Bernheim perfect site for contest on science issues

By Amy Joseph Landon

Source: Pioneer News
By Stephen Thomas
April 24, 2019

CLERMONT – The Bullitt County Conservation District played host to students from around the Commonwealth during the 2019 Kentucky West Region Envirothon at Bernheim Forest.

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Hosted in association with the Kentucky Division of Conservation’s Energy and Environment Cabinet, Envirothon allows teams of high school students an opportunity to compete in various skills relating to natural sciences.

KDC assistant director Johnna McHugh most of the teams, including up to five individuals, were from schools, with some from 4-H organizations or Future Farmers of America programs.

McHugh said the teams compete in five topic area test stations, with a possible high score of 100 points per test. Teams scoring a 325 or higher advance to the state Envirothon competition.

The Forestry Station test, has students identify types of trees, distance pacing, measuring for lumber, forestry management and identifying pests.

Current Issues is always a topic area, with this year’s selected topic, “Feeding the Future,” focusing on agriculture and the environment, including knowledge and technology to feed the world. McHugh said students would discuss soil health and how to maintain its solubility years from now.

According to McHugh, host locations are allowed to choose the current issues categories.

A soil pit was dug out for students to evaluate types and colors of soil, along with structure and texture. Students also note types of soil located within forests or crops.

In wildlife, students identify wings and feathers, as well as forest critters. They also discussed evasive species specific to Kentucky.

Aquatics used small water bottles with various samples, with students defining critters within the water, or determining if the water was safe for consumption. They discusses watershed areas and how to keep streams clean, along with identifying fish.

According to McHugh, the top team at the state Envirothon would advance to the national competition. Also, the top-scoring FFA team in the state would advance to the national FFA competition.

The Bullitt Conservation District provided lunch for the students, with 18 teams participating.

The state competition will take place in May at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Education and Leadership Center. The North American competition is scheduled for July 28-Aug. 2 at North Carolina State University.

Organizations assisting in the Envirothon include the Kentucky Association of Conservation Distrcts and Auxiliary, along with Dow Corning of Carrolton, Farm Credit Mid-America, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, Kentucky Division of Conservation, Kentucky Division of Forestry, Kentucky Division of Water, and the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation.

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