At the annual Manasota Regional Envirothon held in late January, over 110 students representing seven 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 ‘Waste to Resources’.
Placing first for Manatee County was team ‘L-g’ from Manatee High School. In second place, also from Manatee High School was ‘Team Envirosquad’. The ‘Green Gang’ team from Palmetto High School placed 3rd.
MANATEE County: 1st Place Team: ‘L-g’ from Manatee High School– L to R- Addison Wiggins, Jocelyn Leal, Jack Austin, Joshua Ziegler, Cassandra Leal, and Boontarika Elswick (teacher).
Representing Sarasota County, Sarasota High School , team ‘Earth Mommasam’ placed first. A team from Riverview ‘Save Planet A’ placed 2nd. North Port’s team ‘Catfish’ and the ‘Tree Thuggers’ from Sarasota High School tied for 3rd place.
SARASOTA County: 1st Place Team: ‘Earth Mommasam’ from Sarasota High School- L to R- Andy Harshman (teacher), Jade McCobb-Pratt, Jaysily Martinez-Rivera, Sam Powers, Rylee Mulhollen, Brian Trayner, and John Stevenson (teacher).
Other high schools competing were Suncoast Polytechnical and the Out-of-Door Academy.
High scores by category were: Aquatics-Green Gang, Palmetto High School; Forestry-Team Envirosquad, Manatee High School and Renegades from Suncoast Polytechnical High School tied; Soils-Earth Mommasam, Sarasota High School; and Wildlife-Catfish, North Port High School.
SPONSORS AND VOLUNTEERS
Sarasota Soil and Water Conservation District (SSWCD) along with Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District (MRSWCD) hosted the annual competition. Lunch was sponsored by the Manatee Fish and Game Association. Sarasota County Farm Bureau and the Mosaic Company sponsored the event t-shirts. Keep Manatee Beautiful and Keep Sarasota County Beautiful sponsored the awards.
Several SSWCD board members attended the event to assist and congratulate the students, along with a MRSWCD board member. Wendi Crisp, Keep Sarasota County Beautiful Program Manager, was on hand to congratulate the students and share some upcoming volunteer opportunities with them.
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.
First place teams from each county are eligible to compete in the State Envirothon in late April, the format (virtual or in person) has not yet been announced. https://www.flenvirothon.com/
Top teams from each state will compete in the North American Envirothon during the summer at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. https://envirothon.org/