Members of Ft. Jennings Team 1 include, from left, Jared Hoersten, Sarah Hellman, Logan Sickels, Keri Eickholt and Alex Sealts. (Photo submitted)
Members of Ft. Jennings Team 1 include, from left, Jared Hoersten, Sarah Hellman, Logan Sickels, Keri Eickholt and Alex Sealts. (Photo submitted)

PUTNAM COUNTY — On Wednesday, April 23, the annual Area I Envirothon was held in Defiance County. Fifty-three teams competed in the day long event which involves tests in the five areas of aquatics, forestry, wildlife, soils, and current environmental issues. This year’s theme was sustainable agricultural practices.

The students work as a five person team and are instructed by an expert in the field before the tests are given out. Many questions are site specific and involve area characteristics such as identifying trees, identifying animal pelts, skulls, and teeth and judging soil characteristics in a pit dug on the site. Aquatic insect larvae, bird nesting structures, and habitat characteristics need to be identified also. The students rotate to one of the five testing areas every 30 minutes.

The top four teams out of each of the five area competitions qualify for State Competition held in June. At the State Competition the same five areas of testing are included as well as a presentation by the teams on the current environmental issue, this year dealing with sustainable agricultural issues. Team 1 from Fort Jennings qualified for State by finishing first out of the 53 teams. The Team 2 from Fort Jennings finished third. This is the 17th consecutive year that Fort Jennings has qualified for State Competition. It will be held at Salt Fork State Park this year on June 10-11.

Team members from Team 1 are Jared Hoersten, Logan Sickels, Sarah Hellman, Keri Eickholt and Alex Sealts.

Members of Team 2 include Drew Grone, Ryan Hoersten, Isaac Fischbach, Jeremy Smith, and Dillon Schimmoeller.

The teams are coached by Jeff Jostpille.