Origins

The Envirothon program was started by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts in 1979 as a local competition. Since then, the Envirothon competition has grown to become a major educational program encompassing 41 states and eight Canadian Providences. It is now supported by Canon USA, Inc. 

The Envirothon program has several environmental goals in mind. The first is to promote a desire to learn more about the natural environment and develop knowledge and skills to apply the basic principles and practices of resource management and ecology. The program also promotes good stewardship of natural resources and the development of critical thinking skills, cooperative problem-solving skills, and decision-making skills to balance the quality of life and the quality of the environment. Finally, the Envirothon competition is meant to provide students with experience in environmental activities to enable them to become environmentally aware, action-oriented citizens.

The Calvert County Envirothon was begun in 1993 and has been held every year since then. Each year the Envirothon touches and positively influence the lives of many young people throughout the county.

Winners from the county level students can advance to the state level. The first place team at the state level has the opportunity to move on to the National Competition. At the National level, winning team members can each win up to a $5,000 scholarship, as well as other prizes. As the Envirothon becomes an international event, students are provided the chance to win scholarships and experience enriching environmental studies.

Management:
 
(1) Calvert Soil Conservation District provides the annual budget of $3,600. The budget includes monies for substitute teachers, awards, renting of a vessel for the aquatics training, and lunch for students at the competition. The budget also contains money for the entrance fee to send the winning team to the state Envirothon. In the past, the District has provided money to send Calvert County teachers to the National Envirothon with the winning state team. As long as the program is in existence, the District is committed to providing funding for this program. 
(2) CHESPAX agrees to manage the logistics of the program. This includes working with teachers to assemble the teams, scheduling environmental specialists to participate in the training, scheduling the local Envirothon Competition, and participating in the State Competition.
(3) The science teachers at the three high schools in the county agree to put the teams together through their Advanced Placement Environmental Science classes and to participate in the Envirothon. The studentsí participation is integrated into their quarterly grade and performance assessment. 
(4) The Board of Education (BOE) agrees to allow the students to have two days out of school--the first for aquatics training and the second for the Local Envirothon competition. The BOE agrees to support the Envirothon program as described herein.