August 16, 2012 —
Guest column by Jamie Knecht, Watershed specialist, Wayne Conservation District
The Canon Envirothon celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, and we were very pleased and excited to host it here in Pennsylvania. The team that represented PA in the Nationals was from MMI Preparatory School in Luzerne County. PA placed 15th overall at the national level, an accomplishment that few high school students experience.
The Envirothon is a competition where teams of five high school students are tested on environmental topics including aquatic ecology, forestry, soils and land use, wildlife and an issue that varies from year to year. The issue for 2012 was “Non-Point Source Pollution and Low Impact Development.”
Locally, the Pike-Wayne Envirothon features 60 students representing Wallenpaupack High School and Delaware Valley High School in Pike County and Honesdale High School, Western Wayne High School and Canaan Christian Academy in Wayne County. The top placing team from each county moves on to the Pennsylvania State Envirothon competition. Following that, the top team from Pennsylvania moves on to the week-long national competition, the Canon Envirothon.
This year I had the pleasure of serving as an Oral Component Judge at the Canon Envirothon held at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA. Students worked on low-impact proposals for new development and retrofitting existing development in a town setting.
The 2012 Canon Envirothon hosted teams from a total of 44 U.S. states, nine Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory, making a total of 54 teams competing. A total of $120,000 in scholarships and Canon products was awarded to students. The top team overall was from Pembroke High School in Kansas City, MO.
We were pleased not only to have the national competition take place in Pennsylvania, but to also have our PA team represent us so well. I was nothing short of amazed at the talent, dedication and intelligence of these young men and women. It gave me an insight into our future and based on these kids, I would say our future is looking pretty bright.