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“One of the great things about Possum Creek is that it’s almost the sampler platter of habitats,” added Mike Osborne, regional park manager for Five Rivers MetroPark. “We’ve got prairies, woods, riparian forests and aquatics. So, it allows a nice wide spectrum of what they can experience out here.”
Spitting rain and muddy paths didn’t dampen the students’ enthusiasm. They came prepared for the conditions as they examined trees dead and alive and sampled soil from a three-foot-deep trench.
About 500 high school students from 18 southwest Ohio counties participated in the 2018 Evirothon at Possum Creek MetroPark. Teams of 5 students each were tested on their knowledge of natural resources in Ohio in categories including soils, wildlife, forestry, and aquatics for a chance to advance to the State Envirothon. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Retired Franklin High School teacher Paul Ostermann got students involved with the Envirothon beginning in 1990. He described the effect this competition had on some of his students.
“We’ve got an awful lot of kids who have gone into the field…everything from elk guides to environmental lawyers, soil scientists, and a mining engineer,” Ostermann said. “This was the primary motivation for me to get kids involved. Getting kids to understand connection between the world and what happens when we don’t take care of the world around us.”
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Teams who win the Area IV competition can advance to the Ohio Envirothon in June for a chance at advancing to the National Conservation Foundation Envirothon in Idaho.