Inka Bajandas/Oregon Forestry Resources Institute
SILVERTON, Ore. — The 21st annual Oregon Envirothon, was May 5 at the Oregon Gardens in Silverton.
The five top winning teams were Logos Charter School, Medford; Newberg High School FFA; Amity High School; Sutherlin High School FFA Team 2; and Sutherlin High School Team A.
The Logos Charter School team will compete July 23-29 in the National Envirothon at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmetsburg, Md.
Newberg FFA, which placed second in the Envirothon and first in the FFA Division, will compete Oct. 25-28 during the 90th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Ind.
Bailey Field, FFA adviser and ag teacher at Newberg, spoke with pride about her FFA members taking a first in the FFA Division and scoring the highest in the agriculture soil and water conservation stewardship event.
“This was my first year at Newberg, and fortunately I had the help of long time biology, ecology and horticulture instructor and Envirothon trainer Pete Siderius,” Fields said. “Newberg was represented by a five-member FFA and a five-member freshman team this year. It is always exciting to see them put in all that effort and see it rewarded.”
Students train and test throughout the school year to compete in four hands-on natural resource categories — aquatic ecology, soils and land use, forestry and wildlife and one current environmental issue, which this year was ag soil and water conservation stewardship.
Envirothon was started by the Pennsylvania Soil and Water Conservation District in 1979. Oregon’s first Envirothon was in 1997 with five teams; 32 teams competed this year.
In 2003, the Marion County SWCD partnered with the Oregon Forest Resources Institute and moved the competition to the Oregon Gardens. OFRI will direct future Envirothon competitions starting with the 2018 event.
OFRI Senior Manager of Education Julie Woodward said 200 high school students competed this year.
“It started out as a very wet day, but students kept positive attitudes and we saw some amazing results,” Woodward said. “The advisers and instructors put a lot of time and energy into preparing students for the event and the test writers and judges routinely comment on how amazed they are with the skills and expertise of the students.
“We are looking forward to Envirothon 2018.”