Ontario’s largest environmental competition connects thousands of students to the outdoors
LINDSAY, ON, May 23, 2015 – More than 100 students from 20 schools came together at Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario this week to compete for the 2015 Ontario Envirothon Championship.
The Ontario Envirothon is a unique program that engages teams of students to learn more about the natural world around them through direct experience in the outdoors. Students participated in outdoor events in 17 different regions across the province, all mentored by professionals working in natural resources. The top team from each region went on to compete for the Ontario Envirothon Championship, May 20-23.
“The Ontario Envirothon allows students to connect with nature and learn more about the many benefits provided by our environment,” says Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario, the organization responsible for the Ontario Envirothon. “Ontario Envirothon is a great opportunity for students to come together to develop collaborative solutions to complex problems facing our forests and natural environments.”
Now in its 21st year, the program also inspires youth to pursue “green collar” careers that support environmental sustainability. “Students have opportunity to interact with and engage in hands-on learning from experienced professionals throughout the competition and are exposed to the incredible range of rewarding careers available in forestry and natural resource management,” said Keen. “It’s the reason why so many past participants have developed a strong passion for our natural environment and go on to consider careers in these vital fields.”
Tied with resources that link with the science curriculum, the students at the Ontario Envirothon Championship took part in the final competition where they were tested in four key subject areas- Forests, Soils, Wildlife, and Aquatic Ecosystems. To prepare, students took part in interactive workshops that included soil and water sampling, tree marking, and analyzing wildlife habitat. The 2015 current issue, Urban and Community Forestry, rounded out this year’s subject areas and challenged students to design innovative solutions for ensuring healthy forests in our urban landscapes.
The objective of Ontario Envirothon goes beyond learning about the environment, and shows students how to make positive change and how to lead by example within their own communities, now and into the future. For this reason, students also gave back to the college and the local community through a project focused on maintaining and enhancing a shelterbelt on Fleming College campus through tree planting and pruning. This shelterbelt helps to provide critical habitat for wildlife in the area.
This year’s Ontario Envirothon Champion is University of Toronto Schools from Toronto, who outcompeted 20 other teams from across the province. Turner Fenton Secondary School from Brampton and Ashbury College from Ottawa placed second and third respectively.
The top team of the Ontario Envirothon will go on to compete at the North American Envirothon (NAE) in Springfield, Missouri. In 2016, the North American Envirothon will be headed to Ontario for the first time in its history. Forests Ontario has been awarded the hosting rights for the prestigious 2016 NAE, which will be hosted at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. The NAE engages more than 500,000 students, families and educators from more than 50 state, provincial and territorial programs in environmental skill development and competition.
Forests Ontario is the voice for our forests. Working to promote a future of healthy forests sustaining healthy people, Forests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas, as well as the renewal and stewardship of Ontario’s forests through restoration, education and awareness. Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow us @Forests_Ontario.
Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Community Development and Health, Continuing Education, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Science, Justice and Business, and Skilled Trades and Technology. Fleming College has more than 5,900 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and more than 65,000 alumni.
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact:
Education Programs Manager
416.646.1193 x. 226
416.646.1193 ext. 257