Putting the green in North Harford, Envirothon competes in recent event

Mekenzie McCann, Reporter

 On April 29, 2022 the Envirothon team headed to a competition at Eden Mill. The team addressed different topics of forestry, soils, aquatics, wildlife, and a fifth topic that rotates every year. 

     Envirothon is an academic environmental team that learns about natural resources, aquatics, wildlife, forestry, and soils. 

    At the beginning of the year there is a “county wide training held at Rocks State Park, and […] experts come in for all of the different topics” states advisor of the team, Laura O’Leary.

     The team meets every Friday after school, and they “just learn about stuff, it starts off in the classroom where [the team learns] different concepts, and then takes [the learning] outside” comments O’Leary. 

     “Envirothon is all about the outside, where [the team] learns about trees, aquatics, soils, and wildlife all on our campus,” says O’Leary.

     Mid-way through the year the students on the team attend another county wide training where they talk about the fifth topic. This year the fifth topic was waste to resources, “so it was all about recycling and composting,” comments O’Leary.

     Then the team continues to meet after school on Friday’s and then in the spring there is another County Wide training, then at the competition is held. 

     O’Leary comments, “The week and a half before the competition there was some serious cramming, [the team] used the old tests” to study. 

     The team also took a trip to Hidden Valley to identify trees because “if you do not look at the trees right before the competition, then you are in trouble because they can look totally different from week to week,” O’Leary states. 

     The teams compete as a five person team, and O’Leary sends an A, B, and C team. 

     When the team gets to the competition, they split up into their teams and take a paper and pencil test, but still while doing hands on things. 

     At the competition, the teams participate in “forestry measurement[s], identification, wildlife has all kinds of cool dead things they are identifying, aquatics has all kinds of questions they answer but also identify vertebrates, and fish as well. The soils go into a huge soils pit they walk down into, and the fifth topic is usually paper and pencil,” O’Leary comments. 

     The teams can take the test together or split it up, as for “the soils, Anna O’Leary and Blake Carberry went into the soil pit and identified the soils layers and then the other kids worked on the soil survey, which is this book that tells you all kinds of weird things,” O’Leary adds. 

     At the competition, there is also a presentation portion. “The kids get together and present, […] they give you a problem to solve, and the problem was all about increasing composting and reducing the waste in Harford County Public School cafeterias,” says O’Leary.