Md. Teens Get Ready for First Round of Environmental Educ. Competitions

ANNAPOLIS (April 20, 2010) - Across Maryland, teenagers are grabbing their binoculars, pulling on their waterproof boots, and brushing up on their soils as they prepare for the first round of qualifying heats leading up to the 2010 Canon Envirothon. The Canon Envirothon is North America’s largest environmental education competition for high school students.

“We are excited to get young people out of the classroom and down on the farm to learn about natural resources firsthand,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Earl F. Hance. “Knowing the importance of the South American rain forest is great, but knowing about the threats to natural resources in your backyard is truly useful,” he added. “These young people will soon be given the reins and called upon to develop solutions to many of the environmental concerns that we face here at home. I am very impressed with their talent and dedication to learning about Maryland’s natural resources.”

Students participating in the Envirothon have been studying the state’s natural resources all year. During their training, the teenagers identify and categorize living resources, perform soil surveys, estimate wood yield from trees, and solve other complex natural resource issues. They receive hands-on instruction from soil scientists, wildlife specialists, foresters and environmental engineers from local, state and federal agencies as well as private environmental organizations.

Teams compete by applying their knowledge and problem-solving skills to environmental challenges. The county team with the highest cumulative total wins the local or regional competition and advances to the Maryland Envirothon scheduled for June 24-25, 2010 at the William S. Schmidt Outdoor Education Center in Prince George’s County. The winner of the Maryland Envirothon represents the state at the 2010 Canon Envirothon. More than 300 of the brightest teenagers from the United States and Canada will participate in this rigorous competition slated for later this summer at the University of California, Fresno.

Envirothon is sponsored by Maryland’s soil conservation districts and the State Soil Conservation Committee. The dates and contacts for upcoming county Envirothon competitions in southern Maryland are listed below.

Calvert Envirothon Competition
Date: May 18, 2010
Place: King’s Landing Park
Contact: Linda Subda, Calvert County Public Schools, (410) 535-2960

Charles Envirothon Competition
Date: April 27, 2010
Place: Gilbert Run Park
Contact: Dee Dee Saunders, Charles Soil Conservation District, (301) 934-9588

St. Mary’s Envirothon Competition
Date: April 29, 2010
Place: To be determined
Contact: Bruce Young, St. Mary’s Soil Conservation District, (301) 475-8402

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