All-Girl Virginia Envirothon Team Takes Third Place at International Competition
“Each year, Envirothons give thousands of students the chance to hone their environmental skills in a natural setting while building communications and leadership abilities as well,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president – Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “It’s a great program and we’re so proud to sponsor the Jamestown High School team.
When a group of five girlfriends from Jamestown High School joined the Envirothon Club they never dreamed of one day winning Virginia’s 2018 Dominion Energy Envirothon. Or, that their team would compete in the National Envirothon with 50 other teams – in Idaho, of all places. Or, that they would be publicly recognized for their achievements by Governor Ralph Northam and other dignitaries.
Envirothons are outdoor team competitions in which young environmentalists are asked to observe nature and work through five field test stations on forestry, soils, wildlife, aquatics and a current environmental issue. Teams also research and solve real-world environmental challenges – such as how to graze dairy cows without polluting streams – and then present solutions to a panel of industry experts who serve as judges.
Envirothon winners are acknowledged at the announcement of Dominion Energy's Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project
“The Envirothon is different from other science competitions because everything we do is hands-on and applicable for the real world,” said Jamestown team member Anna Song. “For me, one of the best parts of the competition was meeting new people from around the world.”
The Jamestown team spent many hours studying for the national competition – even though one team member was in Greece and had to join by video conference. Once the team arrived in Idaho they enjoyed seeing all of the rangeland and unique topography that they had studied from afar.
That focus and dedication paid off. The team was awarded third place overall at the 2018 National Conservation Foundation Envirothon in July, beating 50 teams from across the U.S., Canada and China. The team won first place out of all teams in the oral presentation and tied for first in wildlife – earning $1,000 apiece in scholarship money for their efforts.
Three of the girls also were special guests at Dominion Energy’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind announcement on Aug. 3. They were excited to be recognized for their accomplishments by Gov. Northam and to learn that the company plans to harness the power of the wind for electric customers.
“Each year, Envirothons give thousands of students the chance to hone their environmental skills in a natural setting while building communications and leadership abilities as well,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president – Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “It’s a great program and we’re so proud to sponsor the Jamestown High School team.”
Dominion Energy has sponsored the local, regional and statewide Envirothons in Virginia since 2012 and supports similar programs in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York.