The Envirothon is a fun, hands-on, natural science academic competition. A year-long curriculum combining in-class studies with outdoor training in ecology and natural resource management emphasizes teamwork and higher order thinking skills such as analysis and interpretation. The Envirothon helps develop environmentally aware citizens who are able to assume future leadership roles. 

A Series of Competitions

The Area 4, North Carolina, and International Envirothons make up an exciting series of academic competitions, challenging middle and high school students to hone their knowledge of natural resources. Each five-member team takes a written test at each station; the team with the highest total score wins the competition. (High school and middle school teams compete separately.) Discussion topics and test questions revolve around five subject areas:

  • Soils – soil classifications, profiles, properties, formation factors and characteristics; erosion; soil surveys; site suitability; and soil conservation practices 
  • Wildlife – wildlife habitats and their components, identification, food, rules and regulations, bird calls, diseases and wildlife management 
  • Aquatics – Water quality, stream improvement, water chemistry, identification of plants and animals living in or around water, river basins and watersheds, water pollution and water conservation 
  • Forests – tree identification, improvement of timber stand, forest ecology and management, forest measurements, forest insects and tree diseases 
  • Current Environmental Issues – current or newsworthy environmental issues centered around the 2024 theme, "Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Future."

Where do we begin?

Wake County schools initially compete at the Area level and must achieve high scores to advance to compete at the State Envirothon. The Wake Soil & Water Conservation District participates in the planning and implementation of each competition and sponsors Wake County teams. 

All registered Wake County teams will be provided a study manual and helpful support from the Wake District and other conservation partners. The Wake Soil & Water Conservation District covers registration costs for all Wake County teams at both the Area 4 and State Envirothon competitions.

How To Start A Team

Assemble a Team. A team is made up of 3-5 students from the same middle/high school, non-traditional school, or youth organization such as 4-H, FFA, science or Envirothon clubs. Two optional alternates are allowed, and they can compete on the mock alternate team. High school teams must have 5 members to place at the State Competition. Teams with 3-4 members may still win station high score awards. The team must have at least 1 volunteer advisor.

Fill out the Wake Sign-Up Form. This form indicates to Wake Soil & Water Conservation District staff that you plan to participate, and ensures you are kept in the loop with all the latest updates, reminders, and study resources available. Note: This is not the official competition registration form. That can be found on the Area 4 Envirothon website.

Wake Envirothon Sign-Up Form

Start Studying. All of the study resources and rules can be found on the NC Envirothon website. See "Tips for a Successful Envirothon Team" below for expert guidance on how to prepare.

Compete at Area 4 Envirothon. Register your team for the regional competition on the Area 4 Envirothon website. The top 7 middle school and top 7 high school teams, plus the top FFA team, at each Area Envirothon will qualify to compete at the state-level. Updates on the regional and state-level events can be found on the Area 4 and NC Envirothon websites, respectively.

Who can I contact for more information?

To sponsor or form a Wake County middle school or high school Envirothon team, contact Environmental Educator Leah Purvis at 919-250-1065 or leah.purvis@wake.gov.