If you haven’t yet heard of the Envirothon, let’s remedy this. The Envirothon is a national high school competition with program focuses on the following five areas of study: Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Soils/Land Use, Wildlife, and Current Environmental Issue, which is different each year. The mission of the Envirothon is to develop tomorrow's informed leaders, educate future resource stewards, promote sustainable development, and create community awareness.
Although the competition is national, it begins in a very local capacity with county or regional competitions among area high schools. The winner from each regional competition is then invited to compete, all expenses paid, to the Florida Envirothon one month later. State winners are invited to attend the national competition, the North American Envirothon, hosted by a different state each year.
The Envirothon is a great way to cultivate interested students into environmental/conservation oriented fields of study. These interrelated and broad study areas teach a holistic approach to natural resource conservation and can easily be incorporated into a teaching curriculum. It can help students better understand careers in the sector or fine tune interests in advanced fields of study. In addition, resources that are available for free online give teachers and student participants the opportunity to study in any capacity.
The event is put together by a team of dedicated volunteers, teachers and local agencies. The event is hosted by the Duval Soil and Water Conservation District with the aid of sponsorship from the community. Thank you to our 2014 sponsor, Jim Love of State Farm.
To get more information or register a team today, email Joyce Miller.
Thursday, February 11, 2015, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Duval County Extension Office, 1010 North McDuff Ave., Jacksonville, FL
Cost $40 includes lunch, RSVP Paula Allen, NRCS, 904-266-0088; Paula.email@example.com
The Duval Soil and Water Conservation District is connecting with the regional Natural Resources
Conservation Service to bring Duval County residents, landowners, government employees, groups and
interested organizations a Soils and Wetlands Workshop. This timely workshop will help us all better
understand our unique land and how we can better interact with it.
You may not know, but the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared 2015 the
International Year of Soils. Their goal is to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of
soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions. Specifically, the mission is to showcase the
profound importance of soil for human life including efforts to educate, support policies, and promote
investment in sustainable soil management. Soil is deeply important we take its benefits for granted.
Soil is essential for food security and food production. Soils host a quarter of our planet’s biodiversity
and is helping us to combat and adapt to climate change by playing a key role in the carbon cycle. Also,
soil store and filter water meaning that healthy land leads to healthy water.
While the workshop won't focus on the many lifesaving functions that soil afford our communities, it will
talk about the benefits of healthy soil and the ways we can work as a community to promote and
restore healthy soils. Whether you care about your backyard garden, nearby farm, air quality or water
quality, this workshop will give you the basics of soil conditions in our county.
Topics to be discussed at the workshop include the nature and properties of soils, soil survey
information and interpretations, seasonal high water table determinations, wetlands, hydric soils and
vegetation, and more information about the pertinent rules, regulations and permits that involve soils.
In a time when erosion is common, our streams are rising with sedimentation and local food production
is more important than ever, join us to talk about our local soil and what we can all do to improve soil
health in our community. Learn more on our Facebook page for the event.
Author, Shannon Blankinship
Chairman, Duval Soil and Water Conservation District