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Forests Ontario to host North American Envirothon

July 19, 2016 – As the host of the 2016 North American Envirothon (NAE), Forests Ontario will welcome more than 250 students from Canada and the United States to Trent University in Peterborough.


July 19, 2016
By Forests Ontario

From July 24-29, the 52-team competition will focus on the theme of invasive species – an issue that is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in Canada and the U.S.

The event is the culmination of local Envirothon programs, where students compete while studying the science and sustainability of our natural ecosystems.

For over 30 years, the Envirothon has engaged high school students across North America. Each year more than 60,000 students, teachers and volunteers take part in this program, venturing to natural areas to work together and alongside mentors to address local environmental challenges by applying skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

During the NAE students will be led through workshops that focus on the science and sustainable management of soils, wildlife, forests, and aquatic ecosystems. Following workshops, students complete a series of challenges testing their skills in addressing environmental problems. Testing integrates exercises like soil and water analysis, habitat restoration, forest management, and wildlife tracking.

“The students joining us at Trent University have proven their skills and knowledge at the local level. The NAE is the chance for the best and brightest to challenge and learn from one another,” said Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. “Throughout the Envirothon program, from the local level up to the NAE, students are building a sense of community and empowerment, learning how their actions can shape the future and how they can work together to have a positive impact on our environment.”

“The challenges of climate change, pollution, and invasive species transcend borders. By participating in the Envirothon program both countries are working together to teach our youth the value of managing our natural resources. Through this program, students start by learning in their home towns to understand the challenges facing international ecosystems and apply their knowledge to make a positive impact,” says Rich Duesterhaus of the National Conservation Foundation (NCF) based in Washington, D.C. and the coordinating organization of Envirothon across North America. “Our international program creates a rewarding and engaging experience that connects students to our environment from a young age. We’re inspiring them to continue this movement by becoming future leaders, innovators, and champions of our natural environment.”

Creating connections between students and mentors also builds student awareness of the wealth of careers in the field. The competition structure of the program allows students to be rewarded for learning about the natural environment and to engage with fellow environmental enthusiasts from different regions and backgrounds.