2016 Envirothon Begins

Envirothon Team SittingHidden Pond Nature Center began defense of its state Envirothon title on Wednesday, March 30 by advancing to round two. The annual Envirothon is North America’s largest environmental education competition for high school students. Some 500,000 people from 4,000 public and private high schools across North America participate annually.

Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale hosted the squad from Hidden Pond and teams from Langley, Thomas Jefferson, George Marshall, Fairfax and Madison High Schools in the first-round competition. Thomas Jefferson placed first and Hidden Pond second. The top two teams advance to Area competition on April 20 at Bull Run Regional Park. Area winners advance to the state final on May 15-16 in Harrisonburg. State and provincial winners compete in the North American championship, which will be held in July at Peterborough, Ontario.

The Virginia Dominion Envirothon is sponsored by Virginia’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Students involved in the competition have already participated in several trainings presented by science, park and government professionals in fields relating to environmental sciences.

Hidden Pond has placed in the top two four times in the past five years at the Virginia state championship, winning the title in 2013 and 2015. HPNC placed 9th out of 52 teams in the North America finals last year.

This year’s Hidden Pond roster:

  • John Abalos-Green- Burke, Va., Freshman at Lake Braddock HS
  • Aaron Abalos-Green- Burke, Va., Freshman at Lake Braddock HS
  • Noah Goldfarb- Burke, Va., Freshman at Robinson HS
  • Annabella Massimino- Springfield, Va., Junior at West Springfield HS
  • Stuart Murdoch-  Springfield, Va., Junior at West Springfield HS
  • Jennifer Ochs- Springfield, Va., Freshman at Lake Braddock HS
  • Sofia O’Connor- Springfield, Va. , Sophomore at West Springfield HS
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About Fairfax County Park Authority

HISTORY: • On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. • To date, 11 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2008. Another Park Bond Referendum will be held in November 2012. Today, the Park Authority has 420 parks on approximately 23,168 acres of land. We offer 371 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park System is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: o Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist. o Eight golf courses including Laurel Hill, our newest, upscale course and clubhouse located in Southern Fairfax County o Five nature and visitor centers. Also seven Off-Leash Dog Activity areas o Several lakes including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax o The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter o Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel o An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter o Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel o Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent o A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly o A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale o Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community o Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center o Provides 274 athletic fields, including 30 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 500 school athletic fields PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: • A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. %

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