Fort Defiance High School team preps for Envirothon championship
The Dominion Foundation will sponsor the Fort Defiance High School team to travel to Canada to represent Virginia as they compete at the National Conservation Foundation’s Envirothon against other high schools teams from across the United States and Canada.
The team will leave for the event on July 23.
Dominion’s Envirothon is a team-based natural resources competition for high school students.
Envirothon is run by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Virginia’s 47 Soil and Water Conservation Districts with Dominion Resources as the primary sponsor.
The competition is field-orientated, teaching students about environmental stewardship, management, and real world environmental issues. Students compete in five “in-the-field” tests, focusing on soil, wildlife, aquatics, forestry and current environmental topic.
Teams then present their solution to the current environmental issue to a panel of industry and natural resource professionals. This year the environmental issue was “Invasive Species”.
The Fort Defiance team took first place overall in Virginia’s 2016 Dominion Envirothon State Competition of May 16 at Eastern Mennonite University. Fort Defiance beat 17 other Virginia high schools to earn the title of State Champions.
Students at Fort Defiance start practicing for the competition as soon as school starts in the fall. The team’s coach, Brent Hull, has been coaching teams from Fort Defiance since 2001 and they have been state champions nine times.
Hull recruits students from the middle school and anyone who wants to be on the team is welcome. This year, Fort Defiance had two teams, A team and B team, because so many students wanted to participate. The A team, made up of mainly older students, won the state competition.
“The students have worked incredibly hard all year,” Hull said. “Most of the students have been working since their freshman year. This year, we have three seniors who are graduating and will be pursuing degrees in environmental science, natural resources, and agricultural fields. In all my years of teaching, the most rewarding thing to see is what they do once they leave here. Envirothon inspires them.”