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Montgomery County Teens Take Top Honors at 2021 Maryland Envirothon


ANNAPOLIS, MD – A team of five students from Richard Montgomery High School in Montgomery County won the 2021 Maryland Envirothon, held virtually from April 26-29, 2021. More than 50 teams with approximately 250 competitors from 13 counties across the state participated in the 30th annual competition. The winners were announced at a special virtual awards ceremony on May 6, 2021.

The winning Richard Montgomery High School team members Lynna Deng, Connor Palansky, Josh Goozman, Katie Yang, and Sienna Burns will go on to represent Maryland at the National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon scheduled for July 25-28, 2021. More than 40 teams from the United States, Canada, and China are expected to compete for the national competition being held virtually this year.

It is encouraging to see student interest in natural resources and environmental studies at an all-time high,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Each year, the Envirothon inspires the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Kudos to all those that participated and congratulations to the winning Richard Montgomery High School team. Best of luck to the students representing Maryland at the national competition later this summer.”

The Maryland Envirothon is an annual natural resources competition that challenges students to identify and categorize living resources, perform soil surveys, and solve other complex natural resource issues. Typically held at an outdoor environmental education center, the 2021 Maryland Envirothon was held for the first time in an online format.

Students taking part in the competition study Maryland’s natural resources throughout the course of the school year. Working in teams of five, students are tested on their knowledge of soils, forestry, wildlife, and aquatics as they compete for scholarships and prizes.

Each team’s knowledge is tested under the supervision of foresters, soil scientists, wildlife specialists, and other resource professionals. Teamwork and problem-solving skills are evaluated as each team works to address the environmental challenges presented. The team with the highest cumulative total wins the competition and the opportunity to represent Maryland at the national competition.

At this year’s Maryland Envirothon the Montgomery County team scored 372 points out of a possible 400. They were followed by teams from Harford County with 348 points and Allegany County with 338 points. The full Maryland Envirothon results can be viewed online.

Members of the top three teams were awarded wildlife prints and scholarships ranging from $200 to $500 from the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board Scholarship Program. In addition, the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will provide matching scholarships to students on the winning teams that wish to attend their school. The Mid-Atlantic Association of Professional Soil Scientists also provided $50 to each Richard Montgomery High School team member for placing first in the soils category. The Montgomery County team also earned awards for achieving the high score in the other three categories — aquatics, forestry, and wildlife.

Established in 1990, the Maryland Envirothon’s objectives are twofold — to test students’ environmental knowledge and understanding of state resource issues and to instill a desire to learn more about the natural world. Winning teams compete at the local, state, and national levels. The first Envirothon competition was held in 1979 in Pennsylvania. Since then, more than 40 states, Canada, and China have embraced the program and sent teams to the competition.

The Maryland Envirothon is sponsored by the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts and the State Soil Conservation Committee. Contributors and supporters include: Rural Maryland Council, Maryland Department of Agriculture, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of Environment, University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board, Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Garrett College-Natural Resources and Wildlife Technology Program, Maryland Soybean Board, Western Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc., Mid-Atlantic Association of Professional Soil Scientists, Southern Maryland Resource Conservation & Development Board, Inc., Maryland Delaware Chapter of the Wildlife Society, and University of Maryland Cooperative Extension.

For quotes, questions, or additional information about the Maryland Envirothon, please contact Barry Burch, chairman of the Maryland Envirothon Committee, at or (240) 215-5004. Photos from the virtual event can be found on MDA’s Flickr and the full virtual awards ceremony can be viewed on YouTube.


Follow Maryland Department of Agriculture on Twitter @MdAgDept

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