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Area students take part in Junior Envirothon

The Forestry station was one of five set up for students to test their knowledge of nature at the 10th annual Junior Envirothon, held Oct. 4 at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls. (Submitted photo)1 / 4
This team from Lake Park-Audubon took third place in the Junior Envirothon competition held on Oct. 4 in Fergus Falls. (Submitted photo)2 / 4
Lake Park-Audubon Public Schools sent several teams to the 10th annual Junior Envirothon in Fergus Falls, with one of the teams taking third place in the competition. (Submitted photo)3 / 4
Holy Rosary Catholic School in Detroit Lakes sent several teams to the 10th annual Junior Envirothon, held Oct. 4 in Fergus Falls. (Submitted photo)4 / 4

The Area I Junior Envirothon was held at Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls on Wednesday, Oct. 4. The weather was beautiful and there was an outstanding turnout for this event, with 32 teams participating from the following schools: Lake Park-Audubon and Holy Rosary in Becker County; Breckenridge, Campbell-Tintah and St. Mary's in Wilkin County; Kennedy, Hillcrest Academy and Underwood in West Otter Tail County and Ashby in Grant County.

The Junior Envirothon is a unique, hands-on, outdoor competition for students in grades 6-8 that challenges their environmental knowledge and problem solving skills. This was the 10th year for the Junior Envirothon, which is modeled after the Senior Envirothon for 9th-12th grade students that has been held in this area since 1994.

The south half of Area I consists of seven Soil and Water Conservation Districts, including 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: Aquatics, wildlife, forestry, soils and a current issue, "Agricultural Soil & Water Conservation Stewardship in Minnesota." Natural resource professionals from agencies such as the U.S. 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 20 questions at each station. Each student team consists of five members, and the team works together to answer the questions presented at each station.

Winners for the 2017 Junior Envirothon included Fergus Falls' Kennedy High School, placing 1st; Ashby High School, placing 2nd; and Lake Park-Audubon High School, placing 3rd. Students attending the Junior Envirothon are better prepared for the Senior Envirothon, which is also held at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, taking place 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 progresses to the National Envirothon.