For Immediate Release
Envirothon Competition to be Held at Androscoggin Land Trust’s Camp Gustin
The 2023 Maine Southwestern Regional Envirothon will be held at Camp Gustin in Sabattus Maine on Thursday May 25th. Envirothon is the world’s largest high school environmental science competition and is designed to test students’ knowledge and skills in the areas of Wildlife Management and Conservation, Aquatic Ecology, Soil Science, Forest Management, and in a yearly current issues. The competition consists of outdoor field tests developed, implemented, and scored by resource professionals. This year’s competition features “Climate Change” as the current issue and students will need to develop a solution to a problem solving scenario and explain it to a panel of judges in a 5 minute presentation using two posters to support their proposals. There are four regional competitions held around Maine and each regional sends its highest performing teams on to the Maine Envirothon to be held at the Viles Arboretum on June 7th. The winner of the Maine Envirothon will be invited to the National Conservation Foundation International Envirothon July 23-29th at Mount Allison University in Tantramar, New Brunswick, Canada.
This year’s Southwest Regional Envirothon is hosted by the York County Soil and Water Conservation District, who is collaborating with the Androscoggin Land Trust (ALT) to hold the competition at the ALT Camp Gustin Property. Camp Gustin has recently been acquired by ALT and its 95 acres are now permanently protected. The property includes ecologically valuable forested and bog wetlands, along with a forested upland buffer. It includes 1800 feet of shore frontage on Loon Pond, flowing and intermittent streams, vernal pools, and 15 acres of Curtis Bog. The properties undeveloped shoreline areas provide water quality benefits and the property is a key component to preserving a 429 acre connective undeveloped habitat corridor with abutting conserved land. The property is an ideal location for hosting an Envirothon Competition and students will be able to experience the camp and learn about its characteristics and importance as they participate in the competition.
According to Spruce Mountain High School Envirothon Co-mentor Rob Taylor, “Envirothon is a fun and exciting way for students to learn about the natural world around them and it prepares students for college and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields.” Spruce Mountain co-advisor Ken Baker added, “The activities students do in Envirothon allow students opportunities to master a large number of the Maine Science, Technology, and Engineering Standards required of all high school students.”
The South Western Regional Envirothon is co-hosted by the Oxford, Cumberland, Franklin and Andy Valley Soil and Water Conservation Districts and York County Soil and Water is the lead coordinator this year. According to Melissa Brandt of York County Soil and Water, “We are very excited to partner with ALT to host this year’s regional competition at their new property. The opportunity for students to learn about conservation by studying wildlife, forestry, soils, and aquatics in their classes and challenge their new knowledge in this competition allows them to understand how everything is connected. The dedicated advisors spend the school year preparing their students by getting them outdoors and giving them a foundation in conservation that carries them into future careers.”
ALT Executive Director Aimee Dorval states, “Androscoggin Land Trust is pleased to host the SW Regional Envirothon at Camp Gustin Conservation Area. When ALT learned organizers were looking for a host site we immediately said, “Yes!” As a past Envirothon participant, it was and still remains a highlight in my life that led to many wonderful experiences. Envirothon kick started that passion and propelled me into the conservation field. I hope that passion is sparked with these students. Good luck to all students and teams!”
The Envirothon competition is open to high school students who compete in teams of three to five (a sixth alternate is allowed). Teams may be organized to represent schools, clubs, 4H programs, Scouting Programs, and family or community groups. The intent is to keep the program accessible to as many students as possible. The registration deadline for the Southwestern Envirothon has been extended to April 21st and anyone who is interested in competing may contact Dale Finseth at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a $125 registration fee per team. More information is available at https://www.maineenvirothon.org/registration.