Lexington HS Envirothon team successful at the 2017 NCF Envirothon

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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.

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.

2017 Spring Workshop at Alden Lab

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The 2017 Massachusetts Envirothon Spring Workshop will be held

Saturday April 8, 2017

at Alden Research Laboratory in Holden MA       Full Agenda including Directions

8:45 a.m.                       Registration

9:00 – 9:10                   Welcome

9:15 – 10:25                   Workshops – choose one

10:30 – 11:40                 Workshops – choose one

11:45 – 12:15                 Lunch (Bring your own or sign up for a $5 sandwich at registration)

12:15 – 12:55                Overview of Alden     & Introduction to the 2017 Current Issue

1:00-3:30                       Mini Envirothon

To sign up, please contact massenvirothon@gmail.com, Sign up Form

 

 

2017 Winter Workshop

The 2017 Winter Workshop will be held again at Worcester Technical High School.

Wednesday Feb 1, 2017

DUE TO WEATHER  2 hour delay.   Registration opens at 9:45, 1st session (scheduled 2nd) starts at 10:30.

TWO long sessions will be held for indepth explorations of our station areas and current issue topics.

Agenda

Directions

Team Sign up form (please return to Brita by January 24)

This is a great chance to learn more about Envirothon and consider forming a team. If you are new to the program and would like to attend this workshop, please fill out the following contact form.

Mass Envirothon Steering Committee meeting, 4/13/17 10:00-2:00 in Lincoln

Mass Envirothon Steering Committee

April 13, 2017  10:00-2:00

Drumlin Farm Sanctuary

208 Great Road, Lincoln, Massachusetts

 

Agenda

  • Minutes of 3.09.16/agenda update
  • Finances/fundraising update
  • Coordinator report/update
    • Review of Spring Workshop
    • Registration update
  • 2017 site update
    • Map locations/tent needs
    • Coach activities
    • Service activities
    • SCA involvement
    • ITD involvement
    • Lunchtime activities
  • Volunteer update
    • “middle manager” volunteers
    • General volunteer update
    • Judge recruiting update
  • Awards/prizes/swag update
  • 30th Mass Envirothon, other publicity opportunities
  • Evaluation plans/survey of coaches
  • Current Issue 2018
  • Other new business

For more information or to suggest agenda items, contact Will Snyder wsnyder@umext.umass.edu or call 413/545-3876

 

 

 

Fall 2016 UMass Amherst Workshop for coaches and teams

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Link to UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment’s article

Kick off the 2016-2017 Envirothon year with this introductory workshop.

  • Learn about this year’s current issue: Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation and get ready to investigate the soil and water issues in the gardens, farms, and forests (including urban forests) in YOUR community.
  • 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!

 

8:30 Registration opens.  College of Natural Sciences reception for coaches. Welcome activities for Envirothon team members.

9 – 2:10 Opening and 4 concurrent sessions with a lunch break.

Current Issue topics and speakers:

Getting Started on Current Issue Research – Will Snyder (UMass Center for Agriculture)

  • Droughts and Flooding in MA? Now what? – Christine Hatch (UMass Dept of Geosciences)
  • Soil Formation – Isaac Larson (UMass Dept of Geosciences)
  • Principles of Soil Health I and II – Thomas Akin, USDA NRCS
  • Forest Ecology, Forest Soils, and the Drought – Lena Fletcher (UMass Department of Environmental Conservation)
  • Understanding Water Movement in Soils – Paul Barten, UMass Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Fertilizers, Runoff, and Water Quality – Holtze Wijnja, Massachusetts Dept of Agriculture
  • Wetland plants and Soils – Deborah Henson, UMass Environmental Science Program
  • Walking tour of soil and water issues at Simple Gifts Farm in North Amherst – Jeremy Barker-Plotkin, Organic farmer
  • Tour the Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing lab – Tracy Allen, UMass Extension

Plus workshops by Envirothon curriculum leaders:

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

Wildlife:  Walt Tynan, 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 program registration for this year.  Contact Brita Dempsey, Mass Envirothon Coordinator, for details at 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.

2016-umass-workshop-final agenda

Other 2017 Workshops

Coaches Workshop 10.1.16

Outdoor Workshop for High School Teachers:

Hands-on Science in Massachusetts Ecosystems

Do you know how to calculate how many board feet of lumber that can be produced from a mature tree? Ever thought of finally mastering identifying trees in winter? Have you ever used an aerial photo to help analyze surrounding ecosystems for resources for wildlife or for determining potential water pollution sources? On the off chance that you don’t have a back hoe to dig your own soil pit, maybe you’d like a chance to measure soil horizons with Dr. Dirt himself?  All this and more at Mass Envirothon’s workshop for coaches on Saturday October 1.  Spend the day outside with natural resource professionals learning how to apply knowledge and work with new and experienced coaches to plan how to share this knowledge with your team.

Saturday, October 1  8:30 – 3:00

MassWildlife’s Wyane F. MacCallum Wildlife Management Area, Westborough

Read more…

Spring Workshop at Alden Research Lab

Representatives from 17 teams had a splendid day in Holden at the Alden Research Lab. Two morning sessions included opportunities to test water quality, use nets to catch macro-invertebrates and assess stream health, prep for Current Issue presentations, ID a fisher (among other critters!) and assess habitat for wildlife use, measure soil horizons and texture and yell MADCAPHORSE loud enough for the whole building to hear.  Alden Senior VP Dave Anderson toured a group through the lab complex and later gave an overview of all the different projects Alden is working on.  In the afternoon, teams visited stations in a “mini-envirothon” to get an idea about what the competition will be like in May.

Thanks Alden, for hosting us again! More pictures on the facebook page

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2016 spring workshop, students in soil pit