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NRCS Supports 2024 Colorado Envirothon Competition

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NRCS Supports 2024 Colorado Envirothon Competition

Article and photo courtesy of Colorado Association of Conservation Districts (CACD)

Kids sitting at desk with computers, reviewing maps

The 2024 Colorado Envirothon state competition was a huge success! Thirteen high school teams from across the state gathered at Colorado State University (CSU) Spur Campus in Denver on March 4-5, 2024.  Students tested their skills in five environmental topics, including wildlife, soils, aquatic ecology, forestry, and this year’s topic of Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Future.  The Colorado Association of Conservation Districts (CACD), with topic experts and volunteers from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS), US Forest Service (USFS), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), and countless other volunteers from across the state pulled off a great competition this year under the leadership of Mark J. Platten with the Colorado State University Extension(CSUE).

The two-day competition highlighted an oral presentation in which teams were given two hours to prepare.  The presentation was to incorporate all five discipline areas in finding a viable solution to a written scenario involving this year's topic of Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Future, specific to Colorado’s resource concerns.  The presentations were judged by a panel of five topic experts representing all five discipline areas. The teams then completed written practical exams in all five focused disciplines: wildlife, soils, aquatics ecology, forestry, and this year's current topic.  Awards were given to teams with the highest scores in each of the five written practical exams and the top three overall scoring teams, combining both the written exams and oral presentation scores.

The competition also featured a career fair highlighting careers in agriculture and natural resource management, where students could connect with professionals and learn more about organizations that work with these areas of expertise. Additionally, students were able to tour the CSU Spur Campus and explore, learn, and observe many different areas of natural resources as well as veterinary medicine. 

Local conservation districts sponsored most registration costs for the teams to participate and additional travel costs. The Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, in partnership with Mark Platten of Colorado State University Extension, received an NCF Grant that covered the remaining registration and travel costs for teams to participate in this year’s State Competition. The 2024 Colorado Envirothon State Competition also received sponsorship from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Smith Fields Food- Colorado, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

The Natural Resources Conservation Service and Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, in partnership, provided the funding for the winning team to travel to and compete in the international competition in New York in July of 2024. The CSU Office of Engagement and Extension, Warner College of Natural Resources, and the College of Ag Sciences provided scholarships to the top three teams totaling $33,250. 

Congratulations to the winning Team from Woodland Park High School. They were awarded $15,000 in scholarships and will go on to compete internationally from July 28th- August 3rd in Geneva, New York, for another $25,000 in scholarships. 

We are looking forward to the 2025 Colorado Envirothon Competition and growing the program more in the next year.  For more information about the Envirothon Program in Colorado visit our website at