Students compete in North American Envirothon contest

FIELD SPRINGS, WA - Students from all across Washington State gathered in Field Springs to compete in the State Envirothon Competition.

"We had to drive eight and a half to nine hours just to get here," said student.

Eleven finalist teams from all corners of Washington State are one step closer to their end goal, representing Washington State at the North American Envirothon.

"They're competing to go to Montana this year, and so that's a big deal," said WA. State Envirothon Chair Cindy Pierce.

But first they need to beat out all their opponents at the annual state competition.

"Were trying our hardest to win," said Garfield-Palouse High School student Libby Akin.

"We won regional unexpectedly and now we're here and were trying to win," said Kelso High School student Connor Lane.

This year's event is at Fields Spring and co-sponsored by the Asotin County Conservation District in Clarkston.

"It's a competition where your on the field, I mean it's environmental exploration, so being able to do the outdoor competition it really suits us," said Tumwater New Market Skills Ctr. Clara Day.

Students are graded on their ability to give an oral presentation, and their knowledge of range management, soils, aquatics, wildlife, and forestry. Subjects that tend to come easy for these well rounded individuals.

"They're very, very smart kids," said Pierce. "They come from background where they want to go into natural resource management, they've studied it and it's kind of their passion."

Which is good considering the countless hours of studying they've had to do.

"Last semester we all studied different things, and this semester we all kind of recapped, and of course on the way up," said Aiken.

A forestry section is on the test and students have to identify different species of trees by looking at their bark and also their needles.

"Were currently on a wildlife unit we had an entire salmon unit.," said Day.

Next year's competition will be on the western side of the state.

The results are in and The Science and Math Institute out of Tacoma has claimed the top spot and will represent Washington State as they compete against other states and provinces from Canada in July. Our local team Garfield-Palouse High School received second place. Stanwood High School from Stanwood claimed third. Great job to all competitors.