2013-05-09 / Local & State

SF Takes First At Environthon

Pictured, from left, are: Mary Wright, branch manager F&M Trust; Jacob Pryor, Austin Mellott, Connor Litton, Sean Bright, Dristin Mellott and advisor Joe Hollenshead. Pictured, from left, are: Mary Wright, branch manager F&M Trust; Jacob Pryor, Austin Mellott, Connor Litton, Sean Bright, Dristin Mellott and advisor Joe Hollenshead. While the day was cool and dreary, teams from several local schools braved the elements to compete in the 2013 Franklin/Fulton County Envirothon competition held April 30 at Cowans Gap State Park.

This year, a team from Southern Fulton High School took first place in the local competition. The SFHS “Weasels” team led the field. In second place was the “Green Machine” team from McConnellsburg High School. Following up in third place was McConnellsburg High School’s “Mighty Oaks.”

The SFHS “Weasels” team was comprised of Sean Bright, Austin Mellott, Dristin Mellott, Jacob Pryor and Connor Litton. Teacher Joe Hollenshead is the academic advisor for the SFHS teams, along with junior high teacher Van Duncan.

Each member of the firstplace team was presented a Visa gift card, donated by F&M Trust, a first-place medallion, a certificate of achievement and a Fulton County Envirothon Tshirt. Environmental Education Funds, raised by the Fulton County Conservation District through its annual tree sale, help pay the team’s way to the PA State Envirothon competition. Winning the local competition allows the team to represent Fulton County at the State Envirothon competition.

Second place at the Fulton County Envirothon was taken by the “Green Machine” team from McConnellsburg High School Team members were Andrew Smith, Jesse Swope, Brandi Welsh, Tristin Deneen and David Welsh Jr. Teachers Craig Elbin and Dot Doyle are the academic advisors for the MHS teams.

The third- place team, “ Mighty Oaks” from Mc- Connellsburg High School, consisted of Ashton Doyle, Larkin Shearer, Grace Youngblood, Sara Beth Winegardner and Brittany Grace.

This year the 30th Annual Pennsylvania State Envirothon will be held May 21-22 at Juniata College in Huntingdon. The SFHS team will compete against other Envirothon teams from almost all counties in the state.

The winning team will advance to the North American Envirothon, the international competition, to be held this year in Montana.

The Envirothon is designed to raise student awareness and interest in nature, natural resource management and the environmental sciences. Each team consists of up to five high school students who prepare for the event through the course of the school year, studying in five areas; aquatics, forestry, soils and land use, wildlife and a current issue that changes annually. This year the current issue is “Grazing Lands and Pasture Management.” Months of indoor and outdoor preparation culminate on the day of the County Envirothon, when students visit five testing stations, hoping to earn up to 100 points at each station. The top winner in each county advances to the State Envirothon.

The Envirothon, now an international competition featuring 45 states and eight Canadian provinces, had its beginnings in Fulton County when local citizens began the Enviro- Olympics more than 20 years ago. This year, 100 Franklin and Fulton County students participated in the two- county cooperative event. Sadly, Forbes Road High School and the Fulton County Community Christian School were unable to field teams this year.

The Fulton County and Franklin County conservation districts teamed up to coordinate the event locally, which was held at Cowans Gap State Park.

State and federal agencies that administer the Envirothon stations include the Pennsylvania Game Commission, PA DCNR Bureau of Forestry and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Support also came from Cowans Gap State Park and F&M Trust.

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