Record numbers competed at the twenty-ninth annual Hamilton County Envirothon held May 3, where eight teams of high school students took tough, science-focused tests and battled for first place. The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District organizes and hosts the event annually.
“The Hamilton County Envirothon provides an interscholastic competition in an academic setting,” said Nicole Curtin, Long Lake Envirothon adviser. “My teams gain exposure to other students from our county, and great, real-life applications of science concepts.”
A cold drizzle in no way dampened anyone’s fun. Teams hiked the muddy Adirondack Ecotrail to each station, and worked together to complete exams written and proctored by natural resource experts. This year’s presenters were Seth Thomas, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Forestry); Christine Campeau and Emily Valin, Adirondack Experience the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (Wildlife); Tom Bielli, Natural Resources Conservation Service (Soils); Sam Blake, Lake Champlain Lake George Regional Planning Board (Current Issue: Adapting to Changing
Climate); and Bill Brosseau, Adirondack Watershed Institute (Aquatics).
Teams had 20 minutes to complete each exam, many of which included field components like identifying tree species, analyzing soil permeability, and recognizing wildlife tracks. Presenters reviewed the answers to their exams, then teams hiked to the next testing station.
Volunteers collected exams and tallied the scores.
After a hot dog lunch catered by CampStore!, District Technician Katie WhitKovits kicked off the awards ceremony with certificates for the top score in each category. The category winners are: Forestry: Long Lake’s Muddy Buddies; Soils and Aquatics: Long Lake’s Bryon and the Baddies; Wildlife: Wells’ Some Really Cool Dudes, and Current Issue: Wells’ The Dream
Team. Overall winners were awarded certificates. First place went to Long Lake Central School’s Bryon and the Baddies, who received a plaque and will represent Hamilton County at the New York State Envirothon May 24 and 25 at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva. Wells Central School’s The Dream Team placed second, and Long Lake’s Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis Pals received third place.
Volunteers Joyce and Tom Whitcomb, and Vicki Buyce and John Stortecky of the District’s Board of Directors kept the event running smoothly by collecting and scoring exams and keeping time.
Sponsors supported the Hamilton County Envirothon with generous donations, and include Stewart’s Shops, CampStore!, Camp of the Woods, Everett J. Prescott Inc., Indian Lake Theater, and Friends of Lake Algonquin.
“The Hamilton County students proved their hard work and genuine dedication to the environment with their high scores,” said WhitKovits. “Several teams came close to tying for first place!”
The District has been working to manage and promote the wise use of natural resources in Hamilton County since 1965. For more information go to www.hamiltoncountyswcd.org or call 518-548-3991.