HOPKINTON, Mass. (May 9, 2008) – Teams from Lexington High School, Quabbin Regional High School, Somerset High School and Tantasqua Regional High School have been named as finalists in the 21st annual Massachusetts Envirothon field competition held at Hopkinton State Park on May 6th and 7th. The four teams will now go on to compete in the final competition on Saturday, May 17th at the Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster.
Daniel K Moon, President and Executive Director of the Environmental Business Council, served as a judge for the competition, along with environmental professionals from government agencies, non-profit organizations, academia and private industry.
In the field competition, more than 300 Bay State teenagers from 43 public and private high schools across the commonwealth analyzed soils, measured trees, identified fish and reptiles, and gave presentations on an environmental issue in this statewide outdoor natural resource education event.
This year’s competition was expanded to accommodate an increased number of participants. Each team participated on their choice of one of the two field competition days at Hopkinton State Park. The four teams that scored the highest in the field competition will go on to the May 17th finals which will consist of only each finalist team’s current issue presentation.
This year’s current issue is “Outdoor Recreation and the Environment.” In preparation, teams were asked to go outdoors and explore recreation issues in their own community. Teams have identified a key recreational issue or opportunity, and have made recommendations for steps that their community should take to address it.
In addition to the four finalists, the following teams placed in the top ten for overall scrore: Bedford High School (5th), Mohawk Trail Regional High School (6th), Barnstable High School (7th), Lawrence Academy (8th), Acton-Boxborough Regional High School (9th), and South High Community School (10th).
The following teams were among the top five at one of the eco-stations or the current issue station during the field competition. Awards will be presented to all of these teams on May 17th: Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Barnstable High School, Bedford High School, Chelmsford High School, Doherty Memorial High School, Hopkinton High School, Lawrence Academy, Lexington High School, Minuteman Regional High School, Mohawk Trail Regional High School, Monson Environmental Action Team, Newton North High School, Quabbin Regional High School, Somerset High School, South High Community School, Taconic High School, Tahanto Regional High School, Tantasqua Regional High School, and an alternate team self-named “Z Fuchsia Team 7-1.”
At the outdoor field competition event, teams of five students rotated through four ?eco-stations? where they demonstrated their environmental knowledge through hands-on activities such as soil analysis, plant identification, tree measuring and investigation of water insects. Alternate team members also formed into teams and competed at eco-stations.
Teams prepare for the Massachusetts Envirothon throughout the year through classroom curricula and workshops. Teams research the current issue in their own community prior to the event. Many teams also work to earn Community Research and Community Action awards.
Some 15 state and federal environmental agencies, conservation districts, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and businesses are involved in organizing the Massachusetts Envirothon.
The 2008 Massachusetts Envirothon is made possible with the financial support of corporate sponsor National Grid, contributions from partnering organizations, area land trusts and conservation districts, as well as grants from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust and the U.S. Forest Service.
The Envirothon program originated in 1979 in Pennsylvania as the Environmental Olympics. In 1988 the name was changed to the Envirothon and the program was expanded to a national program. Massachusetts held its first competitive event in May 1988 with five teams participating. The winning team from each state has the opportunity to represent their state in the Canon Envirothon, the North American competition.
For more information on the Massachusetts Envirothon visit www.maenvirothon.org.