Skaneateles wins big in Envirothon

A team from Skaneateles won first place in the five-county region at the Central New York Regional Envirothon.

The 2011 Central New York Regional Envirothon at the Montezuma Audubon Center in Savannah included 41 teams from five counties, competing over two days. Winning teams from each county now advance to the NYS Envirothon at Hobart William Smith College in Geneva on May 25 and 26.

The Skaneateles team Wood-Dorks took first place for Onondaga County and first place over all, just as teams from Skaneateles have done for all but two years out of the past 14 years.

During the annual Envirothon, teams of up to five students compete to solve environmental problems in five subject areas including aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and a current environmental issue. This year's ten minute oral presentations (required of each team) were on the issue of "Salt and Freshwater Estuaries."

Science teacher Richard Garrrett is advisor to the high school Environmental Club and coaches up to three Envirothon teams each year. Garrett loves to see students excited about learning about the environment.

"I like to see the kids go into environmental careers," he said. "They don't necessarily get this level of depth of information in class. So often the Envirothon students are the ones who go on to study something related to biology and environmental science in college."

The students gain so much knowledge while studying for the Envirothon, in part, because of the hours and hours they put into preparation. They meet once or twice a week after school in Garrett's room, and they also meet frequently on their own to study.

"Mr. Garrett, will you describe tri-sectoral balance for me one last time?" Joe Copeland asked during the ride. A serious conversation followed. As the bus went by areas of flooding, the students discussed ramifications.

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