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The Area VIII Minnesota Envirothon Committee was awarded the 2008 Outstanding Youth Organization Award from the Giziibii Resource Conservation & Development Council and the 2009 Outstanding Youth Involvement Award from the Minnesota Association of Resource Conservation & Development Councils. Pictured, from left, are Lake of the Woods Soil and Water Conservation District representative Corryn Trask, MARC&D President George Swentik and Itasca SWCD representative Kathleen Loucks. Submitted Photo

Envirothon program honored

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The Area VIII Minnesota Envirothon Committee on June 29 received the 2008 outstanding Youth Organization award from the Giziibii Resource Conservation & Development Council. The award recognized the committee for its efforts in building and publicizing the Envirothon program as well as its partnerships with area counties.

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The committee received another award one month later when the Minnesota Association of Resource Conservation Development Councils presented it with the 2009 Outstanding Youth Involvement Award. Corryn Trask and Kathleen Loucks attended the MARC&D Annual Conference in Cloquet and accepted the award on behalf of the committee. Noted in the award letter was the committee's leadership and assistance in the MARC&D program and dedication to educating future natural resource leaders.

The Area VIII Minnesota Envirothon is an annual event, coordinated by Soil and Water Conservation districts from Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods and Wadena counties.

The event is a hands-on outdoor competition, designed to promote nature resource involvement and education to area students. Throughout the years, participation has ranged from 90-140 students per event. In 2009, the top three teams from Lake of the Woods, Grand Rapids and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley advanced to the state competition at Ironwood Springs Ranch near Stewartville.

Area VIII Envirothon competitions are held each spring at Lake Bemidji State Park. In 2010, the Area VIII Envirothon Committee will celebrate its fifth year as a local competition. It will also serve as host to the 2010 State Envirothon Competition. To participate or for more information, visit sites.google.com/site/area8envirothon.

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