Environmental education through competition
History of Envirothon
The Envirothon concept was created by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts in 1979 as the "Environmental Olympics." This unique hands-on, outdoor environmental program quickly gained popularity among school districts and eventually spread to other states. The first national Envirothon was held in 1988 when teams from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts competed. In 1992, the first Canadian provinces entered the competition as well. In 1997, Canon began supporting the Envirothon and became the title sponsor in 1999. Today, the North American Envirothon is a program of the National Conservation Foundation and is referred to as the NCF-Envirothon. Sponsorship for the program comes from local conservation districts, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Forestry Associations and the National Association of Conservation Districts.
Envirothon is the largest environmental competition in North America, involving over 500,000 high school students each year. The international competition hosts over 600 students, advisors, volunteers, and parents from the United States and 9 Canadian provinces. Teams compete for over $125,000 in scholarships and prizes.
Envirothons are structured around regional and statewide competitions. The Indian River Lagoon Envirothon is held each year in February and includes both middle and high school teams. The winning high school teams from each county participating in the IRL Envirothon (Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee) may compete in the statewide Florida Envirothon, held in April. Winning teams from state competitions compete in the annual IRL Envirothon, held in July.