Local teens take top honors at 2019 Mass. Envirothon

MA-Envirothon2019_Lexington

Lexington High School – 2019 Massachusetts Envirothon overall winning team

LEOMINSTER, Mass., May 17, 2019 – For the past school year, high school students across the commonwealth have been studying current and future prospects for growing, harvesting, and distributing food in their own home communities and across the Commonwealth. They presented their findings at the 32nd annual Massachusetts Envirothon competition on Friday, May 17th at Sholan Farms in Leominster, Mass.

The approximately 200 students from 29 Massachusetts communities also tested their knowledge of the area’s soils, forests, water, and wildlife as part of the competition.

At this outdoor field event, teams rotated through four “ecostations” where they answered written questions and engaged in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality testing. Each team had up to 10 participants and split into specialized sub-teams during the competition, each focusing their efforts at different ecostations.

At the fifth station, the Current Issue, each team gave a 15-minute presentation on “Abundant, Affordable Healthy Food” to a panel of judges. Teams researched the Current Issue in their own community in preparation for their presentation. Each panel of judges included concerned citizens and environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry. Teams were asked to explore current and future prospects for growing, harvesting, and distributing food in their own home communities and across the Commonwealth.

This year’s top scoring teams are:

Top Overall
1st Lexington High School
2nd Newton North High School
3rd Shepherd Hill Regional High School
Current Issue
1st Rockland High School
2nd Bristol County Agricultural High School
3rd Pioneer Valley Regional School
4th Shepherd Hill Regional High School
5th Newton North High School
Forestry
1st Newton North High School
2nd Lexington High School
3rd Shepherd Hill Regional High School
4th Pioneer Valley Regional School
5th Fitchburg High School
Wildlife
1st Newton North High School
2nd Lexington High School
3rd Shepherd Hill Regional High School
4th Pioneer Valley Regional School
5th Oliver Ames High School
Water
1st Newton North High School
2nd Lexington High School
3rd Pioneer Valley Regional School
4th Fitchburg High School
5th Brockton High School/Wildlands Trust
Soils
1st Lexington High School
2nd Shepherd Hill Regional High School
3rd Newton North High School
4th Deerfield Academy
5th Rockland High School

“These teams worked hard getting to know their local ecosystems and how their communities depend on them. We tested their scientific knowledge, but we also liked hearing their stories about how they have gotten muddy, cold, and tired, and otherwise had fun and fallen in love with nature in their neighborhood. The best hope for the future comes from engaged, scientifically literate citizens who care about their communities and the environment,” said Kelley Freda of the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Water Supply Protection and Chair of the Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee.

“The Envirothon is more than just a competition about environmental knowledge. Many teams have taken what they’ve learned and put it to work in an action/service project in their community. The program aims to prepare the next generation for the stewardship work that needs to be done,” said Freda. “And this annual competition actually becomes a festive gathering of the environmental community of Massachusetts where students learn from the environmental professionals and the environmental professionals learn from the students.”

The overall winning team will have the opportunity to represent Massachusetts in the North American Envirothon, which will be held July 28th to August 2nd in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The 2019 Massachusetts Envirothon was made possible through the contributions of partnering agencies and organizations, including financial support from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service, the Massachusetts Grange, Environmental Business Council of New England, Wegman’s supermarkets and local conservation districts.

Local teens to compete in 32nd Mass. Envirothon on Fri. May 17th

SholanFarms_20140408_141107

Competition will be held at Sholan Farms, Leominster

Abundant, Affordable Healthy Food is 2019 current issue

LEOMINSTER, Mass., May 2, 2019 – For the past school year, high school students across the commonwealth have been studying current and future prospects for growing, harvesting, and distributing food in their own home communities and across the Commonwealth. They’ll present their findings at the 32nd annual Massachusetts Envirothon competition on Friday, May 17th at Sholan Farms in Leominster, Mass.

The approximately 200 students from 29 Massachusetts communities will also test their knowledge of the area’s soils, forests, water, and wildlife as part of the competition.

At this outdoor field event, teams will rotate through four “ecostations” where they will answer written questions and engage in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality testing. Each team will have up to 10 participants and will split into specialized sub-teams during the competition, each focusing their efforts at different ecostations.

At the fifth station, the Current Issue, each team will give a 15-minute presentation on “Abundant, Affordable Healthy Food” to a panel of judges. Teams have been researching the Current Issue in their own community in preparation for their presentation. Each panel of judges includes concerned citizens and environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry. Teams were asked to explore current and future prospects for growing, harvesting, and distributing food in their own home communities and across the Commonwealth.

“These teams work hard getting to know their local ecosystems and how their communities depend on them. We test their scientific knowledge, but we also like to hear their stories about how they have gotten muddy, cold, and tired, and otherwise had fun and fallen in love with nature in their neighborhood. The best hope for the future comes from engaged, scientifically literate citizens who care about their communities and the environment,” said Kelley Freda of the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Water Supply Protection and Chair of the Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee.

“The Envirothon is more than just a competition about environmental knowledge.  Many teams have taken what they’ve learned and put it to work in an action/service project in their community.  The program aims to prepare the next generation for the stewardship work that needs to be done,” said Freda. “And this annual competition actually becomes a festive gathering of the environmental community of Massachusetts where students learn from the environmental professionals and the environmental professionals learn from the students, .”

The overall winning team will have the opportunity to represent Massachusetts in the North American Envirothon, which will be held July 28th to August 2nd in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The 2019 Massachusetts Envirothon is made possible through the contributions of partnering agencies and organizations, including financial support from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service, the Massachusetts Grange, Environmental Business Council of New England, Wegman’s supermarkets and local conservation districts.

Fifteen federal and state environmental agencies, conservation districts, non-profit organizations, higher educational institutions, and businesses provide expertise and help organize the event. Dozens of volunteers will also be on hand on May 17th to handle all the event logistics from setting up tents, tables and chairs, checking-in teams, serving food, scoring tests and cleaning up.

For more information on the Massachusetts Envirothon visit www.massenvirothon.org.

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2019 PARTICIPATING TEAMS (as of May 2, 2019)

  • 4 H Cows and Clover Club, Berkley
  • Acton Boxborough Regional High School, Acton
  • Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, Bridgewater
  • Bristol County Agricultural High School, Dighton
  • Brockton High School/Wildlands Trust, Brockton
  • David Prouty High School, Spencer
  • Deerfield Academy, Deerfield
  • Doherty High School, Worcester
  • Fitchburg High School, Fitchburg
  • Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School, New Bedford
  • Innovation Academy Charter School, Tyngsboro
  • Leicester High School, Leicester
  • Lexington High School, Lexington
  • Malden High School, Malden
  • Millbury Jr./Sr. High School, Millbury
  • Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg
  • Newton North High School, Newton
  • Newton South High School, Newton
  • Norfolk County Agricultural High School, Walpole
  • Oliver Ames High School, North Easton
  • Pioneer Valley Regional School, Northfield
  • Plymouth South High School, Plymouth
  • Quabbin Regional High School, Barre
  • Reading Memorial High School, Reading
  • Rockland High School, Rockland
  • Shepherd Hill Regional High School, Dudley
  • Somerset Berkley Regional High School, Somerset
  • Southeastern Regional Voc Tech, South Easton
  • Springfield Central High School, Springfield

Local teens take top honors at 2018 Mass. Envirothon

MA-Envirothon2018_NewtonNorth

Newton North High School was the overall top scoring team at the 2018 Mass. Envirothon.

UXBRIDGE, Mass., May 18, 2018 – For the past school year, high school students across the commonwealth have been studying watersheds, water infrastructure and the impact of recent damaging storms in their community, and formulating steps their local leaders can take to protect land and water ecosystems in the watershed.

They presented their findings at the 31st annual Massachusetts Envirothon competition on Friday, May 18th at the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge, Mass. The approximately 200 students from 27 Massachusetts communities also tested their knowledge of the area’s soils, forests, water, and wildlife as part of the competition.

At this outdoor field event, teams rotated through four “ecostations” where they answered written questions and engaged in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality measures. Each team had up to 10 participants and split into specialized sub-teams during the competition, each focusing their efforts at different ecostations.

At the fifth station, the Current Issue, each team gave a 15-minute presentation on “Partnering with Nature in Watersheds” to a panel of judges. Teams researched the Current Issue in their own community in preparation for their presentation. Each panel of judges included concerned citizens and environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry. Teams were asked to assess water infrastructure resources and needs, identify an important partnering opportunity, and make specific recommendations for action.

This year’s top scoring teams are:

Overall Score
1st Newton North High School
2nd Lexington High School
3rd Pioneer Valley Regional School
Current Issue
1st Brockton High School / Wildlands Trust
2nd Greenfield High School
3rd Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
4th Newton North High School
5th Lexington High School
Forestry
1st  (tie) Newton North High School
Lexington High School
2nd Pioneer Valley Regional School
3rd Brockton High School / Wildlands Trust
4th Shepherd Hill Regional High School
5th Newton South High School
Wildlife
1st Newton North High School
2nd Lexington High School
3rd Pioneer Valley Regional School
4th Newton South High School
5th Bristol Country Agricultural High School
Water
1st Doherty Memorial High School
2nd Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
3rd Newton North High School
4th Reading Memorial High School
5th Newton South High School
Soils
1st Lexington High School
2nd Newton South High School
3rd Newton North High School
4th Pioneer Valley Regional School
5th Fitchburg High School

The overall winning team will have the opportunity to represent Massachusetts in the North American Envirothon, which will be held July 22-28 in Pocatello, Idaho.

“By engaging students on real-world environmental issues, the annual Massachusetts Envirothon improves students’ problem-solving skills and creates lifelong passions for preserving and protecting our natural resources,” said state Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Massachusetts’ watersheds are vital sources of drinking water and native species habitat, and this year’s competition provided students with the opportunity to learn about their local watersheds and brainstorm solutions to keep them clean and safe.”

“These teams work hard getting to know their local ecosystems and how their communities depend on them. We test their scientific knowledge, but we also like to hear their stories about how they have gotten muddy, cold, and tired, and otherwise had fun and fallen in love with nature in their neighborhood. The best hope for the future comes from engaged, scientifically literate citizens who care about their communities and the environment,” said Kelley Freda of the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Water Supply Protection and representative of the Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee.

“The Envirothon is more than just a competition about environmental knowledge.  Many teams have taken what they’ve learned and put it to work in an action/service project in their community.  The program aims to prepare the next generation for the stewardship work that needs to be done,” said Freda. “And this annual competition actually becomes a festive gathering of the environmental community of Massachusetts. At informal lunchtime roundtables, teams shared stories from their EnviroTreks – places they visited, people they talked to, outdoor experiences, and service projects – during the past year.”

The 2018 Massachusetts Envirothon is made possible through the contributions of partnering agencies and organizations, including financial support from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service, the Massachusetts Grange, Environmental Business Council of New England, Wegman’s supermarkets and local conservation districts.

Fifteen federal and state environmental agencies, conservation districts, non-profit organizations, higher educational institutions, and businesses provide expertise and help organize the event. Dozens of volunteers were also on hand to handle all the event logistics from setting up tents, tables and chairs, checking-in teams, serving food, scoring tests and cleaning up.

For more information on the Massachusetts Envirothon visit www.massenvirothon.org.

Local teens to compete at 2018 Mass. Envirothon on Friday, May 18th

Partnering with Nature in Watersheds is 2018 current issue

UXBRIDGE, Mass., April 26, 2018 – For the past school year, high school students across the commonwealth have been studying watersheds, water infrastructure and the impact of recent damaging storms in their community, and formulating steps their local leaders can take to protect land and water ecosystems in the watershed.

They’ll present their findings at the 31st annual Massachusetts Envirothon competition on Friday, May 18th at the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge, Mass. The approximately 200 students from 27 Massachusetts communities will also test their knowledge of the area’s soils, forests, water, and wildlife as part of the competition.

“By engaging students on real-world environmental issues, the annual Massachusetts Envirothon improves students’ problem-solving skills and creates lifelong passions for preserving and protecting our natural resources,” said state Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Massachusetts’ watersheds are vital sources of drinking water and native species habitat, and this year’s competition provides students with the opportunity to learn about their local watersheds and brainstorm solutions to keep them clean and safe.”

At this outdoor field event, teams will rotate through four “ecostations” where they will answer written questions and engage in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality measures. Each team will have up to 10 participants and will split into specialized sub-teams during the competition, each focusing their efforts at different ecostations.

At the fifth station, the Current Issue, each team will give a 15-minute presentation on “Partnering with Nature in Watersheds” to a panel of judges. Teams have been researching the Current Issue in their own community in preparation for their presentation. Each panel of judges includes concerned citizens and environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry. Teams were asked to assess water infrastructure resources and needs, identify an important partnering opportunity, and make specific recommendations for action.

“These teams work hard getting to know their local ecosystems and how their communities depend on them. We test their scientific knowledge, but we also like to hear their stories about how they have gotten muddy, cold, and tired, and otherwise had fun and fallen in love with nature in their neighborhood. The best hope for the future comes from engaged, scientifically literate citizens who care about their communities and the environment,” said Kelley Freda of the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Water Supply Protection and representative of the Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee.

“The Envirothon is more than just a competition about environmental knowledge.  Many teams have taken what they’ve learned and put it to work in an action/service project in their community.  The program aims to prepare the next generation for the stewardship work that needs to be done,” said Freda. “And this annual competition actually becomes a festive gathering of the environmental community of Massachusetts. At informal lunchtime roundtables, teams will share stories from their EnviroTreks – places they visited, people they talked to, outdoor experiences, and service projects – during the past year.”

The overall winning team will have the opportunity to represent Massachusetts in the North American Envirothon, which will be held July 22-28 in Pocatello, Idaho.

The 2018 Massachusetts Envirothon is made possible through the contributions of partnering agencies and organizations, including financial support from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service, the Massachusetts Grange, Environmental Business Council of New England, Wegman’s supermarkets and local conservation districts.

Fifteen federal and state environmental agencies, conservation districts, non-profit organizations, higher educational institutions, and businesses provide expertise and help organize the event. Dozens of volunteers will also be on hand on May 18th to handle all the event logistics from setting up tents, tables and chairs, checking-in teams, serving food, scoring tests and cleaning up.

For more information on the Massachusetts Envirothon visit www.massenvirothon.org.

2018 PARTICIPATING TEAMS (as of April 26, 2018)

  • Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Acton
  • Bristol County Agricultural High School, Dighton
  • Brockton High School, Brockton
  • David Prouty High School, Spencer
  • Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School, North Dighton
  • Doherty High School, Worcester
  • Essex Technical High School – Natural Resource Management, Hathorne
  • Fitchburg High School, Fitchburg
  • Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School, New Bedford
  • Greenfield High School, Greenfield
  • Leicester High School, Leicester
  • Lexington High School, Lexington
  • Millbury Jr./Sr. High School, Millbury
  • Newton North High School, Newton
  • Newton South High School, Newton
  • Norfolk County Agricultural High School, Walpole
  • Oliver Ames High School, North Easton
  • Pioneer Valley Regional School, Northfield
  • Plymouth South High School, Plymouth
  • Quabbin Regional High School, Barre
  • Reading Memorial High School, Reading
  • Rockland High School, Rockland
  • Seekonk High School, Seekonk
  • Shepherd Hill Regional High School, Dudley
  • Somerset Berkley Regional High School, Somerset
  • Southeastern Regional Voc-Tech High School, South Easton
  • Springfield Central High School, Springfield

Local teens take top honors at 30th annual Mass. Envirothon

Lexington High School

Lexington High School was the overall winner of the 2017 Mass. Envirothon.

LINCOLN, Mass., May 18, 2017 – The message from teenagers who participated in this year’s Massachusetts Envirothon environmental education program was clear: local agriculture is booming in Massachusetts. For the past school year, they’ve been researching farming in their communities – from urban community gardens to rural orchards and pastures, from row crops to working forests – and assessing its benefits and its effects on local land and water resources, ecosystems and biodiversity.

Those 250 students from nearly 40 Massachusetts communities converged on Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, Mass. on Thursday, May 18th to compete in the 30th annual Massachusetts Envirothon. At the event, they presented what they’ve learned about agricultural soil and water conservation, and tested their knowledge of the area’s soils, forests, water, and wildlife.

At the outdoor field competition event, teams rotated through four “ecostations” where they answered written questions and engaged in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality measures. Each team had up to 10 participants and split into specialized sub-teams during the competition, each focusing their efforts at different ecostations.

At the fifth station, the Current Issue, each team gave a 15 minute presentation to a panel of judges about their research into “Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation” in their own community.  Each panel of judges included concerned citizens and environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry. Teams were asked to assess the potential for producing local food, given the soil, water, and people resources in their community, and to recommend what might be done to protect and enhance soil health and water quality at the same time.

This year’s top scoring teams are:

Overall Score

1st place           Lexington High School
2nd place          Newton South High School
3rd place          Newton North High School

Current Issue Presentation

1st place           Newton North High School
2nd place          Lexington High School
3rd place (tie)     Leicester High School
Brockton High School / Wildland Trust
4th place          Shepherd Hill Regional High School
5th place          Dighton Rehoboth Regional High School

 Forestry Ecostation

1st place           Lexington High School
2nd place          Newton North High School
3rd place          Newton South High School
4th place          Essex Technical High School
5th place          Bristol County Agricultural High School

Wildlife Ecostation

1st place           Lexington High School
2nd place (tie)    Newton South High School
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
3rd place          Newton North High School
4th place          Essex Technical High School
5th place          Pioneer Valley Regional High School

Water Ecostation

1st place           Newton South High School
2nd place          Essex Technical High School
3rd place          Lexington High School
4th place          Newton North High School
5th place (tie) Rockland High School
Innovation Academy Charter School

Soils Ecostation

1st place           Newton South High School
2nd place          Deerfield Academy
3rd place          Lexington High School
4th place          Doherty Memorial High School
5th place          Worcester Technical High School

“For years, the Envirothon has been challenging Massachusetts students in an effort to educate and prepare solutions for environmental,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By engaging today’s youth on subjects such as farming, we are ensuring the next generation will have the passion, dedication, and desire to ensure Massachusetts’ agricultural sector continues to thrive in every region of the state.”

“These teams work hard getting to know their local ecosystems and how their communities depend on them. We test their scientific knowledge, but we also like to hear their stories about how they have gotten muddy, cold, and tired, and otherwise had fun and fallen in love with nature in their neighborhood. The best hope for the future comes from engaged, scientifically literate citizens who care about their communities and the environment,” said Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee Chair Will Snyder of the University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

“Envirothon makes environment science relevant to students’ lives by connecting them to real places, real environmental issues, and real people who are working to protect the environment. It demonstrates how scientific understanding of how natural systems work can inform and inspire solutions to the environmental challenges we face today and in the future,” said Kris Scopinich, Director of Education, Mass Audubon. “We could not be more thrilled to have hosted the next generation of conservation leaders at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm. These students inspire all of us and keep us hopeful for our future.”

“The Envirothon is more than just a competition about environmental knowledge.  Many teams have taken what they’ve learned and put it to work in an action/service project in their community.  The program aims to prepare the next generation for the stewardship work that needs to be done,” said Snyder. “And this annual competition actually becomes a festive gathering of the environmental community of Massachusetts. At informal lunchtime roundtables after the competition, teams will share stories from their EnviroTreks – places they visited, people they talked to, outdoor experiences, and service projects – during the past year.”

The 2017 Massachusetts Envirothon was made possible through the contributions of partnering agencies and organizations, including financial support from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service, the Massachusetts Grange, Environmental Business Council of New England, Wegman’s supermarkets and local conservation districts.

Fifteen federal and state environmental agencies, conservation districts, non-profit organizations, higher educational institutions, and businesses provide expertise and help organize the event. Dozens of volunteers were also on hand to handle all the event logistics from setting up tents, tables and chairs, checking-in teams, serving food, scoring tests and cleaning up.

For more information on the Massachusetts Envirothon visit www.massenvirothon.org.

Teams: enter the 2017 Social Media Contest!

I-love-the-Mass-Envirothon_750x580Love the Envirothon? Let your friends, family and the world know and win a prize for your team!

Spread the word about the great time you had and how much you learned participating in this year’s Massachusetts Envirothon! The team with the most social media posts and tweets about the Envirothon between 12:35 pm on Thursday, May 18th and 12:00 noon on Friday, May 26th will win a $100 gift card.

After the competition ends, shoot lunchtime selfies, grab shots of the roundtables, snap pix of the Drumlin Farm scenery. Phone use isn’t allowed during the competition, but you’ll be able to download your official team photo and action shots from the Mass. Envirothon Flickr stream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/maenvirothon. Official photos should be available late afternoon Friday, May 19th.

RULES

1.    Posts must be posted to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter between 12:35 pm on Thursday, May 18, 2017 and 12:00 noon on Friday, May 26, 2017.

2.    All posts must contain the hashtag #massenvirothon in the text.

3.    All posts must contain a mention, hashtag or other reference to the team name.

4.    Shares and retweets will be counted.

5.    Original posts by non-participants (family, friends, teachers, etc.) will be counted, providing the post contains the #massenvirothon hashtag and a reference to the team name.

6.    No phone use is allowed during the competition! Posts made during the competition will not be counted.

7.    Posts containing profanity or obscene, political, hate or bullying content will not be counted and may be reported.

Dr. E.O. Wilson marks Mass. Envirothon 30th year with note of support

EOWilson

Dr. E.O. Wilson. Photo by Jim Harrison – PLoS, CC BY 2.5.

Award-winning American biologist, theorist, naturalist and author Dr. Edward Osborne Wilson recently provided the Massachusetts Envirothon with a note of support to mark the program’s 30th year.

Dr. Wilson’s biological specialty is myrmecology, the study of ants, on which he is considered to be the world’s leading expert. He is the author of “The Encyclopedia of Life,” and is known as “the father of sociobiology” and “the father of biodiversity.” He is noted for his environmental advocacy.

EO-Wilson-Ma-Evirothon-30th-2017-endorsement-for-web-2-OG

Many thanks to Dr. Wilson for his support.

Read more about Dr. Wilson’s work…

Local teens to compete in 30th annual Mass. Envirothon on May 18th at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, Lincoln

Agricultural soil and water conservation is 2017 current issue

30th MA Envirothon graphic JPEG

LINCOLN, Mass., April 26, 2017 – Ask any teenager participating in this year’s Massachusetts Envirothon environmental education program and they’ll tell you that local agriculture is booming in Massachusetts. For the past school year, they’ve been researching farming in their communities – from urban community gardens to rural orchards and pastures, from row crops to working forests – and assessing its benefits and its effects on local land and water resources, ecosystems and biodiversity.

Those 250 students from nearly 40 Massachusetts communities are headed to Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, Mass. on Thursday, May 18th to compete in the 30th annual Massachusetts Envirothon. At the event, they will present what they’ve learned about agricultural soil and water conservation, and test their knowledge of the area’s soils, forests, water, and wildlife.

“For years, the Envirothon has been challenging Massachusetts students in an effort to educate and prepare solutions for environmental,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By engaging today’s youth on subjects such as farming, we are ensuring the next generation will have the passion, dedication, and desire to ensure Massachusetts’ agricultural sector continues to thrive in every region of the state.”

At the outdoor field competition event, teams will rotate through four “ecostations” where they will answer written questions and engage in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality measures. Each team will have up to 10 participants and will split into specialized sub-teams during the competition, each focusing their efforts at different ecostations.

At the fifth station, the Current Issue, each team will give a 15 minute presentation on “Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation” to a panel of judges. Teams have been researching the Current Issue in their own community in preparation for their presentation.  Each panel of judges includes concerned citizens and environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry. Teams were asked to identify a soil and water conservation issue critical to their community, assess potential solutions, and make specific recommendations for action.

“These teams work hard getting to know their local ecosystems and how their communities depend on them. We test their scientific knowledge, but we also like to hear their stories about how they have gotten muddy, cold, and tired, and otherwise had fun and fallen in love with nature in their neighborhood. The best hope for the future comes from engaged, scientifically literate citizens who care about their communities and the environment,” said Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee Chair Will Snyder of the University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

“Envirothon makes environment science relevant to students’ lives by connecting them to real places, real environmental issues, and real people who are working to protect the environment. It demonstrates how scientific understanding of how natural systems work can inform and inspire solutions to the environmental challenges we face today and in the future,” said Kris Scopinich, Director of Education, Mass Audubon. “We could not be more thrilled to host the next generation of conservation leaders at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm. These students inspire all of us and keep us hopeful for our future.”

“The Envirothon is more than just a competition about environmental knowledge.  Many teams have taken what they’ve learned and put it to work in an action/service project in their community.  The program aims to prepare the next generation for the stewardship work that needs to be done,” said Snyder. “And this annual competition actually becomes a festive gathering of the environmental community of Massachusetts. At informal lunchtime roundtables, teams will share stories from their EnviroTreks – places they visited, people they talked to, outdoor experiences, and service projects – during the past year.”

The 2017 Massachusetts Envirothon is made possible through the contributions of partnering agencies and organizations, including financial support from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service, the Massachusetts Grange, Environmental Business Council of New England, Wegman’s supermarkets and local conservation districts.

Fifteen federal and state environmental agencies, conservation districts, non-profit organizations, higher educational institutions, and businesses provide expertise and help organize the event. Dozens of volunteers will also be on hand on May 18th to handle all the event logistics from setting up tents, tables and chairs, checking-in teams, serving food, scoring tests and cleaning up.

For more information on the Massachusetts Envirothon visit www.massenvirothon.org.

2016 Mass. Envirothon winners announced

Bay State teens show off their knowledge of the environment

MAEnvirothon2016_05122016_125846eLocal teenagers have been rewarded for their hard work and the environmental knowledge they gained in preparing for this year’s Massachusetts Envirothon, held on Thursday, May 12th at Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, Mass. The top scoring teams in the outdoor field competition have been announced.

For the past school year, high school students across the Bay State have been studying soil, water, wildlife and forestry, as well as researching the role of human activity in the spread and control of invasive species as they participated in this environmental education program.

At the event, teams rotated through four “ecostations” where they answered written questions and engaged in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality measures. Each team can have up to 10 participants who split into specialized sub-teams during the competition, each focusing their efforts at different ecostations.

At the fifth station, the Current Issue, each team gave a 15 minute presentation on “Managing Invasive Species” to a panel of judges. Teams researched the Current Issue in their own community in preparation for their presentation.  Judges included environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry. Teams were asked to assess the effects of invasive species in their community and to recommend steps that their city or town and individuals, including young people, should take to address the issue.

This year’s top scoring teams are:

Overall Score

  • 1st place – Newton North High School
  • 2nd place – Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
  • 3rd place – Lexington High School

Current Issue Presentation

  • 1st place – Lexington High School
  • 2nd place – Greenfield High School
  • 3rd place  – Newton North High School
  • 4th place – Bedford High School
  • 5th place – Andover High School

Forestry Ecostation

  • 1st place – Lexington High School
  • 2nd place – Newton North High School
  • 3rd place – Newton South High School
  • 4th place – Mount Greylock Regional High School
  • 5th place – Pioneer Valley Regional High School

Wildlife Ecostation

  • 1st place – Lexington High School
  • 2nd place – Newton North High School
  • 3rd place – Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
  • 4th place – Mount Greylock Regional High School
  • 5th place – Bedford High School

Water Ecostation

  • 1st place – Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
  • 2nd place – Newton North High School
  • 3rd place (tie) – Mount Greylock Regional High School and Quabbin Regional High School
  • 4th place – Newton South High School
  • 5th place – Pioneer Valley Regional School

Soils Ecostation

  • 1st place – Deerfield Academy
  • 2nd place (tie) – Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Newton North High School,   Oliver Ames High School, Pioneer Valley Regional High School, Brockton High School / Wildland Trust
  • 3rd place – Newton South High School
  • 4th place (tie) – Mount Greylock Regional High School, Monson Environmental Action Team
  • 5th place (tie) – David Prouty High School, Reading High School, Shepherd Hill Regional High School

“The Envirothon not only increases awareness of significant environmental issues, such as the spreading of invasive species, but most importantly, it engages and challenges young minds to think and prepare for possible solutions for future generations,” said Matthew Beaton, Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

“These teams work hard getting to know their local ecosystems and how their communities depend on them. We test their scientific knowledge, but we also like to hear their stories about how they have gotten muddy, cold, and tired, and otherwise had fun and fallen in love with nature in their neighborhood. The best hope for the future comes from engaged, scientifically literate citizens who care about their communities and the environment,” said Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee Chair Will Snyder of the University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

The 2016 Massachusetts Envirothon is made possible through the contributions of partnering agencies and organizations, including financial support from the 2014 Massachusetts Environmental Bond Bill, the U.S. Forest Service, the Massachusetts Grange, Environmental Business Council of New England, Wegman’s supermarkets and local conservation districts.

Fifteen federal and state environmental agencies, conservation districts, non-profit organizations, higher educational institutions, and businesses provide expertise and help organize the event. Dozens of volunteers will also be on hand on May 12th to handle all the event logistics from setting up tents, tables and chairs, checking-in teams, serving food, scoring tests and cleaning up.

Bay State teens to focus on invasive species at 2016 Mass. Envirothon on May 12th

29th annual environmental competition to be held at Hopkinton State Park

HOPKINTON, Mass., April 13, 2016 – The spread of species to new regions of the globe has been an essential feature of biological evolution and the development of ecological communities. In the past century, however, the magnitude of change and ecological disruption has increased dramatically.

For the past school year, high school students across the Bay State have been researching the role of human activity in the spread and control of invasive species as they participate in the Massachusetts Envirothon environmental education program.

Those 250 students from more than 30 Massachusetts communities are headed to Hopkinton State Park in Hopkinton, Mass. on Thursday, May 12th to share what they’ve learned about managing invasive species, as well as the area’s soils, forests, water, and wildlife as they compete in the 29th annual Massachusetts Envirothon.

“Invasive species can have long lasting effects on our native ecosystems, and the Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to managing, controlling, and where possible, eradicating them in order to protect the Commonwealth’s natural resources,” said Matthew Beaton, Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. “The Envirothon not only increases awareness of significant environmental issues, such as the spreading of invasive species, but most importantly, it engages and challenges young minds to think and prepare for possible solutions for future generations.”

At the outdoor field competition event, teams will rotate through four “ecostations” where they will answer written questions and engage in hands-on activities such as soil analysis, wildlife habitat assessment, tree identification, and water quality measures. Each team will have up to 10 participants and will split into specialized sub-teams during the competition, each focusing their efforts at different ecostations.

At the fifth station, the Current Issue, each team will give a 15 minute presentation on “Managing Invasive Species” to a panel of judges. Teams have been researching the Current Issue in their own community in preparation for their presentation. Each panel of judges includes concerned citizens and environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry. Teams were asked to assess how invasive species may affect their community and to recommend steps that their city or town and individuals, including young people, should take to respond to the challenge.

“These teams work hard getting to know their local ecosystems and how their communities depend on them. We test their scientific knowledge, but we also like to hear their stories about how they have gotten muddy, cold, and tired, and otherwise had fun and fallen in love with nature in their neighborhood. The best hope for the future comes from engaged, scientifically literate citizens who care about their communities and the environment,” said Massachusetts Envirothon Steering Committee Chair Will Snyder of the University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

“The Envirothon is more than just a competition about environmental knowledge. It’s a gathering of the environmental community of Massachusetts.  It aims to prepare the next generation for the stewardship work that needs to be done,” said Snyder.

The 2016 Massachusetts Envirothon is made possible through the contributions of partnering agencies and organizations, including financial support from the 2014 Massachusetts Environmental Bond Bill, the U.S. Forest Service, the Massachusetts Grange, Environmental Business Council of New England, Wegman’s supermarkets and local conservation districts.

Fifteen federal and state environmental agencies, conservation districts, non-profit organizations, higher educational institutions, and businesses provide expertise and help organize the event. Dozens of volunteers will also be on hand on May 12th to handle all the event logistics from setting up tents, tables and chairs, checking-in teams, serving food, scoring tests and cleaning up.