ANNAPOLIS, MD – Hundreds of Maryland’s brightest high school students are leaving the classroom and heading for the hills, streams and woodlands of Maryland’s countryside to compete in the first round of qualifying heats for the 2019 National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon. This is the largest high school environmental education competition in North America. The competition includes a special environmental theme that changes from year to year—this year’s theme is “Agriculture and the Environment: Knowledge & Technology to Feed the World.”

“Each year in Maryland, Envirothon competitions allow students to apply what they are learning in the classroom about natural resources to real world applications,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “I am thrilled to see that this year’s competition focuses on agriculture and that so many young adults are excited about resource conservation. I wish everyone the best of luck as they represent their schools and the great state of Maryland.”

Students participating in Envirothon competitions have been studying the state’s natural resources since the beginning of the school year. As part of their extracurricular training, teenagers identify and categorize living resources, perform soil surveys, estimate wood yield from trees, and solve other complex natural resource issues. Students are taught by soil scientists, wildlife specialists, foresters and environmental engineers from local, state and federal agencies as well as private environmental organizations.

Teams compete by applying their knowledge and problem-solving skills in these natural resource areas. The county team with the highest cumulative total wins the local or regional competition and advances to the statewide Maryland Envirothon scheduled for June 19-20, 2019 at St. Mary’s College in St. Mary’s City. The winner of the Maryland Envirothon will represent the state later this summer at the national event in Raleigh, North Carolina where more than 250 teenagers from the United States and Canada will compete for scholarships and prizes.

The Envirothon is sponsored by Maryland’s soil conservation districts and the State Soil Conservation Committee and supported by other state and federal programs. Below are the dates and contacts for upcoming county Envirothon competitions.