The Envirothon is an outdoor environmental learning competition for high school students. Area competitions are administered by the state’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts, in partnership with conservation organizations, educators, and other natural resource agencies.
The Envirothon promotes a desire for students to learn more about Minnesota’s natural resources, as well as public policy and roles of government and landowners in managing the state’s resources. The program helps students develop critical thinking skills, cooperative problem-solving skills, and decision-making skills.
Schools and teachers benefit by providing a learning opportunity to students who excel in the sciences and ecology. The community and state benefit by having concerned and well-informed citizens who can make good decisions about the environment.
Teams of students compete by visiting five learning stations and taking a 20-point exam on an environmental topic. The topics are:
The exams are administered by a local natural resource professional, who also gives the students a brief overview of the topic and explains some of the core concepts. Teams also prepare and give an oral presentation on the current events topic.
Teams compete at an Area Envirothon, and the top 3 teams from each area advance to the State Envirothon.
The Envirothon program started in 1979 in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts sponsored the program as an outdoor hands-on competition. Minnesota held its first Envirothon in 1993 with 100 students from the Twin Cities area participating. The following year, several Soil and Water Conservation Districts organized area competitions. By 1996, all districts held area competitions. Now, nearly 1,000 students participate throughout the state.
Fillmore County is in Area VII Envirothon and is sponsored by the eleven county SE Minnesota Soil and Water Conservation Districts (Freeborn, Mower, Fillmore, Houston, Winona, Olmsted, Dodge, Rice, Wabasha, Goodhue and Steele.) The top three teams will compete at the state level. Local competitions are typically held late April-early May. State competition is the third Monday in May and Nationals are typically in July or August.
Fillmore SWCD District Services