Focusing on the 3 E's: Education, Environment, Envirothon!

    Ontario Students test their "natural" ability at Provincial Competition

    ST. GEORGE, ON, May 8 /CNW/ - Today, high school students representing
regions from across Ontario are competing at the 2009 provincial Envirothon
competition. The winner, to be announced Saturday May 9, 2009, will be invited
to represent Ontario's environmental aptitude at the Envirothon Championships
taking place in Asheville, North Carolina from August 2-8, 2009.

    Who: Students from the following local schools are scheduled to compete:

    - West Hill Secondary School,       - Timiskaming District High School,
       Owen Sound, ON                      New Liskeard, ON
    - District High School,             - Perth DCI, Perth, ON
       Chesterville, ON
    - Waterloo Collegiate Institute,    - Sir Winston Churchill Secondary
       Waterloo, ON                        School, Hamilton, ON
    - St. Stephen's Secondary School,   - Opeongo High School, Douglas, ON
       Bowmanville, ON
    - EL Crossley Secondary School,     - Stratford Central Secondary
       Fonthill, ON                        School, Stratford, ON
    - University of Toronto Schools,    - PCVS, Peterborough, ON
       Toronto, ON
    - Lakeshore Catholic Highschool,    - Marymount Academy, Sudbury, ON
       Port Colborne, ON
    - FJ McElligott Secondary School,   - Loyola Catholic Secondary School,
       Mattawa, ON                         Mississauga, ON
    - Parry Sound High School,          - Korah Collegiate,
       Parry Sound, ON                     Sault St Marie, ON
    - Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate  - St. Mary School, Brockville, ON
       and Vocational Institute,
       Thunder Bay, ON

    "Programs like Envirothon are essential in bringing together theoretical
knowledge with real world experience to drive home the importance of the
environment to our youth," says Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Minister of Education.
"By teaching students about the interrelationships of the natural environment,
the program also shows them what changes they can make in their own lives to
help lessen environmental impacts."
    The unique team competition is part of a broader environmental education
program encouraging students to get outdoors and experience nature first hand
in a fun and informative environment. Local conservation organizations partner
to provide students with interactive field trips and workshops to help them
understand 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.
    "What's really remarkable about Envirothon students is their genuine
understanding of core environmental topics and how they can be applied to
current environmental issues," says Carla Grant, executive director, Ontario
Forestry Association. "This is tangible knowledge that can't necessarily 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 biological diversity and the
many natural processes and functions that are required for the survival of
human life. These processes include purification of air and water, recycling
of nutrients and fertilization of crops. Envirothon participants learned the
importance of biodiversity and the issues and challenges species face in a
changing world.
    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 2009 Ontario Envirothon Championship
ultimately moves on to represent Ontario as Provincial Champions at the North
American Envirothon taking place in North Carolina from August 2 to 8, 2009.

    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 for more information.

For further information:

For further information: Sandra DeCarvalho, Optimum Public Relations,
(647) 233-7263,

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