News Release, Maryland Department of Agriculture

Maryland Teens Head Outdoors with Environmental Education Competitions

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 2019 National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon. This is the largest high school environmental education competition in North America. The competition includes a special environmental theme that changes from year to year—this year’s theme is “Agriculture and the Environment: Knowledge & Technology to Feed the World.”

“Each year in Maryland, Envirothon competitions allow students to apply what they are learning in the classroom about natural resources to real world applications,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “I am thrilled to see that this year’s competition focuses on agriculture and that so many young adults are excited about resource conservation. I wish everyone the best of luck as they represent their 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 19-20, 2019 at St. Mary’s College in St. Mary’s City. The winner of the Maryland Envirothon will represent the state later this summer at the national event in Raleigh, North Carolina 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.

Allegany Envirothon Competition

Date: April 25, 2019
Place: Rocky Gap State Park
Contact: Craig Hartsock, 240-609-3508

Anne Arundel Envirothon Competition

Date: April 17, 2019
Place: Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center
Contact: John Czajkowski, 410-571-6757

Carroll Envirothon Competition

Date: April 23, 2019
Place: Hashawha/Bear Branch Center
Contact: Matt McMahon, Carroll Soil Conservation District, 410-848-8200, ext. 3

Cecil Envirothon Competition

Date: April 30, 2019
Place: Fair Hill Nature Center
Contact: Mari Markkula, Cecil Soil Conservation District, 410-398-4411, ext. 3

Charles Envirothon Competition

Date: April 16, 2019
Place: Gilbert Run Park
Contact: Dee Dee Saunders, Charles Soil Conservation District, 301-638-3028

Eastern Shore Envirothon

Date: April 30, 2019
Counties: Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Wicomico Counties
Place: Tuckahoe State Park
Contact: Jenny Lee, Kent Soil Conservation District, 410-778-5150, ext. 3293

Frederick County Envirothon Competition

Date: April 30, 2019
Place: Cunningham Falls State Park
Contact: Barry Burch, Walkersville High School, 240-215-5004

Garrett Envirothon Competition

Date: April 24, 2019
Place: Bittinger 4-H Center
Contact: Carrie Colebank, Garrett Soil Conservation District, 301-501-5856, ext. 3

Howard Envirothon Competition

Date: April 30, 2019
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 25, 2019
Place: Agricultural History Farm Park
Contact: Karen Walker or J. Harne, Montgomery Soil Conservation District, 301-590-2855

Prince George’s Envirothon Competition

Date: April 24, 2019
Place: William S. Schmidt Center
Contact: Debbie Sandlin, Prince George’s Soil Conservation District, 301-574-5162, ext. 3

Washington County Envirothon Competition

Date: April 12, 2019
Place: Washington County Public Schools Headquarters Building
Contact: Elmer Weibley, Washington County Soil Conservation District, 301-797-6821, ext. 3

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...