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Holy Rosary takes first at Envirothon

Holy Rosary students took first place in the Area I Junior Envirothon. They were tested on wetlands, wildlife, forestry, soils and current issue, salt and fresh waters estuaries. Lake Park-Audubon School also participated in the competition.

The Area I Junior Envirothon was held at Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, and Lake Park-Audubon and Holy Rosary schools participated in the event.

The weather was beautiful and there were 33 teams participating from the following schools: Lake Park-Audubon and Holy Rosary from Becker County; Breckenridge and St. Mary's from Wilkin County; Kennedy and Hillcrest Academy from Fergus Falls; West Central Area, Ashby and Herman from Grant County.

The Junior Envirothon is a unique, hands-on outdoor competition for students in grades 6-8. This year was Holy Rosary's fourth year for the Junior Envirothon. The Junior Envirothon is modeled after the Senior Envirothon for the ninth through 12th grade students, which has been held in the area since 1994.

The south half of Area I consists of seven Soil and Water Conservation Districts, which include: Becker, Clay, East and West Otter Tail, Grant, Traverse, and Wilkin.

With the Junior Envirothon, the students have five learning stations and are tested on the following areas: wetlands, wildlife, forestry, soils and a current issue, "Salt and Fresh Waters Estuaries."

Natural resource professionals from agencies as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ducks Unlimited and personnel from the Prairie Wetland Center present at each station and use the outdoors to test the students' knowledge of the natural world with 20 questions at each station. Each team of students consisted of five members and teams work together to answer the questions presented at each station.

Winners for the 2011 Junior Envirothon, placing first was Holy Rosary from Detroit Lakes, second was Kennedy from Fergus Falls and third was Breckenridge.

Students attending the Junior Envirothon help them prepare for the Senior Envirothon. The Senior Envirothon was also held at the Prairie Wetland Learning Center and was held on May 9.

With the Senior Envirothon, the top three teams in each Area Envirothon proceed to state, and the top team then progresses to the National Envirothon.

This year, the St. John's Preparatory School earned the right to represent Minnesota in the National Canon Envirothon, which was held at Mount Allison University in Sackville New Brunswick, Canada.

For both the Junior and Senior Envirothon, the students and teachers enjoyed the hands-on, outdoor competition. The Envirothon challenges the students' environmental knowledge and problem solving skills.

The Becker SWCD would like to thank everyone that helped sponsored this worthwhile event for area youth.

Local funding for the Area I Envirothon (Junior and Senior) was provided by Pelican River Watershed District, Buffalo Red River Watershed District, Cormorant Lakes Sportsman Club, Cormorant Lakes Watershed District, Wild Rice Watershed District, Bremer Bank and the seven Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the South Area I.

Without these sponsors, this educational event would not be possible.