4-H gears up for environmental competition

Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 11:22 am

The Westmoreland/Richmond County 4-H program is recruiting 9th -12th grade students interested in environmental sciences to be part of a Northern Neck 4-H Envirothon Team.  To participate, please contact Wendy Herdman, 4-H Extension Agent, at 804-493-8924 or 804-333-3420 or wherdman@vt.edu.

Envirothon began in 1979 and is now internationally recognized as the largest nonathletic environmental high school competition.  It is a competition that challenges students to put stewardship and management concepts toward solving real-life environmental problems.  In Virginia, the Dominion Envirothon is presented by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

4-H is the youth development program of Virginia Cooperative Extension.  The Envirothon program is a perfect fit with 4-H’s life skill building through experiential learning.  Participation in Envirothon encourages life skills like team-building, critical thinking, decision making, problem solving and communications skills. The program is field-oriented, community-based and gives students an opportunity to work with natural resource professionals.

Envirothon involves training in five natural resource categories: Soils, Aquatics, Forestry, Wildlife, and a new Special Topic each year as well as an oral presentation.  Participating envirothon teams compete first in a local competition, and then may advance to a regional event with the potential of advancing to the state and even national event.

Throughout the school year, the team will study topics in the five natural resources areas and this year’s special topic of sustainable rangeland management.  The 2011 Northern Neck 4-H Team went on to place third in Virginia’s state level competition.

High school level students can come from any public or private high school or home school but must be willing to attend weekly training sessions in the Westmoreland/Richmond County area.  Once a team of at least 5 members is formed, students will train through the school year.  Training will include meetings and field trips; research and presentations; and working with professionals in fields of environmental science.  Training will begin in October/November and the training schedule will be worked out to best fit the team members and coaches.  Competitions take place in the spring.

To participate, please contact Wendy Herdman, 4-H Extension Agent, at 804-493-8924 or 804-333-3420 or wherdman@vt.edu.  If you are a person with a disability and desire assistance or accommodation, please notify Wendy Herdman at 804-493-8924/TDD* during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.  *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.

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