Westmoreland Conservation District Hosts 2019 High School Envirothon Competition April 29

On April 29 100 students from 10 Westmoreland County high schools are scheduled to gather at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg to compete in the annual Westmoreland County Envirothon.

Teams of 9th to 12th -graders will test their knowledge of the natural world to see which will represent Westmoreland County in the state Envirothon competition, which will be held on May 21 and 22 at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown.  

During the hands-on competition, students may be asked to identify an animal by sight, by call, or by skeleton.  They might measure a tree or try to identify soil composition through touch.  Teams also will be asked about human impacts to natural resources.

Topics in the competition include forestry, soil and land use, aquatic ecology, wildlife, and this year’s current environmental issue: agriculture and the environment – knowledge and technology to feed the world.

In addition to the testing, students will hear a presentation by Chelsea Gross, the Westmoreland Conservation District’s West Nile virus technician, on mosquitoes – including how they are monitored, controlled, and ways to reduce their habitats. 

Chelsea is a certified Dare 2B Tick Aware facilitator and will talk to students about prevention measures to take to protect themselves from tick-borne diseases.

Students scheduled to participate in this year’s competition represent Burrell High School, Derry Area High School, Franklin Regional Senior High School, Greater Latrobe Senior High School, Greensburg Salem High School, Kiski Area High School, Mount Pleasant Area Junior-Senior High School, Norwin High School, Southmoreland High School, and Yough Senior High School.

The winners will go on to compete in the Statewide Envirothon in May.

This year’s Westmoreland County Envirothon received funding support from the Pennsylvania Envirothon, Inc.; Apex Energy, LLC; and Smithfield.

The Envirothon has been hosted by the Westmoreland Conservation District every year since 1986. 

Many cooperating organizations and agencies help to make this event possible including: the Game Commission, Fish and Boat Commission, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry, Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Visit the Westmoreland Conservation District website for more information and to learn more about their programs and initiatives to help farmers and landowners improve their land stewardship.


The winner of the statewide Envirothon competition will move on to the international Envirothon competition in July at the North Carolina State University Raleigh campus.

Pennsylvania teams have won the now international Envirothon competition in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2017.  (No pressure here.)

And, actually, they should because conservation districts in Pennsylvania were the first to develop the Envirothon environmental knowledge competition program for high school students.

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Envirothon website, call 814-310-3271 or contact Lorelle Steach by sending email to: lsteach@envirothonpa.org.  You can also contact your county conservation district.

(Photo: First Place Kiski Area High School team winners in 2018.  Click Here for top 3 teams.)

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[Posted: April 11, 2019]


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