Envirothon: The Team Sport for Environmental Smarts

Ontario Students show their "natural" ability at Provincial Competition

ST. GEORGE, ON, May 10 /CNW/ - From May 5-8, 2010 high school students representing 18 regions from across Ontario showcased their environmental smarts at the 2010 provincial Envirothon competition. The team from University of Toronto Schools in Toronto, Ontario took first place and is invited to proudly be a symbol of Ontario's environmental aptitude at the Canon Envirothon Championships taking place in Fresno, California from August 1-6, 2010.

The unique team competition is part of a broader environmental education program that encourages students to get outdoors and apply what they learn in the classroom in a fun and informative environment. For many students, it is the opportunity to work together with local conservation organizations and gain a practical understanding of forests, soils, wildlife, aquatic ecosystems and the human impact on the environment. In addition to raising awareness of the needs of Ontario's forests, Envirothon encourages critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and communication skills among participants.

"Envirothon is about more than knowing the answer to a question on a test. It's about taking that knowledge and applying it to understand the broader implications these issues have on our environment," says Carla Grant, executive director, Ontario Forestry Association. "This is tangible knowledge that can't easily be learned in a classroom."

Each year, Envirothon allows students to explore a current environmental issue and relate it to the core topics - forestry, soils, wildlife and aquatics. This year the focus has been placed on the protection of groundwater and the importance of access to clean and safe drinking water to a healthy community. Envirothon participants are given the opportunity to learn about the importance of groundwater and efforts that need to be taken to protect this resource for the future.

Since its inception in 1994, the annual competition program has grown to reach over 10,000 Ontario students each year with opportunities to learn about the environment. There are 24 regional qualifying challenges throughout Ontario, and the top team from each region advances to the Provincial Championships. The winning team at the 2010 Ontario Envirothon Championship ultimately moves on to represent Ontario as Provincial Champions at the Canon Envirothon taking place in Fresno, California from August 1 to 6, 2010.

Ontario Envirothon is a program of the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA), a non-profit, registered charity dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of Ontario's forests, and to developing stewardship of forest ecosystems. Visit www.ontarioenvirothon.on.ca for more information.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Forests Ontario

For further information: For further information: Sandra DeCarvalho, Optimum Public Relations, (416) 306-6792, Sandra.decarvalho@cossette.com

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