National Environmental Competition Draws Students to Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa., July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's state parks and forests will be in the national limelight when high school students from across North America converge on Snyder County for a weeklong environmental competition, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced today.
The 2012 Canon Envirothon begins Sunday, July 22, at Susquehanna University.
"We are delighted that Pennsylvania again is hosting this gathering of our bright, young environmental leaders of tomorrow," said DCNR Secretary Richard J. Allan . "Our state parks and forestlands have served as natural classrooms for these students since this national competition began here in 1988."
R.B. Winter State Park, near Forest Hill, Union County, will host student competitors on the opening day of the event, which runs through Friday, July 27. Participating in what is designated an "Education Day," students from each of the states and Canadian provinces will be exploring the natural wonders of the park's Halfway Lake and its 695 acres.
"This state park event gives our DCNR staff a chance to shine before an audience of more than 300 students and educators," Allan said. "Foresters, park managers, environmental educators and geologists all will be on hand to give our very special visitors an introduction to the rich natural world around them."
Discussion topics will include: old-growth forests; surrounding geologic features; backpacking and backcountry hiking; invasive species; fly fishing and the Pennsylvania success story of the wild elk.
Among North America's largest high school competitive events focusing on natural resources, the Canon Envirothon 25th anniversary event enables students to compete for a share of more than $125,000 in educational scholarships, as well as Canon products.
This is the third national Envirothon hosted by Pennsylvania; others were in 1988, when the competition began, and in 1997. Throughout the 25 years, competing Pennsylvania high school teams won national honors 11 times. This year, MMI Preparatory School, Luzerne County, will be seeking the 2012 title, having finished first in earlier statewide competition.
"We are honored to have been selected by Canon Envirothon to host the 25th anniversary competition. Because it started in Pennsylvania, the pride of the Envirothon is demonstrated by the overwhelming support of both public and private partnerships," said Lorelle Steach , 2012 Canon Envirothon co-chair and Pennsylvania Envirothon program coordinator. "We have nearly 200 volunteers from more than 10 county, state, and federal natural resource/environmental organizations, all coming together to share their expertise and test knowledge of students across from North America."
Since 1997, Canon U.S.A. has been the title sponsor of what is the culmination of a series of competitions that began during the students' prior school year, involving more than 500,000 teen-agers throughout North America. In written tests, hands-on learning, and oral presentations starting on the local level, winning five-member teams from schools and organizations competed for the distinction of representing their state, province or territory at the upcoming national competition.
Participating teams complete training and testing in five natural resource categories: soils and land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife, and current environmental issues. The Envirothon works in partnership with local conservation districts, forestry associations, educators, and cooperating natural resource agencies to organize and conduct competitions on the local, regional, state, and/or provincial level.
In addition, as part of their oral testing addressing the topic "Non-Point Pollution and Low-Impact Development," students will be focusing on Greene and Guilford townships, Franklin County, as part of a case study overseen by a committee that includes Bureau of State Parks' environmental educators.
National competition is organized by the National Association of Conservation Districts in the United States; U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service.
At the state level, the Envirothon is sponsored by Pennsylvania's 66 conservation districts, the State Conservation Commission, and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts. Technical expertise is provided by: DCNR, Pa. Department of Environmental Protection, Pa. Game Commission, Pa. Fish & Boat Commission, and the U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
For more details on the 2012 Canon Envirothon, visit www.envirothon.org.
Media contact: Terry Brady , 717-772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
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