About 35 students from Cranberry, Oil City, and Rocky Grove high schools attended this year’s event. Students competed as part of a five-member team, with seven teams participating. Three teams represented Cranberry, while Oil City and Rocky Grove sent two teams each.
This annual environmental education event focuses on exposing young adults to various natural resource topics that are taught by their teachers and local environmental professionals. They study forestry, aquatic ecology, wildlife, soils and land use, and a current environmental issue. This year’s current issue topic was “Adapting to a Changing Climate.”
Hosted by the Venango Conservation District, the competition was accompanied by an “Envirothon Training Day” which was held at Two Mile Run County Park on March 24. Students were presented with information about each topic by local agency representatives including the PA Fish & Boat Commission, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
On testing day, the students rotated between stations which tested their knowledge on wildlife identification, aquatic macroinvertebrate classification, forest management techniques, among others.
One of the Cranberry High School teams advised by Lauri Piercy, took home the first-place title. Named the “Tunnel Rats,” the team consisted of students Dalton Wenner, Colin Zerbe, Dane Ley, Dan Wenner, and Kelsey Hannah. Also from Cranberry, the “Hellbenders” team took second place, and the “Predators” team from Oil City High School finished third. The “Tunnel Rats” will travel to Camp Mount Luther in Mifflinburg, PA on May 24 to represent Venango County in the 40th annual state Envirothon competition.