2012-05-12 / Potter County News

Environmental knowledged tested


Next stop is the University of Pittsburgh for the Coudersport Ridgerunners, winners of the 2012 God’s County Envirothon. Being congratulated by Potter County Commissioner Doug Morley (far right) are, from left, Chris Fink (advisor/coach), Zach Snook, James Snook, Chris Rigas, Haley Wilson and Charlie Tuttle. Next stop is the University of Pittsburgh for the Coudersport Ridgerunners, winners of the 2012 God’s County Envirothon. Being congratulated by Potter County Commissioner Doug Morley (far right) are, from left, Chris Fink (advisor/coach), Zach Snook, James Snook, Chris Rigas, Haley Wilson and Charlie Tuttle. There were no adoring crowds, cheerleaders or popcorn vendors, but the interscholastic competition held last week at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum was every bit as spirited as a sporting event.

Seventy-five students from Potter County’s five public high schools squared off to demonstrate their knowledge of the environment and related topics during the annual God’s Country Envirothon, a project of the Potter County Conservation District (PCCD).

In the end, it was the Ridgerunners team from Coudersport, coached by biology teacher Chris Fink, who emerged as county champion. The team of James Snook, Chris Rigas, Charlie Tuttle, Zach Snook and Haley Wilson moves on to the state Envirothon May 22-23 in Johnstown.

Austin’s Bio Bombs, placed second. A team from Galeton placed third. Separate awards for the highest scores in the wildlife category were presented by the Pa. Game Commission to teams from Galeton and Northern Potter.

Organizers expressed their appreciation to volunteers, including Ted Bear of the First Fork (Sinnemahoning) Watershed Association, Franks Weeks of the Upper Allegheny Watershed Association, and Conservation District board members Dick Curfman and Earl Brown.

Administering the tests were: aquatics, Frank Weeks and Ted Bear; soils and land use, Earl Brown and Ashlynn Beacker from PCCD; forestry, Stan Hess and Jesse Monroe from the Bureau of Forestry; wildlife by Bill Ragosta and Mark Fair, from the Game Commission; non-point source pollution and low-impact development,

Dick Curfman and Jim Clark, Penn State Extension.

PCCD staffers Chad Moshier, Colleen Frank, and Jason Childs tallied scores and kept the program running smoothly. They expressed their appreciation to Gas Field Specialists for financial support of the countywide competition and the trip to Johnstown.

Other sponsors included Williams, Dominion, Northern Appalachian Log and Forestry, GMR, Genesee Headwaters Watershed Association, Upper Allegheny Watershed Association, First Fork Watershed Association, and God’s Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Lunch items were donated by Coudersport Jubilee, Costa’s ShurSave, and Herr’s Chips. Lumber Museum Auxiliary prepared lunch and museum staff assisted PCCD with arrangements.

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