What is Alberta Envirothon?

It’s an incredible opportunity for high school students to demonstrate their understanding of the environment.

Teams consisting of six students compete head to head on matters of the environment. Topics include Soils/Land use/Agriculture, Forestry, Aquatic Ecology, and Wildlife, as well as an annual Current Environmental Issue. This year’s Current Environmental Issue was Urban Forestry. What a great opportunity for Work Wild, a forestry education program, to get involved.

The Envirothon event spanned from Thursday, May 21st – Sunday, May 24th.  During the course of the weekend teams attended seminars and competed in knowledge testing events.

The Envirothon began Thursday evening with schools showing up at the testing grounds. This year’s event took place at the Hinton Training Centre in beautiful Hinton, Alberta. Schools from all over Alberta flooded in. There were also contingents from Saskatchewan and the North West Territories.

The highlight of the 2015 Envirothon opening ceremonies was a keynote presentation by long-time urban forester Milton Davies. Mr. Davies brought the audience into the fascinating world of an urban forester. What a cool occupation. Urban foresters are responsible for managing urban tree populations. Some of the many tasks an urban forester would get up to are:

  • Performing an inventory and creating a database of all the trees growing within a city
  • Understanding impacts on individual trees or the urban forest as a whole
  • Planning around trees growing on both public and private land

Did you know urban trees improve noise buffering, improve psychological well being, increase property value, and reduce the amount of energy consumed by a community?


Friday was jam-packed with seminars. There were talks on all sorts of topics ranging from soil, to water, to wildlife, to land use practices.






Work Wild had a chance to give a presentation on sustainable forest management and forest industry careers.


After a long day of attending seminars and presentations, the students had a chance to relax with a little comical relief provided by the improv group Rapid Fire Theatre.


Students spent all day Saturday putting their knowledge to work in the form of both a written exam and a bell-ringer field test. Bell-ringers are no small task. Each group had only 45 minutes per booth. At each booth awaited a written exam and field test on a given subject matter (soil, aquatics, forestry, etc.). The majority of the day was spent answering skill-testing questions.








At the end of Saturday a scenario was handed out. In this scenario teams were asked to find a long-term solution to a (fictitious) town’s land management problems.

Sunday was judgement day. Teams presented their solution to a panel of judges. This solution had to include a variety of social/economic/environmental solutions that would satisfy the needs of current and future stakeholders.

The results were outstanding. Every team gave an extremely original solution to a practically unsolvable problem. The presentations given were so good that judges had to stay an unexpected hour longer to review and deliberate.


In the end W. P. Wagner Team #2 emerged the provincial winner and will proceed to compete in the North American Envirothon in Missouri.

Wagner #2

In addition to an amazing weekend of fun and excitement, participating students received high school credits.

Alberta Envirothon 2015 was an incredibly successful event. Every team in attendance would probably agree that the Envirothon is a once in a life time experience.

Congratulations to all participating teams. I know all the judges are extremely proud of your achievements.

Are you interested in competing in Alberta Envirothon next year? Find out more information at the Alberta Envirothon website.