By Melisa Augusto
Welcomed by ideal weather conditions for Maryland in July, nearly 700 Envirothon students, teachers, advisors, volunteers, and sponsors descended upon Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, last week for the NCF-Envirothon.
The 30th annual event was the culmination of a year’s worth of studying, training, activities, and local, regional, state or provincial competitions. The top teams from high schools in 45 states, seven Canadian provinces, and two Chinese provinces came together to compete for the title of NCF-Envirothon champion.
The five-member teams spent a day training on a local site before another day of field testing on a local farm. The students are given hands-on, practical experience in five areas including: aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and this year’s current issue – agricultural soil and water conservation stewardship. Following the training and testing days, participants were taken to Washington, D.C., for an educational day touring the museums and monuments, and ended the day at Sandy Point State Park for a traditional Maryland crab feast and barbecue. The barbecue was generously donated by Smithfield Foods, a longtime supporter of NCF-Envirothon.
For the final two days on the St. Mary’s campus, the students were presented with an oral presentation scenario based on the current issue and challenged to prepare a solution that would be presented to a panel of judges.
At an awards ceremony on Friday night, teams were recognized for their achievements, including awards for top scores at each of the five individual testing stations. The University of Chicago Lab School team from Chicago, Illinois, was presented with the Spickler Award by NCF Chair Steve Robinson, for earning the top score in oral presentation.
After the cumulative scores were tallied, the Penncrest High School team from Media, Pennsylvania, was named the champion of the 2017 event. In second place was the team representing The Mount Academy in Esopus, New York. Third place was awarded to the Hot Springs High School team from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Each of the top three teams were presented with a share of $30,000 in cash prizes provided by Smithfield Foods.
Click here to view photos, see the full results, and to learn more about the NCF-Envirothon, and Envirothon in your state or province on the NCF-Envirothon website. For NACD press releases on this year’s event, head to the Newsroom; and for more photos, NACD’s Flickr. You can also contact the NCF-Envirothon Program Manager Carly Burton at email@example.com.