On May 18, 2017, the Brockton High School / Wildlands Trust Envirothon Team competed at their third consecutive Massachusetts Envirothon Competition. Teams from across the state spent the morning at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farms taking field tests in Forests, Wildlife, Soil, and Water, presenting their community research projects, and volunteering with the Student Conservation Association. Our team of ten dedicated students placed 6th overall in the state, took the 3rd place award for their Current Issue Presentation, and brought home the Community Research and Community Action Awards.
Each year, teams are asked to research a new current issue topic as it effects their community. This year’s topic was Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation. Since the fall, our students have been out in the community researching this topic and talking with the experts. They’ve met with the city’s water commissioner, farmers, AmeriCorps members, the Brockton city planner, soil scientists, and more. As their research developed, the team identified the need to help Brockton’s Promise assess the conditions of community gardens around the city. On their own time after school and on weekends, team members visited community gardens to collect soil samples for testing at the UMass Soil Lab, assess the availability of water, and assess the overall potential for community gardening at each site. They even came up with a unique rainwater collection trough design that uses fences rather than gutters.
At the competition, the team blew the judges away as they presented their research and action project. Comments from judge score sheets include:
“Great presentation – wonderful work.”
“Excellent explanation of the issue.”
“An exciting and good presentation. Thank you for your drive and your dedication."
“Q&A at the end was excellent!”
“Good for people and the environment. Awesome!”
This and other Brockton Envirothon projects truly have an impact on the community as whole and on the lives of the students who spend their time getting involved with environmental issues in their city. Everyone at Wildlands Trust is extremely proud of this team’s efforts and achievements this year! We can’t wait to get back to it in the fall for another great Envirothon year!
Special thanks are due to Biology teacher and coach Joyce Voorhis, who has spearheaded the Envirothon efforts in partnership with Wildlands Trust since 2015. Also thank you to Jack Jezard, SEMPBA’s MassLIFT AmeriCorps member who helped coach the team this year, and to all of the wonderful professionals who helped our students this year!