CEDARVILLE — Dreary weather wasn’t a setback for the Beavercreek High School team competing in the first day of Ohio Envirothon June 11 at the Indian Mound Reserve. In fact it’s been the norm for the five of them.
“We had a local practice [competition] — it snowed there. And then we had the area one which led us to this — it poured the whole time there,” BHS student Elizabeth Sakulich said after her team completed their second test for the day.
The team of five brought their raincoats and are participating in the state competition with 19 other teams from around Ohio.
Envirothon first began in 1979, according to Lee Eltzroth, education specialist for Greene Soil and Water Conservation District. It continued this year at the 169-acre park.
“Even with the rain it’s always fun to see the different things you can do and the on-site demonstrations,” Sakulich said.
“Just to be outside on a given day is great,” teammate Parker Clark continued.
Before lunch on Monday, the students worked on aquatics and forestry tests within the reserve. The third and fourth rotating stations focused on soil and wildlife, Eltzroth said. The site in the village was kept secret before the students arrived.
Twenty-five students stopped at the aquatics station first, observing Massie Creek to study, calculate and answer questions.
“The kids are in good humour and seem excited to be here,” said Sandy Lahmers, Washington County Soil & Water District.
Down a muddy trail to the forestry site, high schoolers measured a tree to calculate its board feet — or how much lumber could be taken from it, they explained.
Besides the testing portion, the competition also includes a scenario project focusing on a current environmental issue. Each team is allotted 4 hours to prepare a 5-minute presentation for judges at Cedarville University, which hosted the contest this year.
Before the event is over, students will find out the winning team of the competition.
Beavercreek’s team is seeing Ohio Envirothon with fresh eyes this year.
“So far I feel like we’ve done OK,” Clark said. “Coming here as a first time for all the team members to be at state, I’m not really expecting us to win but I’m hoping that we place decently. The majority of it, I just want us to have fun.”
The top team in Ohio will move on to the national event in Idaho.