11 teams compete in Watershed Challenge

A group of homeschoolers from Trumbull County participated.

staff report

MERCER, Pa. — The Penn Ohio Watershed Association hosted the third annual Pymatuning/Shenango Watershed Challenge at Munnell Run Farm on Oct. 22.

Eleven middle-school teams from Trumbull, Crawford, Mercer and Lawrence counties participated in the outdoor environmental competition.

Teams were tested in five resource categories including aquatics, forestry, soils, watershed and wildlife.

Each category was presented by different natural-resource professionals from Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation District, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Pennsylvania Game Commission and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Team members were made up of sixth-, seventh- or eighth-grade pupils who had to work together to complete a 20-point test at each station.

Aquatics featured questions related to water quality and its impact on our fish and macroinvertebrate populations, as well as fish and macroinvertebrate identification.

Forestry had pupils identifying tree species and the age of a tree “cookie.”

The soils portion of the competition included identifying soil quality indicators.

An Enviroscape (table-top watershed model) demonstration was part of the watersheds session. Mounts and pelts could be seen at the wildlife station.

First place in this year’s challenge went to a team representing Jamestown Middle School. Second place went to Laurel. Another team from Jamestown Middle School took third place.

The Trumbull Education Association of Christian Homeschoolers took fourth place in its second year of participation. TEACH members included Josh McFall, Nathanael Toth and Jimmy Gilcher.

Other participating teams came from Lincoln Junior High (Ellwood City), Saegertown Junior High and Greenville High School.

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