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What is the Envirothon?972204_592879197413518_1320032193_n

The Virginia  Dominion Energy Envirothon is a team based natural resources competition for high school students.  Students who participate learn stewardship and management concepts  and work to solve real world environmental problems.  The program is field-oriented, community based and gives students an opportunity to work with natural resource professionals.  Click Here for a video overview of the Dominion Energy Envirothon competition!

Who makes up a team and what do they do?

970272_592880654080039_1904586811_nStudents work in teams of five.  Throughout the school year students prepare to compete at the local level, qualify to then compete at the area level and the top three teams from the six Soil & Water Conservation District areas in the state compete to be the  State Winner.  These teams of high school students are tested on their knowledge of natural resources-soils, forestry, wildlife, aquatics and a current environmental issue.  Students visit five “in-the-field” test stations where written and hands-on problem solving is required along with an oral presentation formulating a strategy to address a specific environmental issue they’ve been presented with.  The event is competitive but education is the bottom line.

983851_592882107413227_1321143054_nTeams can be created through school clubs, classes, home school groups, 4-H groups, scout troops, local nature centers etc.  The only requirements of at team are a minimum of five students and one adult advisor/chaperone.

Additional Resources & Information:

Want to get involved?

For additional information, contact Bonnie Mahl at the VASWCD office at (804) 559-0324 or email:

Virginia’s Envirothon program is also supported through the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund. Proceeds from the sale of the Bay license plates help citizens keep the bay healthy by restoring wetlands, planting buffers around waterways, promoting marine life restoration, decreasing pollution and providing educational programs like Envirothon.  To purchase a Bay license plate visit: 

Envirothon Resources

The Virginia Dominion Energy Envirothon program is a natural resource competition for high school students. To learn more about the Envirothon program visit the program page.

The following links and resources are shared to assist Envirothon teams preparing for competition. Each resource supports the Envirothon learning objectives and information from these items are therefore subject to inclusion on the competition test.  Please use these links as supplements to the resources and links found within the Curriculum Guidelines. Current issue/Oral presentation problem resources and other station resources are updated on a regular basis.

2020 Current Issue Resources             

Water Resource Management: Local Control and Local Solutions 


Key Topic #1: Understanding how groundwater and surface water systems function.
Key Topic #2: Understanding the importance of water quality and quantity as a foundation in a healthy ecosystem.
Key Topic #3: Understanding a variety of water quality indicators in different landscapes.
Key Topic #4: Understanding a variety of water quantity indicators in different landscapes.
Key Topic #5: Understanding how sustainable and best management practices enhance and protect water quality and quantity for humans and wildlife.
Key Topic #6: Understanding the differences of local, regional, and national systems that manage natural resources and the importance of each in water resources.
Key Topic #7: Understanding the social, economic, political impacts of natural resources management and decision making.

For Resources and Learning Objectives, please click the corresponding Key Topic

Current Issue Resources

Virginia Office of Water Supply

Virginia Water Supply Plan 

Map of Aquifers in the United States 

Area II Training Resources –
Regional Water Supply Management
Water Supply Planning In Virginia

Current Issue Resources List

Sample Envirothon Test Questions

Envirothon Coaches Handbook

Aquatics Resources

Aquatic Curriculum Guidelines   updated November 2019 

Forestry Resources

Forestry Curriculum Guidelines updated November 2019

Soils Resources

Soils Curriculum Guidelines updated November 2019 

Wildlife Resources

Wildlife Curriculum Guidelines  updated November 2019 

Envirothon History

The Virginia Envirothon, a recognized outreach program supported by the state legislature in code, is a natural resources competition through which high school students around the Commonwealth compete by demonstrating their knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management. In preparation for the event, teams of students spend the year studying soils, forestry, aquatics, wildlife, and a current specific environmental issue. Students also apply their knowledge of these topics and problem solving skills through an oral presentation in which they solve real-life environmental problems.

The Virginia Envirothon Academic competition was established in 1995.  Since then, Envirothon has been awarded the Environmental Stewardship Award from the Petroleum Council. Additionally, the Commonwealth of Virginia has repeatedly placed in the top 15 overall teams at the National Envirothon competition.  The 2006 Virginia team placed first at the national competition and placed sixth in 2007. The 2009 team placed eighth, the 2010 team placed in the top half of 55 teams from across the United States and Canada in their first visit to the National competition. In 2011 our students took home a 7th place finish and in 2012 the Virginia team placed 8th overall and 1st place in the aquatics topic. in 2018, our Virginia team placed third overall with first place scores in wildlife and oral presentation. In 2019, our Virginia team (Jamestown High School) placed first overall and first place in Forestry.   Each member took home a $3,000 scholarship. To view the hall of fame of Envirothon winners since the programs inception download ENVIROTHON-Winner-Hall-of-Fame

Envirothon has undoubtedly increased public awareness and personal improvement on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay and all of our local watersheds. Students also gain an understanding of our food sources and need for better protection and conservation of our environment.

By incorporating the Envirothon curriculum into classrooms, Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Virginia and across the nation are taking a notable lead in responding to the public school system’s need for a strong, hands-on approach to environmental education.

Beginning with the 2011-2012 Envirothon program, Dominion Energy became the flagship supporter of the program. (Press Release) Fueled by Dominion Resource’s generous sponsorship, the Envirothon program will undoubtedly continue to grow. Cindy Balderson, Philanthropy Manager for Dominion Power and The Dominion Foundation shared the excitement of the new partnership stating,   “We believe the students’ participation in Envirothon activities will prepare them for college and beyond, as they study environmental issues and become advocates and stewards of our natural resources.