Cacapon State Park hosts 25th annual Envirothon

by Lisa Schauer

About 200 people gathered at Cacapon State Park for the 25th annual Envirothon, a statewide conservation competition among high schools students held Thursday, April 21 through Friday, April 22.

Students were tested and scored on their skills, problem-solving abilities and knowledge of natural resources, conservation and the environment.

Competitions focused on four disciplines, located in four practice stations set up around the Nature Center: aquatics, forestry, soils, and wildlife. An indoor competition was comprised of an oral presentation focused on waste reduction.

Fourteen teams of five students each representing county Future Farmers of America (FFA), Girl Scouts of America, public high schools and home schools competed for scholarships, stipends and a chance at nationals.

Ravenswood FFA of Jackson County won the competition, sharing a $5,000 scholarship and moving on to compete at the National Conservation Foundation’s Envirothon in Oxford, Ohio this summer.

Moorefield High School from Hardy County came in second, sharing a $3,750 scholarship. The team from Doddridge County took home third, sharing a $2,500 scholarship.

East Hardy County FFA won for best rookie team.

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, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and several of the state’s 14 conservation districts.

Event organizers say they plan to return to Cacapon Resort State Park next year for Envirothon 2023.

“This is a good venue for the outdoor competitions. It’s wooded, with forest and stream aspects. And the renovations to the lodge were definitely an attraction,” said Davin White, communications specialist with West Virginia Conservation Agency on behalf of Envirothon.

“We’re coming back next year, so hey Morgan County, get a team together!” encouraged White.

Anyone interested in finding out more about forming a team for Envirothon should call Heather Duncan at the West Virginia Conservation district office 304-261-4905.

Forester Johnny King, with the West Virginia Division of Forestry instructs students on how to use a Biltmore stick to measure merchantable tree length and diameter. Students and instructors were at Cacapon State Park last week competing in Envirothon, a statewide conservation competition among high schools students.