Ontario Envirothon program inspires Ontario youth to pursue careers in forestry and natural resource management

Forests Ontario announces University of Toronto Schools as Ontario Envirothon champion at annual provincial competition (CNW Group/Trees Ontario)

Ontario's largest environmental competition connects thousands of students to the outdoors

TORONTO, May 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the top 15 Ontario Envirothon schools from across the province competed for the title of Ontario Envirothon Champion at Fleming College, Lindsay, Ontario.

The Ontario Envirothon is a unique program that engages teams of students to learn more about the natural world around them through direct experience in the outdoors. Students participated in outdoor workshops in 20 different regions across the province, all mentored by professionals working in natural resources. The top team from each region came together for the Ontario Envirothon Championship, May 12-15.

"The Envirothon program gives students the opportunity to explore nature and gain a fuller appreciation for the outdoors and the importance of our natural environment," said Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario, the organization responsible for the Ontario Envirothon. "The Championship allows students from across the province to come together to share their ideas and  work collaboratively to present solutions for complex problems facing our environment and learn how they can make changes in their own lives to help lessen environmental impacts."

Keen adds that the Ontario Envirothon often connects students to future career opportunities. "Having the opportunity to interact with and learn from experienced professionals throughout the competition, students are exposed to the incredible range of rewarding careers available in forestry and natural resource management. Many past participants developed a strong passion for our natural environment through the Ontario Envirothon and never looked back. We expect this year to be no different. "

Tied with year-long curriculum, the students at the Ontario Envirothon Championship took part in the final weeklong event where they explored the Fleming College Frost Campus to learn more about the natural environment through interactive workshops and testing. Students also gave back to the college and the local community through a project focused on enhancing the existing community garden on campus, including making it wheelchair accessible. Finally, students learned more about local and sustainable agriculture by restoring gardening beds, planting trees, and maintaining trails on the campus.

The objective of Ontario Envirothon goes beyond learning about the environment, and shows students how to make positive change and how to lead by example within their own communities, now and into the future. This year's Ontario Envirothon Champion is University of Toronto Schools from Toronto, who outcompeted 15 other teams from across the province. Ashbury College from Ottawa and Roland Michener High School from South Porcupine placed second and third respectively.

Forests Ontario
Forests Ontario is the voice for Ontario's forests. Forests Ontario is a registered, non-profit organization committed to the re-greening of Ontario through education and awareness programs and forest restoration efforts, ensuring the future health of our forests. Visit www.forestsontario.ca to learn more.

Fleming College
Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Community Development and Health, Continuing Education, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Science, Justice and Business, and Skilled Trades and Technology. Fleming College has more than 5,900 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and more than 65,000 alumni.

SOURCE Trees Ontario

Image with caption: "Forests Ontario announces University of Toronto Schools as Ontario Envirothon champion at annual provincial competition (CNW Group/Trees Ontario)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140516_C8884_PHOTO_EN_40454.jpg

For further information:

Forests Ontario - Jessica Kaknevicius
Education Programs Manager
cell: 647-222-5377
jkaknevicius@forestsontario.ca