Pine Grove Furnace State Park, PA – Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn addressed high school students participating in the Cumberland County Envirothon, emphasizing their critical role in helping Pennsylvania find solutions to the impacts of a changing climate.
“It’s so exciting to see young people exploring the things that we can learn and do to protect and conserve our natural resources and environment, especially as we face the challenge of how to help Pennsylvania become resilient and adapt to a changing climate,” Dunn said. “I encourage these high school students to continue their interest in forestry, wildlife, ecology and science as they consider their options for jobs and further schooling.”
Pennsylvania Envirothon is a fun, academic event that challenges high school students to think critically about the natural world and their roles in it. Hundreds of teachers and professionals, including DCNR staff, guide high school students through classroom learning, and outdoor activities at the county level. DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry supports Envirothon across the commonwealth by providing resources and expertise for forestry topics.
With the guidance of professional foresters, students learned basic forestry principles and practices -- from tree identification to forest structure and dynamics. Other topics included invasive species, wildfire, and the benefits of trees in urban communities.
Forest ecosystems absorb and sequester a significant portion of U.S. carbon emissions. The commonwealth’s forests are expected to change due to the decline of some species, increases in others, hybridization, and immigration of southern species. As the climate changes, new invasive species are expected to move into the commonwealth and those already here will increase in abundance.
Governor Tom Wolf has made a commitment to STEM education, including his PAsmart proposal intended to meet demand for skilled and science-related workers.
DCNR’s strategic efforts to connect young people to conservation include:
“Getting young people outdoors for their health and on the path to being future stewards of our natural resources is among our priorities at DCNR,” Dunn said.
The competition at Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Gardners was hosted by the Cumberland County Conservation District, and included student participation from
- Big Spring
- Boiling Springs
- Camp Hill
- Cedar Cliff
- Cumberland Valley
- East Pennsboro
Winners will compete at the state level in Mifflinburg at the end of May.
MEDIA CONTACT: Christina Novak, 717-579-5177; email@example.com