STRASBURG – Area students showed off their skills with natural resources during the Virginia Envirothon competition Wednesday at the town park.
There were nine teams competing: two from Strasburg High School, two from Sherando High School, two from Mountain Vista Governor’s School, two from Massanutten Regional Governor’s School and one team from Central High School.
Advancing from the local competition to the area competition are: Mountain Vista Governor’s School Team A, Massanutten Regional Governor’s School Team A and the Sherando High School Team A.
Those teams will move on to compete at the state competition. The winners at state will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, July 28-Aug. 2 to compete in the final competition.
The students on Wednesday rotated between five stations where they were tested on soils, aquatics, environmental issues, forestry and wildlife. The competition also included an oral presentation.
Earlier in the day, a team from Massanutten and a team from Strasburg were testing their respective team’s knowledge at the Wildlife Station.
The Massanutten team was holding up a jaw bone from a deer and counting the teeth in an attempt to determine the deer’s age.
Supervising them was Fred Frenzel, a district wildlife biologist with the Department of Game & Inland Fishery. He said they were on the right track.
Frenzel noted that the competition, and others like it, spark an interest in the kids who participate.
“A lot of people who work in natural resources started with things like this,” Frenzel said.
The team from Strasburg High School finished the station first.
“It was interesting. We got to see some pelts of animals that we do not normally see,” said 18-year-old Strasburg High School senior Madison Estep.
Fellow team member Shelby Smith, also 18 and a senior at Strasburg High School, said the Envirothon has been fun and she enjoyed challenging her knowledge on different things.
In addition to the Department of Game & Inland Fishery, other groups — the state Department of Forestry, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Friends of the North Fork, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension — helped at the event. The Lord Fairfax Soil & Water Conservation District helped organize and hosted the event.
This year’s topic was “Agriculture and the environment; knowledge and technology feed the world,” said Joan Comanor, vice chair of the district board for Lord Fairfax Soil & Water Conservation District.
She said she liked that this year’s competition incorporated technology. One student gave a presentation in which he spoke of using drones in farm fields to either pick crops or look for and spray for pests.