At the annual Manasota Regional Envirothon held in early February, over 120 students representing nine Manatee and Sarasota county high schools, competed at Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey. The Envirothon is an outdoor environmental team competition for high school students, testing their knowledge of aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and this year’s current topic ‘Water Resource Management: Local Control and Local Solutions’.
Placing first for Manatee County was ‘The Green Gang’ team from Palmetto High School. Palmetto High School’s team ‘Tropo Paws’ placed second. In third place was team ‘Vegetative Vegetation’ from Manatee High School.
Representing Sarasota County, Suncoast Polytechnical High School, team ‘Demetrios’ placed first. Venice High School’ team ‘Venice High Indians A’ placed second. The ‘Tree Thuggers’ from Sarasota High School placed third.
Other schools competing were Southeast High School, North Port High School, Riverview High School, and Out-of-Door Academy.
New to the contest this year were Smokey the Bear corn hole boards provided by the forestry lunch crew for the students to enjoy after the competition, while they waited for the results to be tallied.
Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District along with Sarasota Soil and Water Conservation District sponsor the annual competition. Lunch was donated by the Manatee Fish and Game Association and prepared by the Florida Forest Service. Sarasota County Farm Bureau and the Mosaic Company sponsored the event t-shirts. Keep Manatee Beautiful and Keep Sarasota County Beautiful sponsored the awards.
Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department, UF/IFAS Manatee County Extension, Florida Forest Service, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension and Sustainability, and Oscar Scherer State Park volunteers also participated.
Visit the state and national Envirothon websites to keep apprised of any cancellations or adjustments to these scheduled events as a result of COVID-19. First place teams from each county are eligible to compete in the State Envirothon in late April, at Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach. https://www.flenvirothon.com/key-dates
Top teams from each state will compete in the North American Envirothon during the summer at University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. https://envirothon.org/