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Conservation team wins regionals

By RITA FARLOW
Published February 28, 2007


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The Canterbury School of Florida placed first in this year's Tampa Bay Regional Envirothon, held at Upper Tampa Bay Park on Feb. 7. The team will advance to the state finals in Jupiter in April.

The annual competition for high school students in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties is focused on conservation and environmental education.

Teams compete in wildlife, forestry, aquatics and soils categories. Students are challenged to identify various trees, animals and invertebrate, and must be able to recognize specific bird and frog calls.

"It's all hands-on," said senior Nora Brody, 17.

The group meets once a week and prepared for several months by researching and studying this year's topics. They also went to a creek behind the school and worked on identifying vegetation and analyzing soil and water samples.

Science teacher and Envirothon faculty sponsor Sean Murphy said the students can help educate the next generation of conservationists. "The key is, with these environmental issues, is the kids are getting the knowledge, which they can then pass on," he said.

The final portion of the event requires students to give presentations on a current environmental issue. This year, the topic was alternative/renewable energy sources, and the students applied it to green home building - or construction that uses environmentally sound products and methods.

"We went through every room in the house and showed what changes we could make," said senior Madison Kebler, 17.

Some of the solutions the students found? Using more efficient appliances and natural materials like bamboo or cork flooring, using solar panels for energy, keeping house sizes smaller, even growing vegetables in a backyard garden.

"People have started really recognizing the problem of global warming, and though we can't really stop it, we can help it," said freshman Sarah Realbuto, 14.

[Last modified February 27, 2007, 20:35:17]


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