Valley youth compete in Envirothon

DENVER — Students from four schools recently represented the San Luis Valley at the Colorado state Envirothon competition held in Denver on April 25-26th.

Envirothon is an international and national environmental science competition that focuses on natural resource management topics. This year, teams from Del Norte High School, Center High School, Centennial High School, and Mountain Valley High School prepared throughout the year to be tested in the topics of Forestry, Wildlife, Soil Health & Land Use, Aquatic Ecology, and the current issue for 2017, Agricultural Stewardship and Water Conservation.

Ten teams from across the state competed. San Luis Valley teams prepared for competition by studying with their coaches and by participating in workshops held throughout the year and facilitated by the Rio Grande Watershed Conservation & Education Initiative (RGWCEI). These workshops featured presentations and hands-on learning from outdoor professionals from Colorado State University Forest Service, Trinchera Ranch, Trout Unlimited, the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, NRCS, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, and the USDA.

Workshops are made possible by sponsors such as Saguache County, the Trinchera Blanca Foundation, and the Rio Grande Watershed Association of Conservation Districts. RGWCEI and the schools are privileged to partner with these organizations that enhance student experiential learning.

The participating team members for the San Luis Valley were:

Center HS - John Whitinger, coach

Hunter Piaz

Jessica Garrison

Camille Ruggles

Jordon Lobato

Obed Perez

Del Norte HS - Kevin Hintz, coach

Samuel Lorenz

Carlos Para

Jason Orr

Bowdenn Sanders-Casias

Juan Rodriguez

Centennial HS - Robert Quintana, Clara Adams, coaches

Mariah Medina

Jessica Gamboa

Demetrius Duran

David Newbury

Max Mondragon

Antonina Dorado

Derek Quintana

Ayla Cisneros

Shaznai Sanchez

James Mendoza

Mountain Valley School - Yvonne Morfitt, coach

Megan Larimore

Ripper Fitz

David Hammel

Garrett Boyles

Ethan Volkman

Caption: Students capture and identify macroinvertebrates from Culebra Creek. Courtesy photo