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Local students partake in Junior Envirothon

A team from Kennedy School in Fergus Falls won first place in the 2016 Junior Envirothon.1 / 3
Third place for the 2016 Junior Envirothon, held in Fergus Falls, went to another team from Ashby, Minn.2 / 3
Second place went to a team from Ashby, Minn.3 / 3

The Area I Junior Envirothon, held at Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls, had thirty-four teams participating, including Lake Park-Audubon and Holy Rosary from Becker County.

The Junior Envirothon is a unique, hands-on-outdoor competition for students in grades 6 through 8. This was the ninth year for the Junior Envirothon, which is modeled after the Senior Envirothon for 9 through 12 grade students, which we have 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.

Students five learning stations and are tested on the following areas: aquatics, wildlife, forestry, soils and a current issue, "Invasive Species: A challenge to the Environment, Economy & Society". Natural resource professionals from agencies such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, 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 twenty questions at each station. Each team of students consists of five members and the team works together to answer the questions presented at each station.

A team from Kennedy Secondary School in Fergus Falls took first place, while second and third places went to two separate teams from Ashby, Minn. The Senior Envirothon is held at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in the spring. With the Senior Envirothon, the top three teams in each Area Envirothon proceed onto the state competition and the top team from each state then progress to the National Envirothon.

The Becker SWCD helped put on the event with the help of sponsors throughout Becker County.