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Spreading the Message Through Envirothons

Northeast Kansas' annual Area IV Envirothon was another success on April 23, 2008! For the 10th year, Pottawatomie County Conservation District and Riley County Conservation District organized and co-hosted the competition at Pottawatomie County State Lake #2. Students and their teachers from nine different counties in Northeast Kansas gathered to test their knowledge of environmental sciences and natural resources conservation.

Envirothon participantsThroughout the year, they study and prepare for the event concentrating on five categories—soils, forestry, wildlife, aquatics, and current events. Nineteen different teams of high school-aged students then meet at the annual Area Envirothon to match wits and compete for the top award and to proceed to the state competition.

In the morning the students attend lectures in the five different categories. In the afternoon, each group meets for the final testing. More information is available about the Kansas Envirothon at

Such an event could not be possible without the participation and interest of many federal, state, and local agencies. Representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kansas Forest Service, and Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks present the lectures. And, employees of the local conservation districts are there to serve as event coordinators, team buddies, test graders, photographers, as well as encouraging and cheering on teams representing their counties. They, too, prepare for the event by working tirelessly throughout the year with their local teachers and students.

Another individual we cannot overlook at such an event is Earth Team volunteer Norman Danielsen, Chairman of the Riley County Conservation District Board. He was on hand at this Envirothon to lend his time and his support. He served as team buddy and guided the groups through the different lectures, helping to keep the day-long competition on schedule.

Another example of a volunteer "lighting the way" for future generations in the wise use of our natural resources!

Interested in being an Earth Team Volunteer. Contact Jan Klaus, Kansas Earth Team volunteer coordinator. Information on the Internet about the Earth Team Program is at