The Green Team from Spruce Mountain High School has won the Maine State Envirothon and will be competing at the national competition in Ohio in July. Seen at the state event in Augusta are co-advisors Rob Taylor at left and Ken Baker at right with team members in no order Leah Burgess, Liz Grondin, Abrahm Geissinger, Owen Schwab and Dan Wilson. Submitted photo

JAY — Envirothon teams from Spruce Mountain High School took first and second place at the 2022 Maine State Envirothon Competition at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine Outdoor Center in Augusta on Friday, June 3.

The Spruce Mountain Green Team took first place with a score of 414.45 out of a possible 500 points. It includes juniors Abrahm Geissinger, Owen Schwab, and Dan Wilson as well as sophomores Leah Burgess and Liz Grondin. The team qualified to compete at the National Conservation Foundation Envirothon at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, July 24 – 30.

The team’s current issue project dealt with protecting Little Parker Pond in East Jay. The Livermore Falls Water District uses it for part of the town’s water supply and the pond is monitored by Spruce Mountain Envirothon teams. The team took first in current issue with a score of 96.45, first in soils with a score of 92, first in wildlife with a score of 86, first in forestry with a score of 64, and second in aquatics with a score of 73. The highest score possible for each category was 100 points.

The Spruce Mountain High School Envirothon Black Team placed second at the Maine State Envirothon Championships held in Augusta June 3. Seen are co-advisors Rob Taylor at left and Ken Baker at right with team members in no order Kaila Godbey, Ella Plourde, Liam Brewster, Quin Fournier, and Isaac Parker. Submitted photo

“This group will be working hard this summer to attend the National Conservation Foundation Envirothon in Ohio,” Spruce Mountain Envirothon co-advisor Rob Taylor said. “There is a 100 page study manual for each area in forestry, soils, aquatics, and wildlife, as well as two manuals full of current issue information on Waste to Resources. The kids will now need to apply all of their skills to learn about the flora, fauna, soil resources, forests, fish, water bodies, and waste issues of a place over 1,000 miles away.

“Also, while doing this preparation, they will need to raise thousands of dollars for travel to the event in six weeks. The registration fee for the event, which includes room and board for the week, will be covered by the Maine Association of Conservation Districts. We are really thankful for all the work the Soil and Water Conservation Districts across Maine do to run the Maine Envirothon program and for covering the registration fees for the international competition.”

The Spruce Mountain Black Team, featuring seniors Ella Plourde, Kaila Godbey, Liam Brewster, Quin Fournier, and Isaac Parker took second place with an impressive score of 376.61 out of 500.


“Both teams attending the Envirothon State Championships did exceptionally well,” Taylor said. “My co-advisor Ken Baker and I could not be prouder of the teams. This was the first in the field State Championship in three years due to COVID-19. It is hard to believe that the last group of high school seniors that got to compete in a normal State Championship will start their senior year in college next fall.

“Last year the event was held remotely online and did not include a current issue project. It was great to be back at a live in-person event that included all facets of Envirothon.”

The Spruce Mountain Black team’s Godbey, Plourde, and Brewster competed at the last in-person State Championships when they qualified as freshmen.

“The senior team really stepped up today and Mr. Taylor and I are going to miss them when they graduate on June 12,” Baker said.

The kids won first in aquatics with a score of 79, second in current issue presentation with 93.11, second in wildlife with 80.5, second in forestry with 58, and sixth in soils with 66.

“These tests are really hard and the kids need to think like a resource professional in each area,” Taylor noted. “They have learned a lot over the last 4 years!”


“The event was a great experience for the students and resource professionals from across Maine were on hand to evaluate the students’ performance,” Baker said. “The kids’ project on developing a waste management plan for Wilson Lake in Wilton was really well done.”

The Envirothon competition was sponsored by the Maine Association of Conservation Districts and included outdoor field tests in forestry, aquatics, wildlife ecology, and soil science. Teams also did presentations on their solution to a current issue problem dealing with the theme “Waste to Resources.” Each team was tasked with developing a waste management plan for a local lake association and then explaining their ideas through an oral presentation and posters.

The 10 top teams from regional qualifiers across Maine participated in the event.

The Spruce Mountain Envirothon program had 23 students this year who competed on five teams at the regional qualifier on May 19.

The program also has members who choose not to compete but take part in the program’s environmental stewardship projects. They include collecting water quality data for the Livermore Falls Water District, serving as stewards for the Androscoggin Land Trust Steven’s Island Conservation Area, planning a timber harvest for property around Spruce Mountain High School, raising hybrid American/Chinese Chestnuts with the American Chestnut Foundation, growing food for food pantries in the school greenhouse and other projects.

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