STORY ECO-Meet, One Great Program OUTDOOR ADVENTURES…..Emporia Gazette, October 2007
gracious! I just thought I knew
something about animals and the Great Outdoors. At a time when most high
schools are involved with football playoffs, Halloween Day found me traveling
Just outside of Herington I saw a small flock of prairie chicken numbering a
dozen or so. About the same time, I heard on the radio
The 2007 ECO event
marked the 9th year for this statewide competition sponsored by the
Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Teams and individuals qualified
from seven locations across
were held at Milford Nature Center near Junction City, Lakewood Discovery
Center in Salina, Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita, Dillon Nature Center
in Hutchinson, Southeast Kansas Education Service Center in Greenbush, and at
education centers on Wilson and Webster Reservoirs further west.
The Kansas ECO-Meet program is the brainchild of
Pat Silovsky, Director of the
The mission of the Kansas ECO-Meet is to challenge
and inspire an interest, appreciation and understanding of the natural sciences
The competition included
four events. Interpretive Skits and the Scavenger Hunt, where the students had
to showcase their knowledge of
The Scavenger Hunt event required teams to find items included on a list of 30 to 40 forbs, grasses, woody plants, animals and other natural items in a 30-minute period. The team then had to name and show each item to a judge, who critiqued their knowledge.
The remaining two events
were classroom, lab-style tests. One dealt with various
Scholarships were awarded to the top three teams, with scholarship money being held in an account with the Kansas Wildscape Foundation until the students graduate from high school and enroll in an institute of higher learning. The money is then credited to the post-secondary school in the student's name to help in furthering their education.
Anyone interested in learning more about Kansas ECO-Meet competitions should phone Mike Rader at 620-672-0708 or email email@example.com. Or please visit the Kansas ECO-Meet web page at: www.kansasecomeet.org. New teams, potential coaches, and new sponsors are encouraged. Perhaps one of these scholars will further their education and help us less knowledgeable people understand the effects of global warming, coal plants and wind generators. It would sure be nice to see the great flocks of prairie chickens once again!