Community, The Braxton Democrat

Braxton to Participate in 2024 West Virginia Envirothon

The West Virginia Envirothon, the state’s premiere conservation competition for high school students, will be held at Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Jackson County April 18-19 and Braxton County is scheduled to participate.
Five-member teams who participate in the Envirothon explore the environmental and earth sciences through five disciplines: aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and a current environmental topic known as the “fifth topic.”
This year’s fifth topic scenario is: “Renewable Energy, Sustainable Bioenergy Production and the Challenge of Nitrate Runoff.” Students will play the role of owners/operators of a 250-acre West Virginia farm, who are seeing a decline in profits from traditional crops. The students must investigate how to utilize renewable energy to increase profits, protect local ecosystems, and incorporate renewable energy into operations.
The statewide competition also will test students’ problem-solving abilities and knowledge about the environment, natural resources and conservation.
Teams are expected from Braxton, Clay, Doddridge, Hampshire, Hardy, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Marion, Monongalia, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Roane, Tyler, Upshur, Webster, Wood and Wyoming counties. In all, about 33 teams are expected to participate.
In the buildup to the annual competition, West Virginia Envirothon Committee Chairman Wayne McKeever noted a lot of interest in recent months in training sessions held at Holly-Gray Park in Jackson County, WVU Jackson’s Mill in Lewis County, and in conservation districts throughout the state.
“Students and advisors have expressed a lot of interest and excitement about this year’s Envirothon, which we are happy to host at Cedar Lakes Conference Center,” McKeever said. “This year’s winning team will also earn the right to compete at the NCF-Envirothon in Geneva, New York.”
The international NCF-Envirothon competition will be held at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., from July 28 to August 3.
The West Virginia Envirothon Committee will award $15,500 in college and postsecondary scholarships to the highest-placing teams. Advisors are eligible for teacher and school stipends for having a team compete at the Envirothon, and teams who win each of the five stations (aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and the fifth topic) also receive station award prizes for both team members and advisors.
Sponsors for the West Virginia Envirothon include the Weyerhaeuser Foundation, Berkshire Hathaway Energy Gas Transmission and Storage, the West Virginia Conservation Agency, the Elk Conservation District, the Northern Panhandle Conservation District, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the EQT Foundation, Toyota Motor Manufacturing of WV, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the West Virginia Department of Education and the Northern Panhandle Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council.
Numerous volunteers make up the West Virginia Envirothon Committee, which includes representatives from the West Virginia Association of Conservation Districts, the West Virginia Division of Forestry, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, the West Virginia Conservation Agency, USDA-NRCS and several of the state’s 14 conservation districts.