Soil & Water

Genesee County Envirothon

SWCD Logo  Genesee County Envirothon

Program Mission
To develop knowledgeable, skilled, and dedicated citizens who have an understanding of natural resources. The mission is accomplished by developing in young people an understanding of the principles and practices of natural resource management and ecology, and through practice dealing with complex resource management decisions.

Program Summary
The Envirothon is a two-part scholastic competition held annually at the Genesee County Park & Forest in late April into early May. On the first day, the student teams of five engage in outdoor student workshops led by professionals in the field. This training day is an active one; students will get in the water, dig in the soil, identify trees from bark and growth patterns, and examine bones, pelts, feathers and mounts.

The second day, typically a week later, the student teams compete by taking team examinations on the material taught in the workshops that cover the different environmental subject categories. The winning team is awarded based on the team examinations and oral presentation that addresses a real-word concern. The first-place winning team is announced the second day and qualifies to compete in the New York State Envirothon Competition typically held in May. For more information, contact the District at (585) 343-2362x5.

                  The environmental subject categories and examples of their content:

Aquatic Ecology- Water cycle, watershed science, aquatic organisms, water quality tests, and pollution issues.

Forestry- Tree species ID, forest structure, communities, succession, tree pests & diseases, and silviculture.

Soils & Land Use- Soil forming factors & processes, profiles, biology, cycles, fertility, pollution, and management.

ID, habitats, communities, biodiveristy, diseases, population dynamics, and management.

Current Issue- subject changes each year. The 2020 current issue is
                        Water Resources Management: Local Control and Local Solutions

How to Prepare
To prepare for the competition, a teacher usually acts as the adviser for the high school (grades 9-12) club or team dedicated to environmental education. Know that spring semester is not too late to start!

The Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District will have a sign up for teams after the first of the year and will introduce to the schools the year's Current Issue Scenario. Schools are able to sign up a team of five students. Each team will solve the Current Issue Scenario using their practiced knowledge of environmental science and a logical strategy. The student teams should then be prepared to submit their solutions in a recorded ten -minute oral presentation prepared by the first day of Envirothon using a specific list of materials.

Following the first day of Envirothon, the team members can discuss what they were taught and prepared for the team examinations on day two of Envirothon.

NYS Envirothon LogoNew York State Envirothon
The first place winning team from Genesee County will be invited to compete at the New York State Envirothon that is typically held in late May at a New York State college. The team will present their oral presentation on the Current Issue Scenario again on the first day and will complete the team subject category examinations the second day. The teams are invited to stay in the college campus dorms and experience the college campus atmosphere during their visit. Further information about the NYS Envirothon can be found at