FARMINGTON — The Maine Association of Conservation Districts held the first of four regional Envirothon competitions on May 1 at the Marble Farm. The top placing teams at the regionals qualify to compete at the Maine Envirothon Championships on Friday, May 30, at the Pine State Arboretum in Augusta.

Spruce Mountain High School sent four teams that finished first, third, fourth and fifth. Dirigo Team 1 rounded out the top placing teams, taking second place overall.

The weather was rainy for the all-outdoor competition, but teams worked on through a few downpours to complete the event. Envirothon includes competitive field tests in Forestry, Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality, Wildlife Biology, Soils, and this year’s current issue, Sustainable Agriculture.

Spruce Mountain Team 4, “Giboa Constrictors,” took fifth and were the only all-freshman team at the event. Team members include Camryn Berry, William Brenner, Austin Gilboe, Nathanial Goodine and Rachel Pike.

The team took second place overall in the current issue presentation for their work on developing a sustainable management plan for the Pike Farm in Farmington. David Pike, grandfather of team member Rachel Pike, was an invaluable resource to the team, providing them with information in the sustainable management practices he uses to grow primarily corn and strawberries.

Team members visited his farm the week prior to the competition and experience sustainable agriculture first hand. Team Adviser Rob Taylor said, “As freshmen, there is so much to learn to be successful on the Envirothon tests. The only part of the competition where you can be 100 percent prepared is current issue, as you write a presentation and make posters. Taking second in the presentations is a real achievement for a group of rookies.”

Spruce Mountain Team 3 took fourth. Led by senior Corey Ridley, who will take his Envirothon skills to the University of Maine next year where he will major in forestry, the team also included veteran junior Abbie Hartford and rookie sophomores Alexa Perkins and Spencer Brennick. The team took second in forestry and third in aquatics and wildlife.The team’s current issue project looked at converting forestland into farmland on team member Abbie Hartford’s family camp in Leeds.

Spruce Mountain Team 2, who call themselves the “Ermine,” took third overall, along with second place in Wildlife and the Current Issue written exam, as well as third place finishes in soils and forestry. The all-veteran team includes junior Sam Brenner and sophomores Brandon Anctil, Amber Delaney, James Herlihy and Sebastian Lombardi. The Ermine’s project dealt with sustainably managing team member Amber Delaney’s family farm in coastal Maine.

“The future for Envirothon at Spruce Mountain High School looks very bright with such a fine group of upcoming younger students,” Taylor said.

Spruce Mountain Team 1, known as the “Honey Badgers,” took first place overall and first place awards in forestry, soils, wildlife and current issue (both oral and presentation), as well as second place behind Dirigo 1 in aquatics. The team includes seniors Dustin Jones, Lucas Preble, Erik Taylor and Emily Taylor, as well as juniors Denton Bilodeau and Tyler Ritter.

The team’s current issue project consisted of developing a management plan for the Jones family farm that abuts the RSU 73 property in Livermore Falls. The team visited the farm, gathered information from family members and developed a plan for a dairy farm with 40 head of cows. The plan also included ties to a possible community garden, local food banks and a reinvigorated apple orchard.

Taylor said, “This is a veteran team that has been doing Envirothon for four years. They finished third at the state finals last year and I think they really want to compete for the state championship at the end of May this year. They really know their stuff.”

Spruce Mountain Team 1 and Dirigo Team 1 qualified for the state championships.