PRESCOTT’S TRI-CITY PREP WINS ARIZONA ENVIROTHON
A team of preparatory school students developed a winning sustainable agriculture model to capture the 2014 Arizona Envirothon championship Saturday in Maricopa, Ariz. Each student on the winning five-member team from Prescott’s Tri-City College Prep High School earned a $500 scholarship; their coach was also awarded a $500 stipend.
Sustainable agriculture practices consider a farming operation’s economic viability, whether the development is environmentally benign, and the development’s social acceptability. Prep’s winning farm plan addressed economics, agricultural technology, water management, dust control, crop selection, local marketing, and neighbor relations.
Nine Arizona teams demonstrated their expertise in field science skills in aquatic ecology, water quality assessment, forestry and wildlife management, soil science and land use planning. Each also developed a sustainable agriculture plan for a 300-acre farm on the Gila River.
The five-student teams tested their environmental field skills at University of Arizona’s research farm, the Maricopa Agricultural Center in Maricopa, Ariz. on Mar 21-22. Other schools competing were from Phoenix (Ariz Agribusiness and Equine Center; Center for Research in Engineering, Science & Technology at Paradise Valley HS), Buckeye (Youngker HS), Vail (Cienega HS), Peoria (Centennial HS), and Prescott (Tri-City College Prep).
“I was extremely impressed with the caliber of teams that participated this year, said Rodney Held, Arizona Envirothon Chairman. “They all demonstrated a solid understanding of natural resource concepts, and every team was completely engaged throughout the entire competition.”
Tri-City Prep team captain Jacob Holevar has returned to the Envirothon each of his four high school years. “I most enjoy the different topics each year. We’ve looked at [the environment] from a farming, recreation, ranching and even a housing development perspective,” said Holevar. “It’s never dull.” Other Tri-City Prep team members were Erin Flueger, Amelia Harris, Emily Andreasty and Kelcie Kruse. They were coached by Carolyn Muchna.
Second place over-all went to Center for Research in Engineering, Science & Technology High School at Paradise Valley High School (CREST) (Phoenix) and Centennial High School (Peoria) placed third.
Award winners for ecostation field testing skills were:
Soils & Land Use – 1st Tri-City College Prep, 2nd Centennial, and 3rd CREST
Aquatic Ecology – 1st Tri-City College Prep, 2nd Cienega High School (Vail, AZ), and 3rd Centennial
Wildlife & Forestry – 1st CREST, 2nd Tri-City College Prep, and 3rd Cienega
Spirit of Envirothon 2014 – Arizona Agriculture and Equine Center Paradise Valley (Phoenix)