Area Students Excel at Envirothon Competition

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Around 40 students representing high schools and middle schools from southeastern Minnesota gathered at the Byron Sportsmen & Conservation Club near Byron, Minnesota to test their knowledge of conservation and the environment during the 2022 Envirothon competition.

The Envirothon is an outdoor, hands-on learning competition for high school and middle school students. It centers on five different learning stations, including soils, wildlife, water resources, forestry, and a current environmental issue. Each station consists of a short presentation about the topic by a resource professional, followed by a test taken by the students. Across Minnesota, around 1,000 students participate in the Envirothon every year.

Some test questions were “hands-on” and required students to identify trees, determine soil texture, and analyze resource maps. High school teams also prepared an oral presentation and answered questions from a panel of judges.

For 29 years, the Southeast Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SEMASWCD) has held the competition for a ten-county area in southeastern Minnesota, with the exception of 2020, when the event was canceled due to Covid-19. In 2021, the event was held virtually.

“After two years of Covid-19, it was great to see students gather in person again in the spirit of competition,” said Teresa DeMars, Rice SWCD Public Relations and Information Specialist. “We had a beautiful, warm, spring day for the event. The students represented Rice County very well and enjoyed the contest.”

Two middle school teams from the Cannon River STEM School represented Rice County at the competition. The 8th-grade team finished in third place, while the 7th-grade team finished in 4th place.

In the high school division, Winona-Cotter A team took first place, Goodhue High School took second place, and Winona-Cotter B team took third place. These three teams advanced to the state competition which was held on May 16th at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls.

The Rice SWCD congratulates all the students from Rice County who took the time and effort to compete in the 2022 Envirothon. The District also thanks teachers Matti Prayfrock and Kristin Guin-Grosse, who organized teams this year from the Cannon River STEM School.

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