Thursday, May 29, 2014

2014 Cattaraugus County Envirothon

Randolph Central School’s Team #1 took first place in the 2014 Cattaraugus County Envirothon, held on April 23rd at Allegany State Park.  Led by advisor Ms. Pat Walker, Randolph will now advance to represent Cattaraugus County at the 2014 New York State Envirothon in Morrisville on May 21st and 22nd.  Ellicottville Central’s Team #2 placed 2nd, and Allegany-Limestone Central’s Team #1 placed 3rd in this year’s event.  This is the second year in a row that Randolph has won the county completion, and the 8th time that they have taken the championship since the program began in 1992.

In all, 13 teams representing 9 schools participated in this year’s program, and 2014 was the 23rd  year that the Envirothon has been held in Cattaraugus County.  The other participating schools included Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Ellicottville BOCES, Franklinville, Gowanda, Hinsdale, and Pioneer.  In all, over 70 high school students competed in the program.

The Envirothon is the largest conservation education program in North America, and begins at the local level with several schools from each county competing to advance to a statewide and ultimately a continent-wide event.  The Cattaraugus County Envirothon is organized by the Cattaraugus County Soil & Water Conservation District. 

The Envirothon is an outdoor, hands-on event that emphasizes teamwork, with each participating school sending up to two five-member teams of high school students.  The teams compete to test their knowledge of various natural resource related topics, including wildlife, forestry, soils, aquatics, and a current issue topic, which for 2014 was “Sustainable Agriculture/Locally Grown".  The teams work together to complete exams at five different stations that address these subjects.  They may be required to identify various species of trees, wildlife, and fish that are available on display and answer specific questions about habitat and other environmental issues related to the species.  They may also aquatic insects or use a soil survey report to evaluate the soils on a given site.  An oral presentation on the Current Issues topic is rated as part of the score at the Current Issues station.  Scores for the five exams are totaled, and the team with the highest cumulative score wins the competition.

The Cattaraugus County Soil and Water Conservation District pulls together over 30 volunteers, including representatives from various agencies, organizations, and companies who pitch in to help carry out the event.  Some of these include USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation; Allegany State Park; several Cattaraugus County agencies including the Youth Bureau & Public Works;  Trout Unlimited; etc.  Several individual volunteers assisted with the program as well.

Funding for the event is provided entirely from contributions received from many local businesses and organizations.  Dresser-Rand and Gernatt Asphalt were primary sponsors of the program in 2014.  These contributions are used for providing prizes, T-shirts, reference materials, and refreshments for the participants, as well as reserving the site and sending the winning team to the state competition.

Brian Davis, Conservation District Field Manager and Envirothon Coordinator states that, “2014 was another successful year for the Cattaraugus County Envirothon!  The students worked hard together in a team environment, which will give them valuable experience when they pursue their chosen careers.  The dedication and support of our committee, our local sponsors, and our schools all make the program a great success each and every year.”


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

 2014 Tree & Shrub Seedling Sale


The Cattaraugus County Soil & Water Conservation District is accepting orders for the 2014 Spring Tree & Shrub Bare Root Seedling Sale.  Several species of conifers, hardwoods, shrubs, and berries are available, as well as assortment packets for reforestation, wildlife, and erosion control.  Orders are accepted on a first come, first serve basis until March 31th, 2014.  Seedlings will be distributed in April.

To receive an order form, please contact the Conservation District office at (716) 699-2326 ext. 101, or click the link below.  Remember, trees make great gifts that last a lifetime!