Arkansas Envirothon with a picture of a hurricane...
"When you try to change a single thing, you find it hitched to everything else in the universe..."
    John Muir


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ENVIROTHON                                                                         PDF version

----A challenge for young minds


Young minds love a challenge.  The idea of matching wits with their peers excites and inspires teenagers. 

Established as a competitive, multi-disciplinary, problem-solving, natural resource event for high school students to challenge their environmental knowledge, the Envirothon program encourages students to actively pursue natural resource information.   Thousands of high school students have dared to test their knowledge of the natural world and the environment.  They become wiser and more concerned about the environment through the education they receive during this competition.

Team sponsors and coaches train and test students in five natural resource areas: Forestry, Soils, Aquatics, Wildlife and a Current environmental issues such as wetlands management, groundwater, fire or pesticides.


The Envirothon began in Pennsylvania in 1979.  By 1998, nearly forty states and provinces in the United States and Canada had initiated programs.  Each state and province sends their top team to the Envirothon international competition during the summer.  Today, over forty states and eight provinces compete at the international level.  Arkansas joined the Envirothon competition in 1993.

Conservation districts in every state help to sponsor the competition.  In Arkansas, several state and federal agencies co-sponsor the Envirothon.  Companies and organizations in Arkansas provide financial sponsorship for the state competition.  The international contest is primarily sponsored by Envirothon.


The objectives of the Envirothon competition are twofold:  To test the environmental knowledge and understanding of high school students about state resource issues and to cultivate within students across the state a desire to learn more about their natural world.


Conservation districts’ educational coordinators, district managers or Arkansas Envirothon Committee members, identify teachers or advisors in both public and private high schools, in 4-H or other environmental clubs who want to work with the Envirothon program.  The advisors may be science or social studies teachers, school administrators or club leaders who have an interest in youth and their impact on environmental issues and concerns.

Local natural resource professionals, such as foresters, soil scientists, wildlife experts, fisheries specialists and others to provide technical assistance and resource materials to participating Envirothon teams.  The team members continuously study their materials throughout the year in order to prepare for the state competition.

Each conservation area (there are 7 in the state) may send up to 3 teams of five students to the Arkansas Envirothon competition, for a total of 21 competing teams. As needed, the districts set up a local, area-level competition to decide which 3 teams advance to the state level.  The state competition is generally held in mid-April of each year.  Students challenge their knowledge in a problem-solving competition that entails “hands on” involvement with natural resource information.  The state competition is held over a period of two days.   In addition to 5 written, field-station tests, which cover the 5 study areas, they must give an oral presentation, as a team, where they form possible solutions to a realistic environmental problem dealing with the current issue. 

The overall winner of the state competition advances to the Envirothon, which is hosted by a different state or province each year.  The Envirothon is a five-day event where the team members not only partake in an intense competition, but they have the privilege of going on field trips, where they see local sites and points of interest.  The team members are also provided with other environmental and social activities such as campfires, hikes, dances, ice cream socials and the very popular Trading Session.


To obtain more information regarding the Envirothon, or to get a team registered, contact your local Conservation District office.  Their number will be in the yellow pages under the local and/or county government.  You may also try the web page listed below and contact an Arkansas Envirothon Committee member.

Conservation District personnel and Committee member welcome your involvement to help make environmental education and the Envirothon competition an integral part of your community.


Envirothon teams, throughout the school year, take an in-depth look at wildlife, aquatics, forestry, soils and current environmental issues.  The spirit of competition, which motivates athletes, drives successful businesses and develops new ideas, also motivates young citizens.  In competing in the Envirothon competition, not only do students learn about their state’s natural resources, problems and solutions, they also learn about team building, communication and conservation partnerships.

The payoff for natural resource professionals is a more aware and concerned citizenry in the future.  The environment can only benefit from this educational effort.  Although Envirothon competitors are restricted to students in grades 9 through 12, there is nothing in the by-laws that prevents school districts from establishing an environmental contest for all grade levels as training for the senior high competitions.  

The Envirothon program is offered and operated on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, marital status or disability. The Arkansas Envirothon is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization.

For additional information about the Envirothon Program in Arkansas, contact:         

Carolyn Holcomb

Brandy Gardner


The Envirothon Program is offered and operated on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, or physical/mental challenges.

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