Envirothons and More
Each spring, the Conservation District sponsors Envirothon competitions for participating schools at elementary, junior high, and senior high levels. These events are among the most popular and visible education activities in which the Conservation District is involved, but educational activities at the District are a much bigger story.
The entire staff of the Conservation District has some role in environmental and conservation education. Target audiences are as varied as the topics and the venues range from classrooms to farm fields and from auditoriums to stream banks. Agricultural team members conduct barn meetings and field days to present new programs and practices that assist county producers in protecting water quality and preserving valuable soil. Our Recycling Coordinator offers programs promoting local recycling opportunities and responsible waste handling to youth and adult groups. Workshops for timber harvesters and for developers and engineers are conducted by Erosion and Sedimentation Control staff, presenting guidelines and best practices to minimize the impacts of earth disturbance activities to our county water resources. The Watershed Specialist assists county watershed groups with training programs that build volunteer capabilities and presents a variety of hands-on activities to student groups of all ages.
Envirothons are fun, academic events challenging students to think critically about the natural world and their role in it. Combining in-class curriculum and outdoor training, Envirothon competition tests students knowledge and analytic abilities in the subject areas of Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Soil & Land Use, Wildlife, and Current Environmental Issues. Though now an international event with Canadian provinces entering teams in the Canon Envirothon, the idea for the first "Envirolympics" began in Pennsylvania in the late 1970's.
The Bedford County Conservation District sponsors annual Envirothons for senior high, junior high, and elementary student teams. Events are scheduled each spring at a site within Shawnee Lake State Park and teams from all the county schools, as well as home school students, meet for friendly competition. The winning team in the senior high competition moves on to compete at the state level.