MDC congratulates Pembroke Hill for NCF-Envirothon win

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – A team from Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Mo., won the 2015 NCF-Envirothon, a week-long North American natural resource education competition held July 27 to Aug. 2 in Springfield, Mo. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is a partner in the program.

"We congratulate the Pembroke Hill team, and thank the coaches, teachers, school and community for supporting them," said Kevin Lohraff, MDC education program and curriculum supervisor.

Pembroke Hill's five-member team topped 52 other high school teams from throughout the United States and Canada. Team members included Saurabh Goel, Domenico DiMare, Francesco DiMare, Devon Dietrich and Eric Koch. SueAnn Wright is the team's head coach.

NCF-Envirothon is a program of the National Conservation Foundation in partnership with local soil and water conservation districts, forestry associations, educators, natural resource agencies and Smithfield Foods. More than 4,000 schools participated in the program at local, regional and state levels.

Urban and community forestry was a central theme in this year's North American competition. Teams moved between stations where their skills and knowledge were tested on forestry, aquatics, soils, wildlife and a current issue.

Pembroke Hill earned top scores in the aquatics and current issue sections. The team also took top honors for oral presentation. Each team member received a $3,000 scholarship, and their school also received a $2,000 award for their having the top oral presentation score.

Pembroke Hill won a regional contest held in March at MDC's Burr Oak Woods Nature Center. The team later won the Missouri state title to advance to the North American competition. MDC staff statewide hosted high school teams for training in natural sciences and in competitions. In July, the MDC Fisheries Division staff took the Pembroke Hill team on a field trip to an upland prairie stream at Wah'Kon-Tah Prairie Conservation Area in the Upper Osage Grasslands. The students helped sample fish populations and found four species of darter minnows in one stream.

MDC's partnership with Envirothon is one aspect of a broader effort to connect teachers and students with nature.

"This fits in with our mission of hands-on outdoor learning and partnerships with teachers and schools," Lohraff said.

For more information about MDC's partnership with schools, visit