High schoolers from across Nebraska — and a few pelicans — descended on Lake Wanahoo on April 28 for the 29th annual Nebraska State Envirothon. Ord High School took home the championship, along with $1,500, and will represent Nebraska at the National Conservation Foundation Envirothon in July.
Envirothon is an environmental education program for high school students that combines classroom learning and outdoor activities. This year’s competition was hosted at the Lower Platte North Natural Resources District’s Lake Wanahoo near Wahoo.
“Envirothon allows students to get outdoors and learn about natural resources in a hands-on environment,” said Jim Eschliman, Nebraska Association of Resources Districts president. “The activities are designed to help students become environmentally aware, action-oriented adults, but also exposes them to many exciting career opportunities.”
During the state competition, five-member teams were tested on their knowledge of aquatics, forestry, policy, range, soils and wildlife. They also prepared and delivered an oral presentation focusing on a current environmental issue.
The 2021 oral presentation theme, “Water Resources Management: Local Control, Local Solutions,” challenged teams to propose a solution on a complex problem before a panel of judges.
The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts Foundation awarded cash prizes to the top three winning teams at the state competition:
- First place ($1,500): Ord
- Second place ($1,000): Norris Team 2
- Third place ($500): Arthur County
Additional prizes were awarded to the top teams in each testing category:
- Aquatics: Norris Team 2
- Forestry: Pender
- Policy: Arthur County, Norris Team 1 and St. Paul
- Range: Ord
- Soils: Ord and St. Paul
- Wildlife: Norris Team 2
- Oral Presentation: Concordia
More than 75 teams competed in the regional contests between Feb. 3 and 5, and 14 teams qualified to participate at the state competition.
Ord will represent Nebraska at the NCF-Envirothon July 25-28 to compete for a top prize of $15,000. The international NCF-Envirothon will be hosted virtually by Nebraska’s natural resources districts and will include more than 40 teams from the U.S., Canada and China.
Learn more about the Nebraska Envirothon at nrdnet.org/nebraska-envirothon.