Students Test Environmental Knowledge at Wisconsin Envirothon

April 23, 2024 |

MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Envirothon, sponsored by WI Land+Water, set the stage for Earth Week at the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt, WI on Friday, April 19, 2024. The Wisconsin Envirothon brings together middle and high school students for the state’s ultimate environmental science competition. Teams of four or five students take on hands-on, outdoor field exams thoughtfully designed by natural resources professionals and educators. 

These innovative challenges allow students to apply their knowledge beyond the classroom. “Envirothon was a valuable learning experience, by teaching me hands-on skills that helped me explore different career paths and work together as a team to solve a current world problem,” said Riley Huth, Bay Port High School FFA student.

Despite windy conditions, student teams rotated through four outdoor testing stations: Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Soils/Land Use, and Wildlife.

At the Forestry station, students utilized specialized tools to identify tree species and precisely measure diameters. The Soils/Land Use area required teams to evaluate the soil properties that impact engineering and agricultural decisions. 

The Aquatic Ecology station tested students' ability to identify aquatic invertebrates and recognize threats to our local waterways. For the Wildlife station, competitors analyzed animal pelts and habitat restoration practices, showcasing their wildlife knowledge.

Alongside the immersive outdoor tests, students spent three weeks researching and preparing presentations on a current environmental issue with local relevance. This year's topic was Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Future. The Current Issue presentation blends core knowledge with critical thinking skills, allowing teams to analyze and articulate solutions to this pressing real-world concern. 

Kim Warkentin, WI Land+Water Youth Education Director, noted that this year's event featured 18 competing teams, with six of those teams being first-time participants. “We’re always excited to welcome back returning schools because Envirothon is such a dynamic and one-of-a-kind competition with something new to offer each year,” said Warkentin. “We also had six teams who were new to the competition, and one of those teams took home the top prize,” added Warkentin. 

Cedarburg High School—first-time competitors at Envirothon—earned the title of Overall Winner in the High School competition. Their team will represent Wisconsin at the National Conservation Foundation Envirothon, which will take place from July 28 to August 3 at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. 

"Envirothon has been a wonderful way for Cedarburg High School students to explore the many careers associated with Natural Resources and gain invaluable skills most don't earn until college,” said Katie Schlicht, Cedarburg High Science Teacher and Environmental Club Co-Advisor. “Witnessing the hard work and dedication our team had this year and the amount of joy their accomplishment created is something I will never forget.”

These teams won first place in the following categories:

Aquatic Ecology
High School – Ladysmith High School
Middle School – Red Smith Middle School

High School - Ladysmith High School
Middle School – Fox River Academy Middle School FFA

Soils and Land Use: 
High School – Onalaska High School
Middle School – Red Smith Middle School FFA

High School -Sun Prairie East High School 
Middle School –Red Smith Middle School FFA

Team Presentations: 
High School – Cedarburg High School
Middle School – Red Smith Middle School FFA

First Place FFA School
Bay Port High School FFA

High School - Cedarburg High School 
Middle School- Red Smith Middle School FFA

The Wisconsin Envirothon is made possible by many generous volunteers, natural resource professionals, and educators. The event also relies on the financial support of agency partners, county conservation departments, and organizations and businesses that are dedicated to conservation. 

For a complete list of winners and financial supporters visit: