San Luis Valley schools compete in Envirothon

SAN LUIS VALLEY — The San Luis Valley was well represented at the state Envirothon competition in Aurora on April 23-25. Four teams competed from Centennial High School, Mountain Valley High School and Sargent High School along with schools from West Greeley and Woodland Park.
Sargent High School’s team took first place in the topic of Wildlife, and placed second overall in the competition, earning them a place as alternates to the national competition being held this year in Idaho. Colorado Envirothon is administered by the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts.
San Luis Valley students and teachers involved in the competition included:
Centennial HS (Black) – Mario Penuelas, David Newbury, Shaznai Sanchez, Ayla Cisneros, Max Mondragon; coach Clara Adams.
Centennial HS (Green) – James Mendoza, Bobbie Maes, Brian Duenas, Brandon Laugen, Josie Aragon; coach Robert Quintana.
Sargent HS – Trey Jones, Wes Seger, Ashlyn Griffen, Mason Heersink, Jacob Robirds; coach Clint Mondragon.
Mountain Valley HS – Megan Larimore, Parker Larimore, Laura Morfitt, Salvador Vigil, Alyssa Hammel; coach Yvonne Morfitt.
The Envirothon competition is a state, national, and international competition for 9-12th graders focused on natural resource topics such as wildlife, forestry, soil health, aquatic ecology, and a current issue. This year’s current issue was Western Rangeland Management: Balancing Diverse Views. The San Luis Valley teams, including a team from Del Norte High School who were unable to attend the state competition, participated in workshops throughout the school year focusing on these topics. Workshops included instructional presentations and hands-on field portions with the help of outdoor professionals from agencies such as Trout Unlimited, US Forest Service, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, NRCS, CSU Forest Service, Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, Rio Grande Watershed Association of Conservation Districts, and many others.  Students interacted with diverse habitats and environments, gaining awareness of the connectivity of all natural resources throughout the San Luis Valley.
The workshops are facilitated by the Rio Grande Watershed Conservation & Education Initiative, with funding generously provided for workshops and competition by the Saguache County Sales Tax Grant, Trinchera Blanca Foundation and the SLV CCI/LOR Foundation.
For more information on how to get high school students involved in this unique outdoor experiential education activity, contact Bethany Howell, executive director of RGWCEI, at [email protected]

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