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Wallenpaupack Students win the 2013 Pike/Wayne Envirothon

This year’s winners’ of the 2013 Pike/Wayne Envirothon were the Wallenpaupack Area School District team called the Hefty Heifers! Second place went to The Avengers from Wallenpaupack and third went to the Wildlife Warriors of Delaware Valley School District. The 27th Annual Pike/Wayne Envirothon was held Wednesday, May 7, 2013 at the PPL Environmental Learning Center in Hawley with an exciting day of competition and wild animals.

The 1st place Wallenpaupack team will represent Pike County at the State Envirothon event at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA May 21 and 22, 2013. The highest scoring team for Wayne County, Canaan Christian Academy’s Canaan Creationist’s, will represent Wayne County at the State event. This one-day educational competition is designed to test the knowledge, skills and problem solving capabilities of high school students regarding our earth’s natural resources. Canaan Christian Academy, Delaware Valley, Wayne Highlands, Wallenpaupack, and Western Wayne High Schools competed in this year’s event. Five-member teams competed by applying their knowledge and problem-solving skills in subject areas that included: Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Soils/Land Use, Wildlife, Current Issues (Grazing Lands and Pasture Management).

This year’s event also included an opportunity for students to get up close and personal to some wildlife. During lunch, the Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Officers demonstrated to students how they process a tranquilized bear. The nuisance bear was processed which entailed tagging the ears and extracting a tooth of the bear. The tooth is pulled and sent to a lab to determine the age the bear. They also tattoo the bear on the inside of the bears lip for tracking purposes.

The students were also shown a number of live animals during presentation by Kathy Uhler, Director of the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center from Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Kathy brought with her a few creatures and provided some useful information on each including a skunk, a screech owl, an albino crow, and a black rat snake. The Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center cares for injured and orphaned wild animals until they can care for themselves and then they are released back to the wild.

The Pennsylvania Envirothon partners with the U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resource Bureaus of Forestry and State Parks, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. These committed partners provide educational reference materials for high school teams as well as technical expertise, knowledge, and manpower at the event.

Each year both Pike and Wayne Conservation Districts seek financial contributions to support this highly successful youth conservation program. Donations support the purchase of Envirothon T-shirts, educational prizes and awards. This year’s sponsors included the Pennsylvania’s Trappers Association, Dutch’s Supermarket, Wallenpaupack Veterinary Clinic, Davis R. Chant Realtors, Woodloch Pines, PPL Inc., Honesdale National Bank, Elegante’s Restaurant, Wayne Bank, Honesdale Farm & Garden (Agway), Inc., Natures Grace Health Food, Dirlam Brothers Lumber Company,  and Yatsonsky’s Farm.

1st place picture:

The Hefty Heifers from Wallenpaupack win the Pike/Wayne Envirothon! From left to right are Wallenpaupack Students Emily Ciaravio, Chyanne Kemp, Danielle Spewak, Danielle Wontor, Kristina Roy, and their teacher/advisor Linda Lohner, Pike County Commissioner Richard Caridi, and Pike County Conservation District Envirothon Coordinator Michele Ulmer.