Fall Workshop @ UMass Amherst 11.15.17

Fall Workshop for Coaches and Teams

UMass Amherst Campus Center

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Kick off the 2017-2018 Envirothon year with this introductory workshop.

  • Learn about this year’s current issue: Partnering with Nature in Watersheds
  • Get started on ecostation topics: soil, water, wildlife, and forest
  • Bond with your teammates and meet other students and coaches from across the state
  • Have fun and check out UMass Amherst!

Draft Agenda pdf

8:30 Registration opens, teams are paired with UMass students for a welcome as they arrive.

9 – 2:15 Introduction followed by four concurrent sessions with a lunch break.

Current Issue topics and speakers:

  • Getting Started on your Community Research – Will Snyder (UMass Extension)
  • Forests -The Living Filter – Paul Barten  (UMass Department of Environ. Conservation)
  • Forest patches in a developing landscape: structure, function, importance (Field session) – Lena Fletcher (UMass Dept. of Environ. Conservation)
  • Managing runoff and water quality with a green-infrastructure, a landscape approach – Jack Ahern  (UMass Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning)
  • Wetland Functions & Wetland Soils – Deborah Henson (UMass Environmental Science Program)
  • Climate change, flooding and Riversmart Communities – Christine E. Hatch ( UMass Dept of Geosciences)
  • Natural Remedies for Pollution in Massachusetts Watersheds – Paula Rees (UMass College of Engineering)
  • Green Infrastructure:  Cleansing and Managing Stormwater – Mark Lindhult (UMass Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning)
  • How Climate Change and Land Use are Affecting Watershed Systems – Timothy Randhir  (Department of Environ. Conservation)
  • Dams, Urbanization, Climate Change, and Fish – Rebecca Quiñones, Ph.D. (MassWildlife Rivers and Streams Project Leader)
  • Thinking Globally and Acting Locally:  The Role of Conservation Commissions in Protecting Wetlands, Open Space and Water Resources – Dorothy A. McGlincy, Executive Director  & Michèle A. Girard, Associate Director and Education Coordinator, Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions
  • Effective Community Advocacy 101 & Maximizing Ecosystem Services: Watershed Scale Conservation – Stefanie Covino, Coordinator of Shaping the Future of Your Community Program, Mass Audubon
  • Citizen Watershed Groups – Jennifer Bowman, Connecticut River Conservancy
  • Study tour of Morrill Courtyard- C. Kim Jaworski-Bruschi, (UMass Facilities)
  • Green Roof Tour of Integrated Learning Center- Lauren Healey, (student,  UMass Department of Environmental Conservation)
  • Study Tour of the UMass John W. Olver Design Building – Stormwater Management Infrastructure- Paul Barten (UMass Department of Environmental Conservation)Sara Lawler (UMass Dept of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning), &
    Peggi Clouston, (UMass Department of Environmental Conservation)

And introductory workshops by Envirothon curriculum leaders:

Forest: Joe Perry, Mass Department of Conservation & Recreation (Forestry)

Wildlife:  Pam Landry, MassWildlife

Water:  Kelley Freda, Mass Department of Conservation & Recreation (Water Supply Protection)

Soil:  Al Averill, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

 

This workshop is free for registered teams. All other schools need to pay $10 per participant- these fees will be deducted from your annual program registration.  Contact Brita Dempsey, Mass Envirothon Coordinator, for details. massenvirothon@gmail.com. Students should bring a lunch or plan on purchasing one at one of many UMass eateries. Parking is available at a small cost at the UMass parking garage. School buses and vehicles with state plates park for free – call for specific parking information.

Download the sign up form: UMass workshop mini agenda17.1

Mass Envirothon Best Management Practices Tours, West Boylston

Join Kelley Freda, Environmental Analyst with the DCR-Division of Water Supply Protection for a tour and discussion of several structural best management practices (BMPs) around the Wachusett Reservoir watershed.  We will visit several raingardens, an infiltration basin, a large bioretention area, and gravel wetland.  This will be a great introduction to this year’s current issue topic on the use of green infrastructure and environmental engineering!  Although the tour will be fairly informal, Kelley will talk about how each works, why they were constructed, some design considerations, the differences between them, and of course, some water quality.  We will need to drive to a couple of close by locations as not all are within walking distance.

You are all welcome to stay and explore and observe the watershed after the tour. We have a bog (Poutwater Pond), beaver ponds, streams, wetlands and historical areas.

Meet at DCR Main office, 180 Beaman Street, West Boylston at the flagpole entrance parking lot.

Three tour dates are offered:

Sunday, October 8, 2017 1:30-4 Columbus Day weekend (The Wachusett Reservoir Dam located in Clinton is also open to the public to walk across the top on this day from 10-1. It only happens 2 times a year! Bring your cameras if you plan on staying)

Thursday, October 12, 2017 4-6pm

Saturday, October 14, 2017 10-12am

Tours are free, but you MUST register in advance, at least 3 days before the tour.

Lexington HS Envirothon team successful at the 2017 NCF Envirothon

lexington_nationals_2017.jpg

Five members of the Lexington High School Envirothon team traveled to Maryland with their coach to represent Massachusetts at the 2017 NCF Envirothon.  They had a great time and came in 15th place overall.  Here is a video they put together describing their year and the competition:

Congratulations, Lexington!

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.

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.

Newton North team meets with Energy & Environment Secretary Matt Beaton

Members of the Newton North team meet with Secretary Beaton 8/21/15

Members of the Newton North team meet with Secretary Beaton 8/21/15

This is a quick post on this past Friday’s meeting between the Newton North team (fresh back from their 4th place finish at the NCF Envirothon in Missouri) and Matt Beaton, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs.  The Newton North delegation included five team members from this year and previous winning years (Kavish Gandhi, Iris Liao, Bowen He, Christina Cong, Kaija Gahm), plus coach Anndy Dannenberg and parents Bonnie Southworth (who accompanied the team to Missouri) and Michelle Fineblum (who is also on the Mass Envirothon Council).  Joe Perry and Will Snyder were along for the ride.

The meeting lasted for nearly an hour as the team responded to the Secretary’s question about why they got involved, and why they put so much time into their Envirothon work.

Here are some points that the team articulated about why they were involved:

  • Through the Envirothon, the team gets acquainted with their local ecosystem (e.g. knowing tree species and where the best agricultural soils are).  They also learn how their local government makes decisions about environmental issues, and also get to know some of the people working on the issues. These are not things that are part of the regular school curriculum.
  • Envirothon also gives them a chance to work as a team, and this is an unusual and positive experience for students focused on academics.
  • Envirothon provides them with a more complex understanding of our connection to the natural world than elsewhere in the curriculum:  Nature is not just something to be appreciated and studied.  Our lives depend on ecosystem services.  So we need to learn to use what nature provides carefully and wisely.

Want to read more about Newton North’s exciting year? Check our their EnviroTrek.

2015 Mass. Envirothon winners announced

Bay State teens focus on climate crisis

Newton North High School was the overall winner of the 2015 Mass. Envirothon.

Newton North High School was the overall winner of the 2015 Mass. Envirothon.

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (May 15, 2015) – A school year of preparation paid off for local teenagers who were rewarded for their knowledge of the environment at the 28th annual Massachusetts Envirothon. They were among more than 250 high school students from 30 Massachusetts communities from Boston to the Berkshires who descended on the Quabbin Reservoir on Thursday, May 14th for the outdoor field competition.

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 “Climate Crisis: Taking Action in Massachusetts Communities” 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 climate change 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 – Lexington High School
  • 3rd place – Quabbin Regional High School

Current Issue Presentation

  • 1st place – Quabbin Regional High School
  • 2nd place – Leicester High School
  • 3rd place (tie) – Leominster High School, Newton North High School, Newton South High School
  • 4th place – Greenfield High School
  • 5th place – Wildlands Trust/Brockton High School

Forestry Ecostation

  • 1st place – Newton North High School
  • 2nd place – Lexington High School
  • 3rd place – Quabbin Regional High School
  • 4th place – Acton Boxborough RHS
  • 5th place – Newton South High School

Wildlife Ecostation

  • 1st place – Newton North High School
  • 2nd place – Lexington High School
  • 3rd place – Quabbin Regional High School
  • 4th place – Leominster High School
  • 5th place  – Acton Boxborough RHS

Water Ecostation

  • 1st place – Quabbin Regional High School
  • 2nd place – Leominster High School
  • 3rd place – Newton North High School
  • 4th place – Wildlands Trust/Brockton High School
  • 5th place  – Ashland High School

Soils Ecostation

  • 1st place – Newton North High School
  • 2nd place – Lexington High School
  • 3rd place (tie) – Leominster High School, Newton South High School
  • 4th place – Wildlands Trust/Brockton High School
  • 5th place – Shepherd Hill Regional High School

“Climate change is one of the most challenging issues the Commonwealth will face in the near and long term, and the Baker-Polito administration is dedicated to ensuring Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in addressing this issue,” said Matthew Beaton, Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.  “I am pleased that Envirothon gives students from across Massachusetts the opportunity to learn about the environment and brainstorm ways to prepare our state for the effects of climate change.”

“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 2015 Massachusetts Envirothon was made possible through the contributions of partnering agencies and organizations, including financial support from the U.S. Forest Service; the Massachusetts Grange; Environmental Business Council of New England; 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 on hand on May 14th 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 http://www.maenvirothon.org.