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High School Students Test Their Knowledge At Area Envirothon Competition

Cook County takes home first place; top four teams advance to the state competition.

[CLOQUET, MN. May 1, 2023] Students held tight to their paper tests as the relent­less wind threatened to pull them from their hands. Approximately 170 high school sci­ence students came from all corners of the Arrowhead to compete in the annual Area 3 Envirothon, hosted by Lake County and North St. Louis County Soil and Water Con­servation Districts at the Cloquet Forestry Center. The strong winds nearly prevented the team from Cook County from competing as downed trees blocked roadways; they ar­rived just as competition was getting under­way. Since the event took place on the Fond du Lac Reservation, the event started with a greeting from a Band member.

The Envirothon theme this year was “Adapting to a Changing Climate.” Enviro­thon participants prepared for the competi­tion by completing presentations on how to help the fictional “Prairietown, MN” begin its climate action planning. Their presenta­tions included strategies to educate the city council about climate change, increase the town’s tree canopy, and help the town reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Students compet­ed in teams of five, and in addition to their presentation they navigated five outdoor test­ing stations: forestry, water, wildlife, soils and current events.

The Area 3 Envirothon had a record turn­out with 34 teams participating; the top four teams will advance to the state competition later this month. The North Shore swept the top spots with Cook County School teams taking first and fourth place and Two Harbors teams taking second and third place. Moun­tain Iron-Buhl won the Team Spirit award. Teams came from Isle, Barnum, Moose Lake, Milaca, Mountain-Iron Buhl, North­east Range, Cook County and Two Harbors. Teachers expressed their appreciation for the Envirothon, sharing how it helped them meet state standards for science curriculum, and how the Envirothon encouraged students to pursue careers in natural resources.

The Envirothon would not be possible without the volunteers who wrote tests and scored student presentations, including Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the 1854 Treaty Authority, the Cloquet Forestry Cen­ter and state agencies. The beautiful wood­en medals and plaques were made by Cas­tle Danger Woodworks, and Cliffs Natural Resources gave a donation to help make the event possible.

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