The Envirothon is a contest that is held each year to have students learn about five different environmental areas. There is a four level competition with the state finalist qualifying for the national competition in North Carolina this year. The students are tested in Soil conservation, water conservation, aquatic animals and water quality. Wildlife management and identification are also included in which the students have to id animals from either the pelt, tracks or the sounds they make. Forestry is also included which is a little harder for the students as we don't have a large number of commercial forest in Iowa. Besides those areas the student has to id tools and equipment use in environmental management. The contest is a great experience for the students who participate and for the instructors who teach it. The Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District has sponsored teams from the Cass County school district in the past.
On March 4th, 2009 the Cass and Adair SWCD hosted a workshop to prepare students participating in the Envirothon. Teams from Orient-Macksburg,Cumberland-Anita-Massena attended. The topic was Biodiversity in a Changing World. Julie McMichael with the NRCS, Soils division provided the students with samples and Randy Goerndt with the DNR presented information on Forestry and Don Sievers with the DNR provided information on Aquatics. Micah Lee from the Cass County Conservation Board presented information on wildlife. Each presenter was given twenty minutes per topic and time for questions & answers.
State competition was April 20 at Springbrook. The Orient-Macksburg team placed 1st in the regional in Red Oak on March 10th. One team from Orient-Macksburg tied for 5th place in the state competition.