410-313-0680

Montgomery Envirothon Competition
Date: April 24, 2018
Place:Agricultural History Farm Park
Contact: J. Harne, Montgomery Soil Conservation District, 301-590-2855

Prince George’s Envirothon Competition
Date:April 25, 2018
Place: William S. Schmidt Center
Contact: Debbie Sandlin, Prince George’s Soil Conservation District, 301-574-5162, ext. 3

St. Mary’s Envirothon Competition
Date: April 24, 2018
Place: Hunter’s Hill Farm
Contact: Hayley Carter, St. Mary’s Soil Conservation District, 301-475-8402, ext. 3

WashingtonCountyEnvirothon Competition
Date: April 20, 2018
Place: Washington County Public Schools Headquarters Building
Contact: Elmer Weibley or Ginger Noble, Washington County Soil Conservation District, 301-797-6821, ext. 3.