For only the sixth time in the program’s 33-year history, Centre County was represented by a team other than Bald Eagle Area at the state Envirothon competition.
A team from Penns Valley upset BEA at this May’s county-level competition, ending BEA’s 17-year reign as Centre County Envirothon champs.
As the winner, Penns Valley Team I had the opportunity to represent the county at the 2017 Pennsylvania Envirothon, held May 23-24 at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, where they placed 15th out of 64, with a total score of 415.3.
Envirothon, sponsored by the state’s 66 county conservation districts, is an annual outdoor environmental education competition for high school students.
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The winner of the state competition, a team from Delaware County, will represent Pennsylvania at the 29th North American competition next week in Maryland.
At the county competition in early May, the Penns Valley I team, under director of adviser John Howell, placed first among 11 teams with a score of 418.5. Bald Eagle Area Team III placed second with 362.5 points, and Team II from Penns Valley Area placed third with 325.5 points.
The teams of five were required to participate in five activities and take a final test on what they learned. Stations included aquatic ecology, forestry, soil and land use, wildlife, and agriculture soil and water conservation.
“The mission is to make youth more environmentally aware and conservation-minded,” Bob Sweitzer, manager of the Centre County Conservation District, said.
Teams participating in the county competition represented Bald Eagle, Bellefonte, Penns Valley and State College area school districts; Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology and St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy.
A team from Bald Eagle Area has won the county competition 26 times in the programs 33-year history, according to Bob Sweitzer, manager of the Centre County Conservation District.