Each year at Hibernia Park, the Chester County Conservation District sponsors an event called the Chester County Envirothon. Students from elementary school to high school come together from all across Chester County to conclude a year of environmental education and discovery with team-oriented competitions.
Groups of 5 from each school compete against one another in various knowledge-based challenges – each with a different environmental topic. Teams put their knowledge to the test in aquatics, forestry, wildlife, soils, and current environmental issues. The groups spend 30 minutes at each station answering questions about the topic while also performing some hands-on activities. The team with the best score in a particular category received a prize, and the team with the best overall score for all categories was crowned Envirothon champion! The winner of the Chester County Envirothon for high school students moves on to compete in the Pennsylvania Envirothon.
Joining the students and supervisors every year are also volunteers from DL Howell. This week I got the opportunity to attend my first Envirothon along with three other members of the DL Howell squad – shoutout to Rebecca Reagin, Rich Vishneski, and Joe Keehn! Prior to this year’s event, I had never been to the Envirothon or knew much about it, so I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. The sponsors and the rest of the volunteers did a fantastic job setting up comprehensive tasks for the students. They proved eager to find the correct answers, and I found myself surprised at how much the kids knew. When I was in middle school dirt was dirt and trees were trees, but these middle schoolers could classify different trees and soil types and even identify bird species by sound. It was encouraging to see young minds excited about the environment. With what I saw this week, I’m willing to bet there were some future engineers in those groups.
4RC – Resident (who lives in the woods and had trees cleared for her house to be built) said at a meeting “My only friends in life are the trees and I hope it makes you happy to know that you are cutting down my friends and killing them….”. Denny responded, “But your friends are trespassing on my client’s property…..”.