Wallenpaupack sweeps Envirothon
May 4, 2011 —
For 25 years, teacher Tony Kietrys has been coaching teams of students from Wallenpaupack Area High School in preparation for the Pike/Wayne Envirothon. Fellow teacher Linda Lohner has served as co-advisor for most of those years.
Their efforts, and that of their team, the Green Revolution, culminated in a sweep of many of the awards earned at the April 27 event, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Also celebrating 25 years of dedication to Envirothon is Wayne Conservation District Manager Robert Mueller, who was presented with a plaque by Wayne County Commissioners Wendell Kay and Anthony Herzog. “What makes the event the best is you kids,” said Mueller, as he accepted the award.
The educational competition for high school students is designed to test their knowledge, skills and problem-solving capabilities regarding the earth’s natural resources. Wayne and Pike county conservation district staff coordinate the day-long event. The local competition sets the stage for the 2011 Pennsylvania State Envirothon on May 24-25, which will take place at Susquehanna University and Shikellamy State Park.
Students compete in a series of stations that they have prepared for throughout the year: using field guides to identify tree species and wildlife, learning to recognize various bird calls, consulting soil surveys and conducting research on topics, such as this year’s theme on estuaries. Defending their winning ways from last year’s event, the Green Revolution placed first overall, but also garnered first-place awards in aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife.
Members of the Green Revolution enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, biking, boating, geo-caching and “creeking,” which simply involves wading in and exploring creeks. All of them are seniors and bound for college.
Kietrys is the advisor to the Environmental Activities Club and an avid outdoorsman, who enjoys horseback riding, hiking, skiing and helping the students prepare for the competition. “I teach science, so it’s my calling,” said Kietrys. “And the students inspire me.”
The students meet weekly throughout the year and during the past month at least three times per week. “I had no doubt they were going to pull it off,” said Kietrys. “They work really hard. Bird calls is probably the most difficult of all and they do really well at that.”