Dallastown’s Envirothon Takes on York County

Two teams representing DHS participated in the annual competition featuring 22 teams.

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Dallastown 2021-2022 Envirothon team at John Rudy park for the yearly competition.

This year the Dallastown Envirothon teams attended their annual competition at John Rudy Park on April 26. Although the teams did not come out with blue ribbons, they did represent Dallastown in a big way. 

So what is Envirothon? It is a student club focused on the environment right here in York County and across PA. The teams are coached by biology teachers Steve Stauffer, Shelley Fishel, and Andrew Schneider.  Student teacher Maddy Bodisch also assisted this year.

The local competition was held at John Rudy Park, and the winner of the York County Envirothon moves onto the State competition. 

Dallastown Envirothon consists of two teams: the Hellbenders and the Wrenegades.

The teams are named after local species and the team names are the same year to year. The Hellbender is the largest salamander in PA and Wrenegades is a play on the name of a bird called a wren.

Both teams are made up of various grade levels from freshman to senior.

Sophomore, Eliot Post-Kulisiewicz, is a member and participant in the club during the competition. When asked why she joined Envirothon, Post-Kulisiewicz stated “I wanted to learn more ways to help our environment.”

According to one of the club advisers, Biology teacher Mrs. Fishel, students study topics such as “Forestry, Wildlife, Soils, Aquatics and Current Issues (which is different every year).”

Participants may use that knowledge in the long term to make the Earth a better place, but also to help them during the competition itself. The day consists of stations that are full of nature related activities/questions that the students have read all about in articles.

Fishel states, “The questions are about the articles they read, as well as some hands-on identification of specimens that are brought along for the competition.”

The students have zero contact with the advisors and they are on a time limit. Many students say that would be the hardest part of the day.

For Post-Kulisiewicz, with the “spring” weather we have been having this April, the hardest part about the competition was “definitely the cold temperature”. 

The event itself is hard, but the work that comes before is even harder and most important. Post-Kulisiewicz states, “It took a lot of work to be able to identify animals on their tracks, calls, and looks in addition to knowing facts and specifics about our state and its policies.”

You won’t know everything your first year so be ready to put work in and understand that it is a cumulative process.”

— Eliot Post-Kulisiewicz

Envirothon at Dallastown is definitely for students who want to learn more about our York County environment and to use their prior knowledge to help preserve our Earth. There are no prerequisites, and anyone can join!