Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Twenty-five teams, 96 students, 20 high schools display conservation knowledge
GREAT BEND — On Nov. 4, the 12th Annual State Finals ECO-Meet competition was held at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center and Camp Aldrich, northeast of Great Bend in and around Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area. It was a great day for early November, with mild weather despite the typical Kansas wind. The competition proved to be an exciting, hard-fought contest, with the following results:
Overall Team Competition
  • First Place — Blue Valley North High School Team A, Olivia Cowen, Sam Parker, Carrie Remillard, Austin Rice, and team coach Eric Kessler — $300 student scholarship;
  • Second Place — Wakefield High School Team A, Brandi Bergmeier, Josh Keim, Matt Shandy, Spencer Mitchell, and team coaches Alby Adamson and Mark Mohler — $200 student scholarship; and
  • Third Place — Wilson High School Team A, Bryant Davis, Justine Dlabal, Lacey Major, Ashley Zelenka, and team coach Melanie Falcon — $100 student scholarship.
Individual Events
  • Herpetology — 1st Place, Sam Parker, Blue Valley North High School, $200 scholarship -- 2nd Place, Austin Rice, Blue Valley North High School, $100 scholarship;
  • Woodlands Ecosystem —1st Place, Sam Parker, Blue Valley North High School, $200 scholarship -- 2nd Place, Ben Cortes, St. Marys-Colgan High School, $100 scholarship.
Twenty-five teams consisting of 96 students from 20 high schools across the state competed at the event. An additional 10 students qualified as individuals from three other schools in the two test events. Nine Regional qualifying competitions determined who represented each location at the state competition. Regional locations were Wilson Reservoir, Sternberg Museum in Hays, Milford Nature Center, Lakewood Discovery Center in Salina, Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita, Dillon Nature Center in Hutchinson, Prairie Park Nature Center in Lawrence, Southeast Kansas Education Service Center at Greenbush, and Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe. The Kansas ECO-meet committee is considering at least two new locations for 2011 regional competitions, so there is potential for continued growth of this program.
Sponsors of the Kansas ECO-Meet include the Kansas Wildscape Foundation; the Kansas Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation; Pepsi Bottling of Hays; Simpson Farm Enterprises of Ransom; Manweiler Chevrolet and Superior/Essex of Hoisington; Great Bend CVB, Barton Community College, Sara Lee Bakery Outlet Store, Doonan Peterbilt/GMC, Wal-Mart, Dillon’s, and Golden Belt Bicycle, all of Great Bend; Marelcy of Hutchinson; Owls Nest Campground of Junction City; Friends of Milford Nature Center; Mid-America Awards of Salina; Goodwin Sporting Goods of Hays; and the Education Section of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) in Pratt.
To view the results from all regional events and the state competition or for more information about Kansas ECO-Meet, go online to or contact Mike Rader at KDWP’s Pratt Operations Office, email or phone 620-672-0708.

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