At the annual Manasota Regional Envirothon held in early February, over 140 students on 26 teams representing eight 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 ‘Adapting to a Changing Climate’.
Placing first for Manatee County was ‘The Green Dream’ team from Manatee High School. In second and third place respectively, were ‘The Green Hurricane’ and the ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’ teams also from Manatee High School. Boontarika Elswick was the teacher/advisor for all Manatee High School teams.
MANATEE County: 1st Place Team: ‘The Green Dream’ from Manatee High School – L to R- Keep Manatee Beautiful Executive Director Jennifer Hoffman, students Stephanie Butscher, Henry Zheng, Rosetta Vang, Zachary Charest, and Shalalai Elswick.
Representing Sarasota County, Suncoast Polytechnical High School, team ‘Super Cool Awesome Team’ placed first. A team from Sarasota High School ‘Tree Thuggers’ placed second. Placing third were the ‘Kingfishers’ from Suncoast Polytechnical High School. Nina Henderson was the teacher/advisor for Suncoast Polytechnical High School teams, and Andy Harshman and John Stevenson advised all Sarasota High School teams.
SARASOTA County: 1st Place Team: ‘Supercool Cool Awesome Team’ from Suncoast Polytechnical High School- L to R- Keep Sarasota County Beautiful Program Manager Wendi Crisp, students Nathan Barr, David Della Vedova, Michel Simon, Nadine Brum, Eva Poore, and Sarasota Soil and Water Conservation District Chairman Chuck Johnston.
Other high school teams competing were Booker, Out of Door Academy, Palmetto, Riverview, and Venice.
SPONSORS AND VOLUNTEERS
Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District and Sarasota Soil and Water Conservation District co-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. The support of the sponsors and volunteers from cooperating agencies is greatly appreciated.
Sarasota and Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District board members attended the event to assist and congratulate the students. Wendi Crisp, Program Manager, Keep Sarasota County Beautiful and Jennifer Hoffman, Executive Director, with Keep Manatee Beautiful were on hand to congratulate the students and share some upcoming volunteer opportunities with students.
Manatee County 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, in Gainesville. https://www.flenvirothon.com
Top teams from each state will compete in the National Conservation Foundation Envirothon https://envirothon.org/ during the summer at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada.